Cover

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Title Page, Other Books, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Map

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p. vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

The Afghan campaign of 2001 has been covered from several perspectives. Gen. Tommy Franks, who commanded U.S. military forces, treated the period in his autobiography, American Soldier. Gary Schroen and Gary Berntsen, who led two of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) paramilitary teams that preceded the American forces into Afghanistan, told their stories in First In: An Insider’s...

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1. First Contact

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pp. 1-10

We boarded our flight from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in the early morning. The plane was a white, unadorned Lockheed L-100, with civilian markings. It belonged to a small fleet of anonymous transports that had been flying Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents, arms, and equipment to the Afghan resistance for...

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2. One More Mission

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pp. 11-20

On a clear, sunny, late-summer morning I watched smoke rise over the Pentagon, listened to radio reports of attacks on the Twin Towers, and, just as thousands of other Americans in Washington and New York, wondered anxiously where my family was. Afghanistan could not have been further from my thoughts. That...

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3. Getting Set

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pp. 21-38

I spent the next week meeting with the many people whose help I would need to complete my mission. On hearing about my appointment, several old friends sought me out also. One was John Negroponte, recently installed as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. We had lunch at John’s club, located a few blocks north of the White House. Our conversation opened with reminiscences of an earlier...

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4. Laying the Groundwork

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pp. 39-50

The first leg of my journey took me to New York on November 9, 2001. The UN General Assembly was in the midst of its annual parade of world leaders. This event, normally held in September, had been hurriedly postponed after the attack on the World Trade Center. Even now, more than two months later, security was obtrusive. With President Bush scheduled to make his first appearance...

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5. On the Road

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pp. 51-66

On November 13 the team supporting my mission assembled for the first time at the American Embassy in Rome. Craig Karp from the State Department and U.S. Army Col. Jack Gill from the Joint Staff were our area experts. Karp had followed events in Afghanistan for years from various postings in the region, and Gill was a South Asian specialist with more than a decade of experience....

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6. A Small Town in Germany

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pp. 67-76

When I first began to visit the West German capital, it was still the small, quaint, comfortable center of intrigue and power memorialized in John le Carré’s classic novel of Cold War espionage, A Small Town in Germany. No place on earth had a higher concentration of spies, diplomats, and politicians, at least on weekdays. On weekends the politicians returned to their constituencies, leaving...

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7. At the Petersberg

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pp. 77-98

Joschka Fischer opened the Bonn Conference on the morning of November 27. Then Brahimi and the leaders of the four Afghan delegations gave their remarks. The tone was upbeat. The Afghans avoided recrimination and spoke in positive terms about their desire to cooperate in forging a new Afghan government. Interior Minister Younis Qanooni, the top Northern Alliance representative, was particularly...

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8. The Inauguration

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pp. 99-116

A week later Karp, Mudd, Gill, and I were back at Bagram airfield. As our aircraft came to a halt, the bottom rear section of its fuselage slowly dropped to the ground. Outside the scene was pitch black, lit only by a few waving flashlights. In the distance were several other C-17s with their ramps down, looking like open maws of silent beasts in the darkness. We walked down the incline into the...

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9. Nation-Building

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pp. 117-144

I arrived in Washington exhausted. The flights had been comfortable enough but interminable. The U.S. Air Force had taken us to Tashkent, where Karp and I boarded commercial jets to Istanbul, New York, and finally Washington. We had traveled with the sun, and the flight took place in seemingly endless daylight. As far as I was concerned, my Afghan interlude was at an end. I had been asked to...

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10. Afterward

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pp. 145-156

On the last day in April, Colin Powell marked my retirement with generous remarks, an outsized medal, and an affectionate hug before an audience of friends, colleagues, and family. I left government service still frustrated with the pace of Afghan reconstruction and puzzled by the administration’s seeming neglect, but in no sense was I bitter or regretful. For more than thirty years I had enjoyed a succession of fascinating jobs. I was particularly grateful that Powell gave me a final opportunity to serve my country...

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11. The Return of the Taliban

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pp. 157-168

The Afghan campaign of 2001 provides a textbook illustration of the successful integration of force and diplomacy and of the benefit derived from linking national power to international legitimacy. In the weeks after 9/11 every agency of the American government worked toward a common goal with minimal friction. In the Afghan campaign, the CIA ran paramilitary operations, DOD ran the military, and the State Department oversaw...

Index

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pp. 169-178

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About the Author

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pp. 179-179

Ambassador James Dobbins has held State Department and White House posts under eight Presidents including Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Special Assistant to President Clinton for the Western Hemisphere, Special Adviser to President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright for the Balkans, and Ambassador to the European Community under President George H. W. Bush. He handled a variety...