SARDAR: From Afghanistan’s Golden Age to Carnage

SARDAR:  From Afghanistan’s Golden Age to Carnage
Publication Year: 2014
ASIN: 1499388306
ISBN: 1499388306
When Abdullah Sharif left Afghanistan in 1976, his mother could wear a miniskirt on the streets of Kabul without fear. Afghanistan was a thriving republic with a hopeful future. In 2007, after 30 years, Sharif returned to his homeland for a short visit. What he found horrified him. A once-peaceful, progressive nation lay in ruins, exhausted after decades of conflict. The sight was heartbreaking, but inspired Sharif to do all he could to restore the country. He joined the US State Department in 2009 to return to Afghanistan and serve his adopted and native countries. An aviation engineer as well as a trained diplomat, Sharif brings a keen eye to US reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, while his childhood experiences and understanding of local culture help him see those efforts from an Afghan perspective. The result is an insightful, thoughtful, and sometimes heartrending portrait of a nation pushed to the limit. Sardar provides an insider's view of US/Afghanistan relations, reminding readers Afghanistan wasn’t always a nation of chaos and violence.
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About the Book

In 1976 Abdullah Sharif departed Afghanistan for France and then on to the United States in 1978 when a bloody coup d’état brought to power a coalition of communist parties. Afghanistan was a viable nation state then. Thirty years later he returned, but the country he remembered was gone, lost to the ravages of communist rule, a Russian invasion, the infighting of the various factions following the defeat of the Soviet Union and the harsh rule of the Taliban.

As an Afghan American, Sharif’s thoughts are deeply revealing. Sardar presents his insights through a number of missives written over the course of two civilian deployments with the Departments of State and Defense.

With a bird’s eye view of US reconstruction efforts, he deconstructs setbacks and mistakes made during the US led peace and reconstruction process, and offers suggestions on how to better address such problems.

A compelling read for anyone interested in US involvement in Afghanistan, Sardar reveals what it takes to carry out daily duties deployed in a foreign country where differing ideologies, language, religion, and social norms provide fertile ground for misunderstandings, conflict, and distrust.

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