Author -Anand Gopal
In my last two blogs , we waded through the muddy terrains of Afghanistan with Author Anand Gopal trying to make sense of the two decades long war and finally an abrupt ,shocking anticlimax with American Troop withdrawl
Author invested four years of his life and lived in Afghanistan as local and interviewed thousands of Afghans .Hence the book is an authentic collection of first hand accounts of those people whose every day life became nightmare , as their destiny changed with change of power at the “Power Nodes “
After Taliban was decimated and Al -Qaeda flew out of Afghanistan in late 2001 and early 2002 ,Author often wondered in hindsight ,that may be that was the right time for Troop withdrawl for the USA but then again , Who should have been the power transferred to ?
“The Talibans “- who were Afghan centric and did not mind , minding their own business and had a strong hold in Southern Afghanistan but at an insurmountable cost of pushing the country to the back gear .
The forward centric , prowestern ,representing a tiny slice of the population , totally dependant on foreign powers ,easy to topple governments
The ” MIDDLE MEN “, another wrought in the system ,who had amassed wealth and power at the USA’s expense , the only liason between the Afghan people and the USA also played a strategic role in catalyzing the war to go wrong .Anybody from any faction could be branded as Taliban or Terrorist by these middle men, even to settle their own personnel rivalry and that person could be targeted ,tortured ,imprisoned or sent to Guantanamo prison
In the process ,as early as 2005 ,people of the country were weary and hopeless and Taliban resurgency started .They regrouped themselves by tacit support of ISI , Pakistan and Al-Qaeda and by 2007 they had regained control of half of rural Pashtun territory and interestingly author found out that people lived in peace in those areas .Crime had vanished but islamic justices were met with no jobs or development .
Author reported that as a nation ,Afghanistan always had to piggy back on foreign powers for its development and which further divided the nation into an unsolvable jigsaw puzzle .
US’s intent was always well meaning and Afghanistan toking its baby steps towards development , women empowerment and hence Nation Building
Intelligence failure ,language barriers , rampant corruption , betrayals led the USA towards one misstep to another and some where lost the holding power of the Nation
Author revisited his protagonists in Afghanistan in 2010 and found out the “Ex- Taliban commander , had landed in Bagram prison ; The Pro Karzai commander was shot dead and Heela , the urban turned rural housewife ,became a senator
Author gave us an authentic account of the state of Afgahnistan and it felt after reading the book that not only the country but the US had also exhausted all its options and troop withdrawl was a foregone conclusion
In Today’s Afghanistan ,there is a humanitarian crisis going on and calls for help are intense and we only hope that we as “Humans Of The World “could figure out some solution and do not discard the Country as “Basket Case”
Wishing you all a very safe week ahead
Hoping to be with you all soon