Book review - In the Graveyard of Empires (2015)

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Universidad Universidad de Vic (UVIC)
Grado Periodismo - 3º curso
Asignatura International Affairs
Año del apunte 2015
Páginas 2
Fecha de subida 14/01/2015
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International Affairs Book Review Questions Name: Mar de Piedra Book: In the Graveyard of Empires 1. What were the key themes of the book and what was the author’s opinion on them? The key theme of “In the Graveyard of Empires” is the change of Afghanistan from before to during to after the war. The author’s goal in this book is “to understand the motivations of the key actors and to assess what factors contributed to the rise of Afghanistan’s insurgency”.
Seth G. Jones says that Al Qa’ida is a force multiplier. He insists in Al Qa’ida is well organized into the Taliban. This means that the Taliban will help Al Qa’ida providing them protection. Jones insists that this organization offers to the United States a strategic menace.
The author also criticize what is wrong in Afghanistan: one of the main problems is corruption. People in Afghanistan support groups outside of the government because they do not trust in their own government. This is why Afghanistan tends to ignore the central authority. So the central government does not have the natural legitimacy and authority that it needs.
2. What surprised you about the book? In my opinion, one of the best things of the book is the good access to really important sources. In them, I can include an interview to the ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad (United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George Bush).
I liked how the author examines not just what went wrong in Afghanistan. He also examines what might have gone right if the effort there had not been diverted to invade and try to occupy Iraq.
1 3. What questions would you like to ask the author (at least 3) Why did you choose this name? What do you what to say with it? Which one is the difference between your book and any other book about the American’s war in Afghanistan? Do you think that you would have written this book without interviewing any important person? 4. Can you suggest solutions to the problems/issues covered by the author? In my opinion, the main problem that the book describes is how Afghanistan acted during the war. The author also analyse what they should have done for improve their defence. So, in this case, the main problem is solved by the own author.
5. Is there anything you disagree with the author about? One of the problems of the book is the end. In my opinion, its prescriptions for success are not very persuasive. What is not addressed in the forward-looking part of the analysis is the future role of Pakistan. Pakistan is the policy piece that must be reconfigured to change the dynamics in Afghanistan. Jones should have been more aggressive in insisting on that point.
6. Have you learned anything from the book that has helped you to understand the world? What? The most important thing that you can learn from the book –if you did not know it before– is that the United States has one of the most important armies in the world. If you add to the army the fact that the United States is one of the most influences countries, you can see how powerful can be its decisions. Even if those decisions are not right at all, they can rule the world.
Another thing is that, thanks to this book, you get a better understanding of what happened previously in Afghanistan so you could better understand what the US army is doing there today.
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