An Enemy We Created
The Myth of the Taliban-al Qaeda Merger in AfghanistanBook - 2012
To this day the belief is widespread that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are in many respects synonymous, that their ideology and objectives are closely intertwined and that they have made common cause against the West for decades. Yet this view has hardly ever been scrutinized or testedempirically. This is all the more surprising given that the West's present entanglement in Afghanistan is commonly predicated on the need to defeat the Taliban in order to forestall further terrorist attacks worldwide. There is thus an urgent need to re-examine the known facts of the Taliban-alQaeda relationship and to tell the story of the Taliban's encounter with internationalist militant Islamism. In An Enemy We Created, Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn focus on the complexity of the relationship between the two groups and the individuals who established them.The book, which has already been cited prominently in The New Yorker, is the first to examine in detail the relationship from the Taliban's perspective based on Arabic, Dari and Pashtu sources, drawing on the authors many years of experience in southern Afghanistan, the Taliban s heartland. Theyalso interviewed Taliban decision-makers, field commanders and ordinary fighters while immersing themselves in Kandahar's society. The story of those individuals who were to become the key decision-makers, and the relationships among all those involved from the mid-1990s onward, reveal howfrequently the Taliban and al-Qaeda diverged rather than converged.An Enemy We Created concludes that there is room to engage the Taliban on two fundamental issues: renouncing al-Qaeda and guaranteeing that Afghanistan will not be a sanctuary for international terrorists. Yet the insurgency is changing, and it could soon be too late to find a political solution.The authors contend that certain aspects of the campaign in Afghanistan, especially night raids and attempts to fragment and decapitate the Taliban, are transforming the resistance, creating more opportunities for al-Qaeda and helping it to attain its objectives.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 
Copyright Date: ©2012
Branch Call Number: 958.104 STR
Characteristics: ix, 538 pages ;,23 cm