Afghan Endgames: Strategy and Policy Choices for America’s Longest War
Hy Rothstein and John Arquilla, eds. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2012. 248 pp. Notes. Index. $29.95.
Reviewed by John R. Ballard
This edited volume focusing on the resolution of the U.S. war in Afghanistan is both timely and mind-broadening. Coming as it does at the time when the United States has announced an accelerated departure from the conflict, the book does a fine job of analyzing various outcomes and consequences of the termination of hostilities after 11 years of war.
The book’s first of four sections provides an overview of the war from a historical perspective. Rothstein and Arquilla call the situation in Afghanistan untenable, noting: “There is no self-evident connection between democratic nation-building and successful counterinsurgency.” In addition to critiquing the current U.S. approach, the editors place blame on the role Pakistan has played to make the problem yet more difficult.