Afghanistan - Resource Material

#1
Given the poverty of debate in the UK on the geopolitics and doctrine, (whatever it may be this month), of the Afghan War I thought some might find the following links and resources of interest.

Right or wrong, there are people around who are trying to think through things with some measure of sincerity rather than the constant flow of political knee jerk sound bites which we constantly endure from the press and Westminster. That of course doesn't infer that they are either right just because their thoughts are on the Interweb or that anyone is listening but nonetheless, no one has exclusivity on what the right approach is and, the web is the only open forum available.

Few people understand all the issues in their totality and I'm not one of them. I was interested to learn, for example, that the Helmand Valley Project, undertaken and funded by the Americans after 1945 and which lasted for many years ended in failure. It's aim, to build infrastructure in Helmund and to settle nomadic tribes. Read more here

A good central point for on line blogs can be found here

A few that I dip into now and again include,

http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama

http://kingsofwar.wordpress.com/

http://stupidest.wordpress.com/

http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/BLOG/

http://easterncampaign.wordpress.com/

http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2009/0209_afghanistan/

http://defenceoftherealm.blogspot.com/

http://www.casualty-monitor.org/search/label/Afghan Casualties

and Stratfor which unfortunately is a subscription service



Please feel free to add any other resource links or material.

Bumper
 
#2
Bumper,

Very useful. Will add to it as and when.

whf
 
#3
Why do you read Defence of the Realm - a load of bollox written by a bloke who ignores the experiences of people in the know.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
Top plan gents.

For all those who like their learning papery, here is an Afghan Reading List, chosen for availability on Amazon etc.



1. Afghan History:


Islam and Politics in Afghanistan (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies: Studies in Asian Topics)
by Asta Olesen

Afghanistan: A History of Conflict
by John C. Griffiths

Afghanistan: A Modern History
by Angelo Rasanayagam

The Pathans: 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957. With a new epilogue (Oxford in Asia Historical Reprints)
by Olaf Caroe

A History of Pashtun Migration, 1775-2006
by Robert Nichols

Afghanistan (Oxford Pakistan paperbacks)
by Louis Dupree

Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Present
by Stephen Tanner

Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival
by Amin Saikal

Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia
by Ahmed Rashid

Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007
by Antonio Giustozzi

Afghanistan - Aid, Armies and Empires
by Peter Marsden

Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords in Afghanistan
by Antonio Giustozzi

Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field
by Antonio Giustozzi

The Search for Security in Post-Taliban Afghanistan (Adelphi Papers)
by Cyrus Hodes, Mark Sedra

Beyond Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Lessons from Development Experience
by John D. Montgomery, Dennis A. Rondinelli

The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan
by Robert Crews , Amin Tarzi, Robert D. Crews

After the Taliban: Nation-building in Afghanistan
by James F. Dobbins

Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace
by Chris Johnson , Jolyon Leslie

The Fragmentation of Afghanistan
by BR Rubin

Afghanistan's Uncertain Transition from Turmoil to Normalcy (Csr)
by Barnett R. Rubin


2. Afghan Military:




a. General


The Afghan Wars: 1839-1919
by Tony Heathcote

The Savage Frontier: A History of the Anglo-Afghan Wars
by D.S. Richards

The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion
by Paddy Docherty

The Savage Border: The Story of the North-West Frontier
by Jules Stewart

The Khyber Rifles: From the British Raj to Al Qaeda
by Jules Stewart

The Crimson Snow
by Jules Stewart

The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia
by Peter Hopkirk

Spying for Empire: The Great Game in Central and South-East Asia, 1757-1947 [Illustrated]
by Robert Johnson

Spying for the Raj: The Pundits and the Mapping of the Himalaya
by Jules Stewart

Endgame : Britain, Russia, and the Final Struggle for Central Asia: Britain, Russia and the Final Struggle for Central Asia (International Library of Historical Studies)
by Paul Kennedy , Jennifer Siegel

