The occupation of Afghanistan is over, and a balance sheet can be drawn. These essays on war and peace in the region reveal Tariq Ali at his sharpest and most prescient.
Rarely has there been such an enthusiastic display of international unity as that which greeted the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Compared to Iraq, Afghanistan became the “good war.” But a stalemate ensued, and the Taliban waited out the NATO contingents. Today, with the collapse of the puppet regime in Kabul, what does the future hold for a traumatised Afghan people? Will China become the dominant influence in the country?
Tariq Ali has been following the wars in Afghanistan for forty years. He opposed Soviet military interven- tion in 1979, predicting disaster. He was also a fierce critic of its NATO sequel, Operation Enduring Freedom. In a series of trenchant commentaries, he has described the tragedies inflicted on Afghanistan, as well as the semi-Talibanisation and militarisation of neighbouring Pakistan. Most of his predictions have proved accurate. The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan: A Chronicle Foretold brings together the best of his writings and includes a new introduction.