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4 - Afghanistan

Regime Change and Building Society in the Graveyard of Empires

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Thomas H. Henriksen
Affiliation:
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
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Summary

This chapter examines the 9/11 terrorist attack, invasion, regime change in Afghanistan, and the start of the Global War on Terrorism. To secure America from further terrorism, the George W. Bush government invaded the Taliban-ruled mountainous country to destroy Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. US and NATO forces quickly toppled the Taliban and put al Qaeda to flight by using innovative tactics, anti-Taliban militias, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) The United States and its allies tried to create a democracy where chaos, decentralism, tribal rule, polarization, sectarianism, and a shattered state existed. They installed a democratic government with the help of the United Nations. Many Afghans joyously greeted the new tolerant order. By 2005, Taliban insurgents drifted back from their sanctuaries in Pakistan to raise havoc in rural Afghanistan. From the start, the Pentagon lacked adequate numbers of “boots on the ground” to carry out an effective occupation to ensure stability and security. Other problems plagued the pacification effort, including an ineffective overall nation-building blueprint. Decisively, the Bush administration took its eye off Afghanistan and reduced military and civilian resources for its nation-building endeavors, while it prepared for invasion of Iraq. By the time, George Bush left office in 2009, Afghan counterinsurgency was floundering.

Type
Chapter
Information
America's Wars
Interventions, Regime Change, and Insurgencies after the Cold War
, pp. 104 - 134
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Afghanistan
  • Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
  • Book: America's Wars
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009053242.005
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  • Afghanistan
  • Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
  • Book: America's Wars
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009053242.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Afghanistan
  • Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
  • Book: America's Wars
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009053242.005
Available formats
×