Saturday, February 02, 2013

First as tragedy, then as farce...

Why imperial actions in Afghanistan tend toward failure...Read this brilliant, sharply written review of William Dalrymple's new book on the British Afghan Wars in the Financial Times.

I recall learning about the British invasion and war in Afghanistan in the late 1970s as part of a course on Southern Asia. When the Russians went into Afghanistan in December 1979, I recall saying to my folks, who thought the Russians would wipe out the Afghan rebels in a week, I responded, "The Russians will think they will win in a week, too. And they'll be bogged down there for the next five years or more, and won't win at all..." They thought I was being a Commie anti-war naive guy again, and I just laughed sardonically.

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