Rethinking Afghanistan

“We are regularly bombarded by news reports and political analysis that reflect certain underlying assumptions about Afghanistan. These assumptions range from claims that Afghanistan was always a backward state ruled by warlords, to assertions that the country was never really a nation at all, and proclamations that Afghanistan is unfit for Western-style democracy and that it is dangerously naïve to think otherwise.

Those who knew Afghanistan prior to America’s current military engagement understand that these assumptions are wrong, yet they form the basis of a mythology that underlies the growing US military commitment and the shape of American policy toward the Afghan government.”

-Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Middle East Institute special edition of Viewpoints Dec 2, 2009

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