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A Wounded Afghanistan : Communism, Fundamentalism and Democracy

K B Usha, Shubhi, 2004, ix, 377 p, ISBN : 8182900204, $55.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A Wounded Afghanistan : Communism, Fundamentalism and Democracy/K.B. Usha

Contents: Foreword. Introduction. 1. Afghan crisis and its roots. 2. Soviet Policy on world Communist movement: a framework. 3. The Soviet-Afghan relations and the emergence of Communist movement in Afghanistan, 1917-1965. 4. Soviet policy towards people's democratic party of Afghanistan: from split to reunification, 1967-77. 5. Soviet Union and April revolution, 1978. 6. Soviet intervention and the Communist regimes, 1979-85. 7. Gorbachev, troops withdrawal and Najibullah regime, 1985-92. 8. Mujahideens and Taliban, 1992-2001. 9. US intervention and Karzai government challenges in nation building. Bibliography. Appendices. Index.

"This book 'A Wounded Afghanistan: Communism, Fundamentalism and Democracy' examines the impact of foreign interventions since 1979 on the socio-political developments of Afghanistan and the circumstances, which made it the epicentre of terrorism. The strategic location of Afghanistan in Central Asia and its closeness to Eurasia led to geopolitical rivalry for resource loot between imperialistic powers, the British empire and USA on the one hand and Czarist Russia and the USSR on the other. The soviet intervention in the 1970s and the sovietization of Afghan society led to the emergence of Mujahideen resistance and political upsurge of Islamic fundamentalism (Talibanism), a sort of restoration with vengeance of the Afghan version of Islamic laws in politics and society. The decline of Pushtun dominance and the assertion of other minorities such as Tajiks also contributed to the rise of Taliban.

Besides big actors, the book sees Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia as significant players in the Afghan crisis. The Taliban extremism paved the way to human rights violations of minorities and women. The September 11 attack on American and harbouring of Osama Bin Laden by Taliban led to the US intervention in Afghanistan. Now the country is facing nation-building challenges among which ethnic rivalry and warlordism are major ones.

Behind the Brezhnev doctrine and the doctrine of pre-emptive strike of Bush II, remained their national and exploitative interests. Ideologies apart, 'Communism' wanted Afghanistan in the Soviet orbit, fundamentalism played up their ethnic, male-dominant Pushtunwali vendetta in the name of Islam, and 'democracy' is playing oil politics in the open. But, everything at the cost of Afghanistan. With Cold War politics resulted in the Soviet intervention, Caspian energy and pipeline politics led to US intervention." (jacket)

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