An ambassador and Special Envoy on Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992, Peter Tomsen developed close relationships with Afghan leaders-he accompanied President Hamid Karzai when Karzai's motorcade was ambushed in Kandahar in 2002, and was one of the last foreigners to meet with the famed Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Masood before Masood was dramatically assassinated by an al-Qaeda bomb days before 9/11-and has dealt with senior Taliban, warlords, and religious leaders involved in the region's conflicts over the last two decades. Now Tomsen draws on his experiences and synthesizes his unparalleled knowledge of the region with a rich trove of never-before-published material-including hundreds of previously classified documents-to shed new light on the American involvment in the long and continuing Afghan war.
The Wars of Afghanistan offers a deeply informed perspective on how Afghanistan's history as a "shatter zone" for foreign invaders and its tribal society have shaped the modern Afghan narrative. It also reveals for the first time appallingly misinformed secret operations in Afghanistan by foreign intelligence agencies, including the Soviet NKVD and KGB, the CIA, and Pakistan's ISI. The last chapter charts a path out of the Afghan quagmire.
As an insider and U.S. negotiator dealing with this complex region and the web of players involved, Tomsen documents:
In July 2011, the United States is poised to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. However, American policy makers, Tomsen argues, still do not understand the Afghan tribal environment or how U.S. Afghan strategy has facilitated the ISI-supported Taliban comeback. At this critical time-and in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death-he presents provocative proposals on how the U.S. and the coalition it leads must deal with Pakistani duplicity, assist Afghanistan and help the region in returning to stability and peace.
This epic, unprecedented, insider's account of Afghanistan's modern history is indispensable reading for anyone wanting to understand the mounting crisis the U.S. faces in Afghanistan.
Peter Tomsen was President George H. W. Bush's Special Envoy to the Afghan Resistance with the rank of Ambassador from 1989 to 1992. Tomsen entered the Foreign Service in 1967 and served in Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, and the Soviet Union. He was United States Deputy Chief of Mission in China from 1986 to 1989, deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian Affairs from 1992 to 1995, and the American Ambassador to Armenia from 1995 to 1998. He lives near Washington, D.C.
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