The war-torn Afghanistan has constantly been fighting others nations or handling its warlords engaged in waging a civil war against each other. The country continues to be in international limelight what with ethnic divisions and marred by tribal loyalties. The warring factions have yet to agree on a stable political process.
The Bonn agreement of 2001 provided a new era of stability and peace but within six years, it was torn by war and insurgency. The country has not yet stabilised with the Talibans raising their ugly head every now and then.
The presence of nearly 40,000 foreign troops to hunt down the remnants of Al-Qaeda and Taliban have failed to improve the situation. Although the US invasion of the country dethroned the fundamentalist regime, their presence has not ended the Afghans? woes. For the Americans, the ?war against terrorism? remains a war, but for many Afghans, the United States is increasingly being looked upon as an ?occupying power?.
This volume is a compilation of articles by well-known experts like Dr. P.M. Kamath, professor of politics in Mumbai University, Dr. P.L. Dash, Director, University of Mumbai, Dr. A.P. Mavalankar, professor, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, Dr Jagmohan Meher, NDA, Khadakwasla and others.
The book tries to answer some of the following questions. What is wrong in Afghanistan? Why is the current insurgency emerging as a formidable force? Why are anti-American feelings increasing despite the US spending billions in the country'sreconstruction? What are the options for Afghanistan? What can this unfortunate land-locked landmass do?
The editor makes a very clear assessment of the situation when he says that the British were badly defeated in the 19th century and the Soviets in the 20th century because of the Afghan tradition of opposing foreign occupation.
General Eustace D?souza, a military historian, looks at Afghanistan'shistorical and geo-political dimensions in order to understand the country'sdynamics of change and survival. He describes the historical background and Afghanistan'sturbulent past.
Dr. Shalini Saksena shows the vulnerability of this land-locked landmass and how it falls prey to imperialistic designs without succumbing.
Prof. P.M. Kamath, an expert on security policy-making in the US and India gives a new perspective on the events and the Indian response.
Prof. S.K. Asopa, an expert in international relations, focuses on both the internal and external political dynamics about the turmoil in Afghanistan and underlines the role played by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the US.
Dr. Sudha Mohan suggests that Afghanistan is one country which finds itself embroiled in crises, clashes and confrontations without being responsible for it directly. She highlights the fact that Afghanistan is engaged in a complex struggle to determine its national identity in a complex, evolving and a changed world.
Prof. P.L. Dash argues that a single factor that differentiates Afghanistan from other countries of the region is that it had to face Soviet and American military and political involvement for long successive years.
All the papers seem to convey that peace is a distant dream in Afghanistan. At the moment the Taliban is not powerful enough to create road-blocks. Though it wants to establish a genuine Islamic state but finds itself in a weak position as it does not have enough hard-core fighters to fight the government troops and the multi-national forces.
(Kalpaz Publications, C-30 Satyawati Nagar, Delhi-110 052.)