Frontier Scouts
Charles Chevenix Trench


b. 19th Century


The March to Kandahar
by Rodney Atwood

Britain in Afghanistan 1: the First Afghan War 1839-42
by Archibald Forbes

Britain in Afghanistan 2: the Second Afghan War 1878-80
by Archibald Forbes

The First Afghan War And Its Causes
by Sir Henry Marion Durand

Kabul Catastrophe: The Invasion and Retreat 1839-1842 (Prion Lost Treasures)
by Patrick Macrory, General Sir Michael Rose

The Road to Kabul: The Second Afghan War, 1878- 1881
by Brian Robson


c. 20th Century


Crisis on the Frontier: The Third Afghan War and the Campaign in Waziristan 1919-1920
by Brian Robson

Third Afghan War 1919 Official Account
by Army Hq India

Official History of Operations on the North-West Frontier of India 1920-1935
by Government of India

The Other Side of the Mountain: v. 3: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet Afghan War
by A. Jalali, Lester W. Grau

Afghan Guerrilla Warfare: In the Words of the Mujahideen Fighters
by Alli Ahmad Jalali , Lester W. Grau, John E. Rhodes

Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story
by Vladislav Tamarov

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan (Soviet (Russian) Study of War)
by Lester W. Grau (Editor)

The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan
by Artyom Borovik

The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost (Modern War Studies)
by The Russian General Staff , Lester W. Grau, Michael A. Gress


d. Contemporary Operations


A Million Bullets: The Real Story of the War in Afghanistan
by James Fergusson

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden
by Steve Coll

The Battle for Afghanistan
by Mohammad Yousaf , Mark Adkin

Battlefield Afghanistan: Hurt Locker: The Inside Story of Coalition Forces on the Front Line
by Mike Ryan

3 Para
by Patrick Bishop



3. Travel, Diaries, Memoirs:


The Places in Between [Unabridged]
by Rory Stewart

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
by Jason Elliot

On the Road to Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict in the Islamic World
by Jason Burke

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush [Special Edition]
by Eric Newby

Among the Mountains: Travels Through Asia
by Wilfred Thesiger

Baechtold's Best: Afghanistan: The Ultimate Visual Travel Guide
by Deborah Aaronson

Afghanistan (Lonely Planet Country Guide)
by Paul Clammer

The Sewing Circles of Herat: My Afghan Years
by Christina Lamb

Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan
by Ann Jones

Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep
by Siba Shakib

Samira and Samir: The Heart Rendering Story of Love and Oppression in Afghanistan
by Siba Shakib

Come Back to Afghanistan: My Journey from California to Kabul
by Said Hyder Akbar , Susan Burton

The Punishment of Virtue: Walking the Frontline of the War on Terror with a Woman Who Has Made it Her Home
by Sarah Chayes

Shadow of the Silk Road
by Colin Thubron


4. Language & Culture


Frontier of Faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan Borderland
by Sana Haroon

Pashtun Tales: From the Pakistan-Afghan Border (Paperback)
by Aisha Ahmad , Roger Boase

Dari-English / English-Dari Dictionary and Phrasebook (Hippocrene dictionaries & phrasebooks)
by Nicholas Awde

Beginner's Dari (Hippocrene Beginner's)
by Shaista Wahab

Accent on Afghanistan - Dari: The Language and Culture of Afghanistan [Audiobook] (Audio CD)
by Accent on Languages

English-Dari Phrasebook for Aid Workers
by Robert Powers , Mir Abdul Zahir Sahebi

Pashto-English/English-Pashto Dictionary and Phrasebook (Hippocrene Dictionary & Phrasebooks)
by Nicholas Awde , Asmatullah Sarwan

Accent on Afghanistan: The Language and Culture of Afghanistan
by Accent on Languages

Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide (Odyssey Afghanistan)
by Bijan Omrani , Matthew Leeming

Afghan Women: Identity and Invasion
by Elaheh Rostami-Povey

Women of Courage: Changing Role of Afghan Women
by Katherine Kiviat

Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future
by S. Wali (Foreword), Sunita Mehta (Editor), Fahima Danishgar (Editor)


