You are here

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • The Unfinished War in Afghanistan: 2001-2014

    The Unfinished War in Afghanistan: 2001-2014
    Publisher: Pentagon Press
    ISBN 978-81-8274-762-3
    Price: ₹. 1495/- Purchase Download E-copy

    About the Book

    This book makes a modest attempt to contribute to the ongoing debate on future challenges for Afghanistan as the largest ever coalition of Western forces prepares to withdraw. It seeks to examine key political developments within Afghanistan over the last one decade in response to the US-led Western military and political intervention. Perhaps, much more is still to come in a war that could aptly be termed as the last big war of the twentieth and first long war of the twenty-first century. The emerging social and political narratives are unmistakably old and echo the sentiments of the past. Though a 'New Afghanistan' has emerged in the meanwhile, it remains fundamentally an urban phenomenon. The diversity of narratives and perceptions, and failure of past political transitions to build a sustainable internal balance of power, based on changed social and political realities, have turned Afghanistan into a complex entity that defies established theoretical formulations and explanations. The evolving security and political scenario suggests that elections alone may not help bring stability and order to Afghanistan. The next dispensation in Kabul, irrespective of its composition, is most likely to be confronted with a host of old and familiar challenges to its legitimacy and survival.

    About The Author

    Vishal Chandra is Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. His core area of research is politics of Afghan conflict, with special interest in Taliban resurgence, politics of reconciliation, making of the Afghan National Army, role of political opposition, shaping of regional perceptions, past political transitions and trends in Indo-Afghan relations.

    He has travelled widely in Afghanistan and has attended various international conferences and workshops on Afghanistan. He regularly lectures on Afghan affairs and is member of several policy groups on Afghanistan. With more than a decade of research experience, he has over 40 publications on Afghanistan, including 15 book chapters and several articles and commentaries, to his credit. He has edited the book, India's Neighbourhood: The Armies of South Asia (Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2013).

    Reviews on the book: Journal of Slavic Military Studies (Routledge, July-September 2015 issue), India Today/Mail Today (March 08, 2015), The Pioneer (Sunday Edition, March 08, 2015), The Book Review (February 2015), The New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur, January 2015), Indian Foreign Affairs Journal (October-December 2014), Amar Ujala (Hindi, Sunday Edition, March 22, 2015) and Nai Dunia (Hindi, January 2015) 

    Click here for detailed profile of the author





    List of Tables and Maps

    Afghanistan: Key Socio-Economic Indicators


    1. New Order, Old Politics

      An Abandoned and Forgotten War

      Recasting Old Fault Lines

      Mujahideen within Local Structures

      Return of Old Militia Networks

      Debating the New Constitution
    2. Tryst with Democracy

      The First Election (2004-05)

      President Elect and the First Cabinet

      Assessing the Bonn Process

      Karzai’s Re-election: Chaotic Exercise

      Prospects of Democracy
    3. Opposition Politics and Karzai the Master Survivor

      Evolution of NFA

      The National Understanding Front
      Composition and Agenda of NFA

      Reactions to the Emergence of the NFA

      NFA and the Taliban

      New Turf War Begins

      Karzai the Master Survivor
    4. Taliban Back into Power Play

      War on Terror: Losing while Winning

      Taliban No More on the Fringe

      Gaining Strategic Depth in Pakistan

      Changing Face of the Afghan War

      Western Mission Going Nowhere
    5. Politics of Taliban Reconciliation and Reintegration

      Growing Ambiguity

      Making of the Idea

      Key Challenges

      Future Prospect
    6. Quest for a National Army

      Origin/Evolution of the New National Army

      Training and Mentoring

      Structure/Formation of ANA
      Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC)

      Ethnic Representation


      Rushing for Numbers

      The Weaponry

      Multiple Challenges

      Future Prospects
    7. The ‘Other’ Key Neighbours – Iran, India, China and Russia
    8. Pakistan: Terrorism without Terrorists!

      Iran: A Dominant Factor

      India: Partner in Development

      China: Pretending Distance

      Russia: Hesitant but Concerned

      Awaiting ‘Post-2014’ Afghanistan

    9. The Unfinished War
      Beyond 2014: Continuing Concerns and Challenges
      (i) Historical Conflict Dynamics
      (ii) Post-Karzai Leadership
      (iii) US’ Missing Future Strategy
      (iv) Survival of the National Army
      (v) Resilience of the Taliban


    1. Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-establishment of Permanent Government Institutions
    2. North Waziristan Peace Pact
    3. White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group’s Report on U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan and Pakistan
    4. Status of ANAAC (as of April 2010)



    Order Hard Copy

    Please email us at publication [at] or call +91-11-2671 7983 (Ext. 7303)