Title: Rescuing Afghanistan
Author: William Maley
Publisher: Hurst, 2006
This book offers an informed analysis of events and situations as they affected Afghanistan between September 2001 and September 2005. In September 2001, the charismatic leader of Afghanistan's anti-Taliban forces, Ahmed Shah Massoud, was murdered by Arab assassins, and terrorists killed thousands of people, of many nationalities, in the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Four years later, in September 2005, Afghanistan witnessed elections for a new parliament, amid hopes that the country would finally recover from decades of misery and suffering. Within this period a remarkable endeavor had taken place, commencing with the onset of 'Operation Enduring Freedom' on October 7, 2001, in which the international community, Afghan leaders, and millions of ordinary Afghans worked to pull their country out of the turmoil into which it had been thrust.
If the September 11, 2001 attacks put the Taliban in an impossible position, for other Afghans they offered an unexpected opportunity to reconnect with the wider world. This came when the overthrow of the Taliban regime in November 2001 left the international community with the task of helping to put something workable in its place. This is what the author refers to as a rescue mission.
When it occurred, Operation Enduring Freedom was not controversial. Indeed, it enjoyed broad legitimacy both internationally and domestically in Afghanistan. Operation Enduring Freedom, and the events that followed it, nonetheless can be interpreted in a number of ways. Some have seen these events as a form of 'humanitarian intervention', where military power is deployed in the territory of a state with the dominant purpose of realizing some humanitarian objective.
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