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War and State-Building in Afghanistan Historical and Modern Perspectives by Dr. Kaushik Roy

War and State-Building in Afghanistan Historical and Modern Perspectives

Part of the Bloomsbury Studies in Military History Series


War and State-Building in Afghanistan Historical and Modern Perspectives by Dr. Kaushik Roy

The Mughals, British and Soviets all failed to subjugate Afghanistan, failures which offer valuable lessons for today. Taking a long historical perspective from 1520 to 2012, this volume examines the Mughal, British, Soviet and NATO efforts in Afghanistan, drawing on new archives and a synthesis of previous counter-insurgency experiences. Special emphasis is given to ecology, terrain and logistics to explain sub-conventional operations and state-building in Afghanistan. War and State-Building in Modern Afghanistan provides an overall synthesis of British, Russian, American and NATO military activities in Afghanistan, which directly links past experiences to the current challenges. These timely essays are particularly relevant to contemporary debates about NATO's role in Afghanistan; do the war and state-building policies currently employed by NATO forces undercut or enhance a political solution? The essays in this volume introduce new historical perspectives on this debate, and will prove illuminating reading for students and scholars interested in military history, the history of warfare, international relations and comparative politics.


Studies of contemporary conflict in Afghanistan can lack historical perspective or be popularised to an unhelpful degree. The broad historical sweep of this volume from the Mughals to the current NATO deployment places the Afghanistan situation in its proper historical context as well as pointing to its potential future in the context of Afghan (as opposed to Western) military history. * Ian Beckett, Professor of Military History, University of Kent, UK * This is a timely and wide-ranging collection which offers varied, and valuable, perspectives on the relationship between war and the state in modern Afghan history. While confirming the long heritage of Afghan resistance, the essays also suggest some of the limits which have constrained thinking about insurgency, conflict and state-building in the country. Drawing on a variety of disciplinary approaches, this volume may usefully be read by those concerned with Afghanistan's past, present and future, as well as by those with interests in the evolution of strategic and operational doctrine. * Gavin Rand, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Greenwich, UK * At the beginning of this innovative analysis of conflict in Afghanistan, Scott Gates and Kaushik Roy ask why another book on Afghanistan? The answer is self-evident: Afghanistan remains poorly understood, and the character of conflict in Afghanistan also remains poorly understood. In this wide-ranging analysis of some six hundred years of conflict in Afghanistan, Gates and Roy, along with a host of experts in Afghan military history, examine why repeated efforts - from the Muhgals to Western forces in the form of ISAF - have failed to subdue the country. In so doing, they explore conflict in new ways, in terms that will be familiar to practitioners, but rarely explained in such an engaging form. They do so by deploying a resource frequently overlooked by practitioners and political analysts alike: the diverse and bloody history of one of the world's most fought over lands. This is history at its most relevant. * Huw Davies, Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies, King's College London, UK *

About the Author

Scott Gates is Professor of Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway. Kaushik Roy is Guru Nanak Professor in History at Jadavpur University, India and Global Fellow of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway.

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Book Info

Publication date

19th May 2016


Dr. Kaushik Roy

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Bloomsbury Academic an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


320 pages


War & defence operations
Asian history
21st century history: from c 2000 -



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