Asymmetric warfare, involving conflicts where smaller powers apply their strengths against the weaknesses of a more powerful opponent, has become a key modern concern since the September 11th attacks. Conflict in Afghanistan tackles this issue by examining the five wars Afghanistan has waged against foreign powers over the past two centuries, all of which have involved forms of asymmetric warfare.

Incorporating contemporary documents and material from Soviet archives, the text analyzes each war’s antecedents, conduct, and consequences. Important questions are asked about the role of religious beliefs, fanaticism, diplomacy, governmental decision-making and military competence, issues that have great contemporary relevance. The book provides an illuminating commentary of Afghanistan’s wars and examines the relevance of these conflicts to the modern-day challenge of counter-insurgency and asymmetric warfare.

chapter |3 pages


part |1 pages

Part I Setting the scene

chapter 1|7 pages

Afghanistan and the Afghans

part |1 pages

Part II The First Anglo-Afghan War

chapter 2|9 pages

The failure of diplomacy

chapter 3|9 pages


chapter 4|7 pages


chapter 5|10 pages

Disaster and withdrawal

part |1 pages

Part III The Second Anglo-Afghan War

chapter 6|7 pages

Lord Lytton’s folly

chapter 7|8 pages


chapter 8|7 pages


part |1 pages

Part IV The Third Anglo-Afghan War

chapter 9|7 pages

Amanullah’s gamble

part |1 pages

PART V The Soviet–Afghan War

chapter 10|7 pages

The Communist takeover

chapter 11|8 pages

The Khalq regime

chapter 12|11 pages

The decision to invade

chapter 13|11 pages

Invasion and occupation

chapter 14|6 pages


chapter 15|7 pages


part |1 pages

Part VI The American intervention

part |1 pages

Part VII Conclusion

chapter 17|7 pages


chapter |12 pages


chapter |3 pages

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