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.