5. Novels


Swallows of Kabul
by Yasmina Khadra

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

Born Under a Million Shadows
by Andrea Busfield

The Bookseller of Kabul
by Åsne Seierstad


6. Other Useful Books:


The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia
by Lutz Kleveman

The Dust of Empire: The Race for Supremacy in the Asian Heartland
by Karl Meyer

War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet
by Eric Margolis

Spy of the Heart
by Robert Abdul Hayy Darr

Operations in Waziristan 1919-1920
by Army Headquar Compiled by General Staff

From the Black Mountain to Waziristan 2003: Being an Account of the Border Countries and the More Turbulent of the Tribes Controlled by the North-West ... Our Military Relations with Them in the Past
by H. C. Wylly

Waziristan 1936-1937: The Problems of the North-West Frontiers of India and Their Solutions
by Lieut. Colone Bruce

Imperial Frontier: Tribe and State in Waziristan
by Dr Hugh Beattie , Hugh Beattie

Flying Blind: A Memoir of Biplane Operations Over Waziristan in the Last Days of British Rule in India by Geoffrey Morley-Mower

Resistance and Control in Pakistan by Akbar S. Ahmed

Religion and Politics in Muslim Society: Order and Conflict in Pakistan by Akbar S. Ahmed
 
#5
Whet, people can make their own mind up about Defence of the Realm. There is a lot I dont entirely agree with but there is equally a great deal of analysis that is spot on. Don't thrown the baby out with the bath water

The blogging medium encourages in depth debate and detail, the mainstream media are fine for news but for analysis, forget it. The defence correspondants in the braodsheets, TV and tabloids have very little credibility. The FT does have some good analysis from their obvious business related aspects.

The blog I like the best is

www.registan.net

It is focussed on central asia and has a real in depth and insightful range of articles
 
#6
Just read the first link on the HVA. What an absolute cracker.
Proponents of a
fresh nation-building venture in Afghanistan, unaware of the results of the last one, have
resurrected its imaginings. Development aid to the new Pashtun-led government in Kabul,
supporters claim, will provide a buffer against terrorism and “prevent future Osama bin Ladens
from arising.”143 The centerpiece of the modernization effort, a writer for the New York Times
suggests, should be “dams to provide water for irrigation.”
 
#7
What is often missed in the tactical/strategic view is just what an environmental basket case Afghanistan is. The place has reverted to a toxic desert, due to war, greed and sheer bl**dy ignorance and stupidity.
Wikipedia has some useful links, as does this.
http://www.salaam.co.uk/themeofthemonth/december01_index.php?l=7

There is an interesting allegation that the Soviets used chemical weapons. It might be a nice idea if someone could map the areas they used them in, just in case someone decides to put a FOB in the wrong place...

Irrigation is the key. The River Helmand is currently running at about 10% of its original level, because the upper catchments have been stripped of trees, have then lost all the topsoil, and now don't store water. Water means farming, but also hydroelectric power. This means that there is chronic water competition. The remaining water supplies are heavily polluted with effluent, and fertiliser runoff.


I'm not that much of a tree hugger, but this is the battlefield.
 
#9
CutLunchCommando said:
HectortheInspector said:
The River Helmand is currently running at about 10% of its original level, because the upper catchments have been stripped of trees, have then lost all the topsoil, and now don't store water.
Hector, do you know whether has that impacted the reservoir capacity significantly?
I'm afraid so.
I attach a rather technical brief dating back to 2007 from the Afghan government hydrologists.
http://www.irtces.org/zt/training2007/ppt/Afghanistan Sedimention in Reservoir.pdf

Basically, not only is there less rain falling, and less finding its way into the system, all the washed away sediment has clogged up the reservoirs, reducing their capacity.
 
#10
you missed one " Caravans" James Mitchener, who worked on the American aid project
 
#12
tropper66 said:
rampant said:
Top plan gents.

For all those who like their learning papery, here is an Afghan Reading List, chosen for availability on Amazon etc.



