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Fernando Gentilini served nearly two years as the civilian representative of NATO in Afghanistan, running a counterinsurgency campaign in the wartorn nation. Afghan Lessons is the fascinating story of his mission, a firsthand view of Afghanistan through a kaleidoscope. He explores Afghan history, literature, tradition, and culture to understand some of the most basic questions of Western involvement: What is the purpose? What does an international presence mean, and how can it help?

Highlights from Afghan Lessons

"This is a book about different worlds, different realities. The reality of everyday life in an unreal world. People that need to be looked after, jobs that need to be done, a country that needs to be restored, all from within the necessary confines of an armed camp. And this in the middle of another reality, which we do not understand, full of things forgotten under decades of war. The keys to this reality lie in the past, perhaps lost." —from the Foreword by Robert Cooper

"To tempt me to explore their country, the Afghans kept repeating that there were three different Afghanistans: 'The first is the one you Westerners imagine; another coincides with the city of Kabul; the third is the country of remote provinces, far away from the cities, and of the three, this is the only real Afghanistan.'"

"'There can be no development without security and no security without development.' ... Everyone said it over and over again, both the civilians and the military, but depending on whether it was said by the former or the latter, the emphasis was placed on the first or second part of the slogan. In all honesty this seemingly obvious concept concealed two contrasting ways of seeing things."

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Map
  2. pp. xiv-xv
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  1. How I Ended Up in Afghanistan: February-July 2008
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Signals: 1968, 1979, 2001, 2007
  2. pp. 5-7
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  1. Dubai, Terminal 2: July 13, 2008
  2. pp. 8-12
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  1. Kabul
  2. pp. 13-17
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  1. A Small Travel Library, I
  2. pp. 18-22
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  1. The First Steps
  2. pp. 23-29
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  1. "What? They've Surrounded Kabul?"
  2. pp. 30-32
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  1. Winning
  2. pp. 33-35
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  1. The Neo-Taliban
  2. pp. 36-40
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  1. A Word of Advice From a Princess
  2. pp. 41-43
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  1. "The Insubstantial State"
  2. pp. 44-48
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  1. Arg
  2. pp. 49-52
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  1. Civilian Casualties, I
  2. pp. 53-57
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  1. What There Was, What There Should Have Been
  2. pp. 58-61
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  1. To Coordinate—or To Be Coordinated
  2. pp. 62-68
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  1. A Small Travel Library, II
  2. pp. 69-71
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  1. ISAF
  2. pp. 72-77
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  1. Khyber: 1842, 1878, 1919, 1928
  2. pp. 78-81
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  1. Indian Holiday
  2. pp. 82-83
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  1. Snow
  2. pp. 84-87
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  1. Clear, Hold, and Build
  2. pp. 88-89
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  1. Civilian Casualties, II
  2. pp. 90-92
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  1. Obama and AF-PAK: March 29, 2009
  2. pp. 93-96
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  1. Awkward Neighbors
  2. pp. 97-102
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  1. A Small Travel Library, III
  2. pp. 103-106
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  1. A Dream
  2. pp. 107-109
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  1. Karzai
  2. pp. 110-113
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  1. Bird's-Eye Views
  2. pp. 114-116
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  1. Kandahar
  2. pp. 117-120
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  1. Coin—the Counterinsurgency Manual
  2. pp. 121-125
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  1. Civilian Casualties, III
  2. pp. 126-127
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  1. Shia Family Law
  2. pp. 128-130
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  1. Women
  2. pp. 131-137
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  1. A Small Travel Library, IV
  2. pp. 138-140
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  1. Death in August
  2. pp. 141-144
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  1. The Presidential Elections
  2. pp. 145-149
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  1. A Way to Reconciliation
  2. pp. 150-152
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  1. The Future of AF-PAK
  2. pp. 153-157
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  1. Leaving Kabul: February 2010
  2. pp. 158-160
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 161-164
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 165-168
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 169-176
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  1. Back Cover
  2. pp. 192-192
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780815724247
Related ISBN
9780815724230
MARC Record
OCLC
852158338
Pages
176
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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