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Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare.

CONFLICT IN AFGHANISTAN Studies in Asymmetric Warfare By Martin Ewans published by Routledge ISBN 0 41534160 4 price 63.00 [pounds sterling] hardback

Asymmetric warfare, broadly speaking, involves conflicts where comparatively weaker and smaller powers have been able to successfully exploit the vulnerabilities of their more powerful and sophisticated opponents.

Two recent examples have been the Vietnam and the Soviet-Afghan wars, but the historical roots of the concept lie deeper, particularly in Afghanistan.

This has become a key modern concern since the 11 September 2001 bombings of the US. Conflicts in Afghanistan tackles this issue by examining the five wars Afghanistan has waged against foreign powers over the past two centuries, all of which have involved forms of asymmetric warfare.

Incorporating contemporary documents and material from Soviet archives the text analyses each war's antecedents, conduct and consequences. Important questions are asked about the role of religious beliefs, fanaticism, diplomacy, governmental decision making and military competence, issues which have great contemporary relevance. The book provides an illuminating commentary of Afghanistan's wars and examines the relevance of these conflicts to the modern-day challenge of counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare.
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Author:Rhodes, Fred
Publication:The Middle East
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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