1. Afghan History:


Islam and Politics in Afghanistan (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies: Studies in Asian Topics)
by Asta Olesen

Afghanistan: A History of Conflict
by John C. Griffiths

Afghanistan: A Modern History
by Angelo Rasanayagam

The Pathans: 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957. With a new epilogue (Oxford in Asia Historical Reprints)
by Olaf Caroe

A History of Pashtun Migration, 1775-2006
by Robert Nichols

Afghanistan (Oxford Pakistan paperbacks)
by Louis Dupree

Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Present
by Stephen Tanner

Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival
by Amin Saikal

Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia
by Ahmed Rashid

Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007
by Antonio Giustozzi

Afghanistan - Aid, Armies and Empires
by Peter Marsden

Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords in Afghanistan
by Antonio Giustozzi

Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field
by Antonio Giustozzi

The Search for Security in Post-Taliban Afghanistan (Adelphi Papers)
by Cyrus Hodes, Mark Sedra

Beyond Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Lessons from Development Experience
by John D. Montgomery, Dennis A. Rondinelli

The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan
by Robert Crews , Amin Tarzi, Robert D. Crews

After the Taliban: Nation-building in Afghanistan
by James F. Dobbins

Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace
by Chris Johnson , Jolyon Leslie

The Fragmentation of Afghanistan
by BR Rubin

Afghanistan's Uncertain Transition from Turmoil to Normalcy (Csr)
by Barnett R. Rubin


2. Afghan Military:




a. General


The Afghan Wars: 1839-1919
by Tony Heathcote

The Savage Frontier: A History of the Anglo-Afghan Wars
by D.S. Richards

The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion
by Paddy Docherty

The Savage Border: The Story of the North-West Frontier
by Jules Stewart

The Khyber Rifles: From the British Raj to Al Qaeda
by Jules Stewart

The Crimson Snow
by Jules Stewart

The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia
by Peter Hopkirk

Spying for Empire: The Great Game in Central and South-East Asia, 1757-1947 [Illustrated]
by Robert Johnson

Spying for the Raj: The Pundits and the Mapping of the Himalaya
by Jules Stewart

Endgame : Britain, Russia, and the Final Struggle for Central Asia: Britain, Russia and the Final Struggle for Central Asia (International Library of Historical Studies)
by Paul Kennedy , Jennifer Siegel

Frontier Scouts
Charles Chevenix Trench


b. 19th Century


The March to Kandahar
by Rodney Atwood

Britain in Afghanistan 1: the First Afghan War 1839-42
by Archibald Forbes

Britain in Afghanistan 2: the Second Afghan War 1878-80
by Archibald Forbes

The First Afghan War And Its Causes
by Sir Henry Marion Durand

Kabul Catastrophe: The Invasion and Retreat 1839-1842 (Prion Lost Treasures)
by Patrick Macrory, General Sir Michael Rose

The Road to Kabul: The Second Afghan War, 1878- 1881
by Brian Robson


c. 20th Century


Crisis on the Frontier: The Third Afghan War and the Campaign in Waziristan 1919-1920
by Brian Robson

Third Afghan War 1919 Official Account
by Army Hq India

Official History of Operations on the North-West Frontier of India 1920-1935
by Government of India

The Other Side of the Mountain: v. 3: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet Afghan War
by A. Jalali, Lester W. Grau

Afghan Guerrilla Warfare: In the Words of the Mujahideen Fighters
by Alli Ahmad Jalali , Lester W. Grau, John E. Rhodes

Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story
by Vladislav Tamarov

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan (Soviet (Russian) Study of War)
by Lester W. Grau (Editor)

The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan
by Artyom Borovik

The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost (Modern War Studies)
by The Russian General Staff , Lester W. Grau, Michael A. Gress


d. Contemporary Operations


A Million Bullets: The Real Story of the War in Afghanistan
by James Fergusson

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden
by Steve Coll

The Battle for Afghanistan
by Mohammad Yousaf , Mark Adkin

Battlefield Afghanistan: Hurt Locker: The Inside Story of Coalition Forces on the Front Line
by Mike Ryan

3 Para
by Patrick Bishop



3. Travel, Diaries, Memoirs:


The Places in Between [Unabridged]
by Rory Stewart

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
by Jason Elliot

On the Road to Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict in the Islamic World
by Jason Burke

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush [Special Edition]
by Eric Newby

Among the Mountains: Travels Through Asia
by Wilfred Thesiger

Baechtold's Best: Afghanistan: The Ultimate Visual Travel Guide
by Deborah Aaronson

