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Afghan Lessons: Culture, Diplomacy, and Counterinsurgency (Brookings-SSPA Series on Public Administration) Paperback – July 3, 2013
About the Author
Fernando Gentilini is an Italian diplomat with twenty years of experience in European and multilateral affairs. He currently works in Brussels for the European External Action Service. Afghan Lessons was published in Italy as Libero a Kabul (Editori Internazionali Riuniti, 2011). Robert Cooper is a British diplomat who served at the top of EU foreign policy institutions. He is also the author of numerous essays, articles, and publications on foreign policy, including The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003).
Top Customer Reviews
Gentilini is a very gifted writer. I particularly liked his descriptins of Afghan culture and society and the ruinous impact of 30 years of war. He also has chapters of book lists, which continued to evolve as his tour went on.
If you are going to Afghanistan or need to understand that country, read this. It will then tell what other books to read as well.
This book is a personal and rambling account of the author's experience. It does not contain an overview or assessment of the intervention for the period, or of the economic development effort. It touches on certain themes - security, women's rights, education, - but remains sketchy and detached. The author has much respect for Gen. McChrystal, who sums up the mindset of US military intervention in this way: "When we first started, the question was, `Where is the enemy?' That was the intelligence question. As we got smarter, we started to ask, `Who is the enemy?' And we thought we were pretty clever. And then we realized that wasn't the right question and we asked, `What's the enemy doing or trying to do?' And it wasn't until we got further along that we said, `Why are they the enemy?Read more ›