Summary and Info
To understand more deeply the tragic events of September 11, 2001, it is critical to know Afghanistan's recent and turbulent past. Doomed in Afghanistan provides a first-hand account of how failed diplomacy led to an Islamic fundamentalist victory in a war-torn country, and subsequently, to a Taliban takeover and a home for Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network. In April 1992, Phillip Corwin was in Afghanistan as part of a United Nations team whose mission was to help ensure the transfer of power from the Soviet-installed communist regime of President Najibullah to an interim authority that would prepare for elections. Some years after the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, Najibullah's regime crumbled, and he was convinced to resign, with the understanding that he would be evacuated to a neutral country (India). Due to a series of miscalculations and machinations, the UN's diplomatic mission failed. Kabul fell to groups of mujahadin before Najibullah could be evacuated and before an interim authority could be installed. The inability of the various mujahadin factions to unite led to their eventual defeat by the Taliban, who four years later routed Najibullah from his safe haven at the UN compound and executed him. Corwin gives a vivid account of these seminal events- Najibullah's failed evacuation and the frenzied negotiations that were unable to forestall the anarchy and chaos that followed.