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A Military History of Afghanistan


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About the Author

Ali Ahmad Jalali, is a Distinguished Professor at the National Defense. He is the author of Afghan Guerilla Warfare: In the Words of the Mujahedin Fighters and coauthor of The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahedin Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War.


Jalali's effective use of primary and secondary sources from a diverse range of participants in Afghanistan's military history makes for a fascinating and important read. Utilizing Afghan, Indian, Pakistani, British, Soviet, and American accounts, the book comes closer than any other thus far in painting a complete picture of the turbulent history of this fascinating nation.""- Army History;

""This magnificent achievement by Jalali should certainly become the new standard by which all other histories of conflict in the region are judged.""- Military Review;

""Ali Ahmad Jalali has now written the most comprehensive English-language study of Afghan military history.""- Michigan War Studies Review;

""Readable and will be a good source for those interested in the military history of Afghanistan.""- Choice;

""As a survey of nineteenth and twentieth century Afghan military history by an experienced Afghan historian drawing on sources in several languages- those of Afghanistan, English, and Russian- this book is especially valuable.""- New York Military Affairs Symposium Review;

""Professor Jalali's book will be the authoritative and standard work for scholars, soldiers, statesmen, and citizens alike. Well written, thoroughly researched in multiple relevant languages, and, presented as only this highly educated Afghan army colonel, one time freedom fighter, former Afghan Minister of the Interior, and scholar could do. This is the balanced history required for a world community struggling to bring a meaningful peace to this troubled land.""- Lester W. Grau, author of Operation Anaconda: America's First Major Battle in Afghanistan and The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost;

""Professor Jalali's deeply researched, beautifully written, and humane book places today's headlines in the context of centuries, reminding the reader that every society's ways of warfare change with the challenges it faces and the resources of its leaders, society, and culture. Jalali takes us far beyond sound bites to place Afghanistan's wars in the long panorama of human history.""- Barnett R. Rubin, author of Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror;

""A definitive history of Afghanistan depicting both insider and outsider perspectives. The author's evenhanded analytical approach provides a clear and balanced picture of momentous military events that shaped the future of Afghanistan and influenced major political developments in the region. With its professional focus and unparalleled access to primary sources Jalali offers a unique and unrivaled study of the Afghan ways of warfare and lessons learned in the context of military history in general.""- General Abdul Rahim Wardak, Afghanistan Minister of Defense (2004-2012);

""To understand Afghanistan today and in the future requires an acute understanding of the country's past. While this truism applies to every country and people, nowhere is it truer than in Afghanistan. Ali's monumental work provides necessary context and essential new dimensions for that understanding at a time when precious few in the West (if not the world as a whole) possess it.""- David M. Glantz, author of The Stalingrad Trilogy;

""A must read for anyone seriously interested in Afghanistan.""--Zalmay Khalilzad, Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and author of The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House;

""Combining careful scholarship, a deep knowledge of Afghan society and world history, and decades of top level military and political experience in his native Afghanistan, Jalali's study is a masterpiece. In lively detail he shows how both external and internal struggles have shaped the state's ability to provide good governance at home, and implies that security and development must always go hand in hand in the future. This magnificent book will henceforth be the essential reading for anyone interested in the fate of Afghanistan.""- S. Frederick Starr, chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program;

""A Military History of Afghanistan is a unique work in scope, learning, and sources. The development of Afghanistan's military is completely interwoven with the development of the Afghan state and provides a fascinating perspective through which to review and relearn Afghan history. The breadth of the Persian language as well as English language sources combined with the author's personal involvement with much of the recent history makes the work uniquely valuable.""- Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann (ret.), President of the American Academy of Diplomacy, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and, author of The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan

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