Afghanistan (Lonely Planet Country Guide)
by Paul Clammer

The Sewing Circles of Herat: My Afghan Years
by Christina Lamb

Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan
by Ann Jones

Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep
by Siba Shakib

Samira and Samir: The Heart Rendering Story of Love and Oppression in Afghanistan
by Siba Shakib

Come Back to Afghanistan: My Journey from California to Kabul
by Said Hyder Akbar , Susan Burton

The Punishment of Virtue: Walking the Frontline of the War on Terror with a Woman Who Has Made it Her Home
by Sarah Chayes

Shadow of the Silk Road
by Colin Thubron


4. Language & Culture


Frontier of Faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan Borderland
by Sana Haroon

Pashtun Tales: From the Pakistan-Afghan Border (Paperback)
by Aisha Ahmad , Roger Boase

Dari-English / English-Dari Dictionary and Phrasebook (Hippocrene dictionaries & phrasebooks)
by Nicholas Awde

Beginner's Dari (Hippocrene Beginner's)
by Shaista Wahab

Accent on Afghanistan - Dari: The Language and Culture of Afghanistan [Audiobook] (Audio CD)
by Accent on Languages

English-Dari Phrasebook for Aid Workers
by Robert Powers , Mir Abdul Zahir Sahebi

Pashto-English/English-Pashto Dictionary and Phrasebook (Hippocrene Dictionary & Phrasebooks)
by Nicholas Awde , Asmatullah Sarwan

Accent on Afghanistan: The Language and Culture of Afghanistan
by Accent on Languages

Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide (Odyssey Afghanistan)
by Bijan Omrani , Matthew Leeming

Afghan Women: Identity and Invasion
by Elaheh Rostami-Povey

Women of Courage: Changing Role of Afghan Women
by Katherine Kiviat

Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future
by S. Wali (Foreword), Sunita Mehta (Editor), Fahima Danishgar (Editor)


5. Novels


Swallows of Kabul
by Yasmina Khadra

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

Born Under a Million Shadows
by Andrea Busfield

The Bookseller of Kabul
by Åsne Seierstad


6. Other Useful Books:


The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia
by Lutz Kleveman

The Dust of Empire: The Race for Supremacy in the Asian Heartland
by Karl Meyer

War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet
by Eric Margolis

Spy of the Heart
by Robert Abdul Hayy Darr

Operations in Waziristan 1919-1920
by Army Headquar Compiled by General Staff

From the Black Mountain to Waziristan 2003: Being an Account of the Border Countries and the More Turbulent of the Tribes Controlled by the North-West ... Our Military Relations with Them in the Past
by H. C. Wylly

Waziristan 1936-1937: The Problems of the North-West Frontiers of India and Their Solutions
by Lieut. Colone Bruce

Imperial Frontier: Tribe and State in Waziristan
by Dr Hugh Beattie , Hugh Beattie

Flying Blind: A Memoir of Biplane Operations Over Waziristan in the Last Days of British Rule in India by Geoffrey Morley-Mower

Resistance and Control in Pakistan by Akbar S. Ahmed

Religion and Politics in Muslim Society: Order and Conflict in Pakistan by Akbar S. Ahmed

you missed one " Caravans" James Mitchener, who worked on the American aid project
You also missed 'Jihad!' by Tom Carew.
:wink:
All right, I'll grant you he was the Walts Walt, but he was actually out there. Just read with a large bucket of Salt.
 
#13
So was I, but I did not write a walty book
 

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rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
#15
tropper66 said:
So was I, but I did not write a walty book
But have you written a non-Walty one? There seems to be a market for them.

Crack on!

Further to my earlier note, it appears that the Soviets used a mix of chemical agents. Perhaps some of our Eastern commentators might have access to better sources, but there seems to have been an assortment of nerve agents, but also rather a lot of toxins, including aflatoxin or 'Yellow Rain' (gives you cancer) Ergot (crop disease, gives you St Vitus dance and hallucinations) glanders (kills horses and mules) and something really horible called T-2 which appears to melt you.

Most of this is probably inactive by now, but you never know what old ordnance might turn up.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#18
#20

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