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Why Did Things Go Astray in Afghanistan?

Monday, October 11, 2021
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Carter Malkasian will discuss how the American War in Afghanistan turned out the way it did. Based on his new history, The American War in Afghanistan, he will examine the overarching strategic questions of the war: how the United States failed in Afghanistan, what opportunities existed to reach a better outcome, and why the United States simply did not leave. His new book is a timely history, which has been praised as landmark and authoritative. It covers the different aspects and sides of the war, with detailed descriptions of Afghan (including Taliban) perspectives.

Carter Malkasian is a leading academic authority on Afghanistan, a former senior advisor to the US military commander in Afghanistan and then to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. He has extensive experience working in conflict zones, especially Afghanistan and Iraq, and has published several books. The highlight of his work in conflict zones was nearly two years in Garmser district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, as a State Department political officer. He speaks Pashto.

In addition to The American War in Afghanistan, he is the author of War Comes to Garmser: Thirty Years of Conflict on the Afghan Frontier, and Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State.