Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989; the Marxist regime Moscow had been supporting fell in 1992. The Taliban seized control of Kabul — and most of Afghanistan — in 1996. Will a similar progression occur in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the U.S.
If serious disputes arose between Islamic revolutionary actors, America and others might be able to exploit them. But will such serious disputes arise?
Whatever popular support they may have enjoyed before coming to power or just afterward, radical Islamic revolutionaries have quickly proven themselves to be harsh authoritarian rulers wherever they have had the chance: in Iran (1979), in Sudan (1989), in most of Afghanistan (1996 - 2001), in par
Many fear (and many others hope) that American withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to a takeover of these two countries by radical Islamic forces, who will then be in a stronger position to spread to neighboring countries. The U.S.
Not so long ago — before I was sprayed by political skunks and had to excuse myself to avoid subjecting others to the stench of political vilification — I had occasion to spend some time thinking about intelligence, in the sense of the analysis of information relevant to statecraft.
Next Tuesday, just four days from now, we Americans will select a new president and his back-up. Exactly eleven weeks later they will take office. They will inherit a dog's breakfast of policy catastrophes from the outgoing administration. Everyone will look to them to clean these up.
Roy Gutman, now foreign editor for McClatchy newspapers, has written a narrative history of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan from the Soviet withdrawal to the 9/11 attacks. It is a painstakingly researched book with a great many interviews and references to original documentation.
Mark Juergensmeyer, professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has written another important work usefully integrating his previous conceptual contributions and insights on religion and political violence with some new empirical evidence.