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The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan Paperback – September 20, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (September 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844674517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844674510
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A pathbreaking synthesis of American and Russian perspectives on the illusions of empire and the impossibility of ‘victory’ in Afghanistan. As the contributors so eloquently emphasize, the only realistic and humane option can be spelled in three letters: O-U-T.”—Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

“A fascinating and essential guide which puts the war in Afghanistan in the context of its recent history and dispels propaganda stereotypes about how the US, Britain and their allies became involved.”—Patrick Cockburn, author of The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

About the Author

Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian, essayist, and the associate editor of the Nation Institute’s He is the author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday and has written for the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique, In These Times and the Village Voice.

Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics—including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bush in Babylon, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Obama Syndrome—as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of international relations and history at Boston University.

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the website, a project of The Nation Institute, where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in New York City.

Chalmers Johnson was President of the Japan Policy Research Institute and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. He was the author of numerous books, including Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire and Japan: Who Governs?

More About the Author

Nick Turse is a journalist, historian, and the author of Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. Turse's work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Nation, among other publications. His investigations of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam have gained him a Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
This useful book is in four parts: the wars for Afghanistan; the Karzai government's incompetence, corruption and the war on women; facts on the ground; and the case for withdrawal.

Governments used to tell us the fate of the empire was at stake in every war. Now they tell us the fate of civilisation is at stake, or national security, or NATO. These exaggerations are a mirror image of the fundamentalists' claim that Islam's survival is at stake.

Women had equal rights and education only between 1979 and 1989, under secular, Marxist rule. In 2008, President Karzai pardoned a bunch of thugs who had gang-raped a woman in front of witnesses. In 2009 he passed a family law worthy of the Taliban. In Afghanistan's constitution, no law may contravene Sharia law. The UN's Assistance Mission there sums up, "women are denied their most fundamental human rights".

NATO forces commit war crimes, bomb civilians and torture prisoners, all in the name of `liberation'. Billions of dollars of `aid' go to the Northern Alliance, run by warlords and drug-runners. Karzai's younger brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is one of the richest drug barons in the country.

There are now 400 NATO military bases in the country and $3 billion worth of base-building projects. There are still 50 US bases in Iraq. In both countries, NATO occupations promise only endless war, costing thousands of lives, civilian and military, and billions of dollars and pounds, all to set up secure bases for NATO's use of force against nearby countries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S Wood on March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Award winning journalist and author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives Nick Turse is the editor of this collection of articles on the US/Nato occupation of Afghanistan published in 2010.

Only 6 of the 22 articles deal explicitly with the ostensible purpose of this publication: the issue of withdrawal. These make up some of the shorter pieces of this book and vary from the author of Raising my Voice Malalai Joya's impassioned plea that "No Nation Can Liberate Another" to the more hard headed "realist" analysis of former CIA station chief Graham Fuller ("Obama's Policies Make The Situation Worse").

The rest of the articles cover a range of topics related to the war, the most notable of these come from Juan Cole with his brief look at the continuities in the history of foreign interventions, and Tariq Ali (author of the exceptional Clash of Fundamentalisms) who looks at aspects of the conflict thus far (2010) in the "Mirage of the Good War". Other articles explore the proliferation of U.S. base building in Afghanistan, the deteriorating plight of woman, the war profiteering going on within and without the country (including the Taliban who take a cut from massive amounts spent on trucking the supplies required to keep the U.S. soldier in theatre), the role of covert and private forces and the tendancy for the conflict to expand into Pakistan.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. D. CUNHA on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
One should read this book to understand why the situation in Afghanistan is a shambles. There are interesting views from both Afghans and Westerners, and put together in one book makes it a very interesting reading.
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