Book by RAND's James Dobbins Gives an Insider's Account of What Happened in Afghanistan 'After the Taliban'

For Release

Thursday
August 21, 2008

Book by RAND's James Dobbins Gives an Insider's Account of What Happened in Afghanistan 'After the Taliban'

Former Ambassador James F. Dobbins has written the first “insider's account” of the Bush administration's post-9/11 diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan after the Taliban had been toppled.

"After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan" describes how Dobbins, the Bush administration's representative to the Afghan opposition, worked with a broad coalition of other nations to hammer out a successor government to the Taliban. On Dec. 16, 2001, he raised the flag over the newly reopened U.S. embassy in Afghanistan.

But the "deceptively easy success" in Afghanistan led to U.S. overconfidence, according to Dobbins, and as attention turned to Iraq, the business of helping Afghanistan rebuild was short-changed.

Dobbins' compelling, first-person tale reveals how high-level diplomacy is actually conducted in the field, and how the process of nation-building, while resource intensive, can provide lasting dividends in the form of geopolitical stability if successful – but lead to more chaos if neglected.

Currently, Dobbins is director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center. He has had numerous State Department and White House posts, including serving as the assistant secretary of state for Europe; special assistant to the president for the Western Hemisphere; special adviser to the president and assistant secretary of state for the Balkans; ambassador to the European community. He also was the Clinton administration's special envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo; and the Bush administration's first special envoy for Afghanistan.

"After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan" is published by Potomac Books, Inc.

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Contact the RAND Office of Media Relations, (703) 413-1100, x5117 or (310) 451-6913, or send an email to media@rand.org.

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