Graveyard of Empires Reading Guide
Seth Jones: Graveyard of Empires [3 Weeks: Week #1 to Week #3]

Condensed schedule

WEEK #1

Tuesday:
Chronology
Introduction
Chapter 1: Descent into Violence
Chapter 2: The Mujahideen Era
Chapter 3: Uncivil War

Thursday:
Chapter 4: The Rise of the Taliban
Chapter 5: Al Qa'ida's Strategic Alliance


WEEK #2

Tuesday:
Chapter 6: Operation Enduring Freedom
Chapter 7: Light Footprint
Chapter 8: Early Successes
Chapter 9: The Logic of Insurgency

Thursday:
Chapter 10: Collapse of Law and Order
Chapter 11: A Growing Cancer
Chapter 12: The Perfect Storm

WEEK #3

Tuesday:
Chapter 13: A Three-Front War
Chapter 14: National Caveats
Chapter 15: The Water Must Boil

Thursday:
Chapter 16: Al Qa'ida: A Force Multiplier
Chapter 17: In the Eye of the Storm
Chapter 18: Back to the Future
Afterword:




Detailed Reading Schedule

Chronology—this is useful

Introduction (xix-xxxiv) Read the introduction completely

Chapter 1: Descent into Violence
3 Afghanistan's strategic location. Use map opposite and Google Earth.
7 Entire page
8 Pashtunistan.
10 First paragraph on governmental setup
18 Soviet's threat assessment

Chapter 2: The Mujahideen Era
23 People: Zalmay Khalilzad. Get to know him. Where is he today?
26 Soviets concentrated on military and secret police.
27 Soviet invasion plan
30 Learn what we can about the Pakistani ISI
34-35 Read carefully both pages
37 A Flamboyant Congressman from Texas
40 Soviets felt U.S. would not intervene.

Chapter 3: Uncivil War
45 Middle paragraph on ethnic groups and neighboring countries
45-48 Interference from Neighbors
48-50 Waning U.S. Interest
51 Window of opportunity for the Taliban to emerge

Chapter 4: The Rise of the Taliban
57-63 The Knowledge Seekers
63-66 ISI Support
66-68 A Fateful Bargain

Chapter 5: Al Qa'ida's Strategic Alliance
70-74 Ideological Origins
Get a sense of the role of Saudi Arabia
74 "Most Arab states viewed the veterans of Afghanistan as a serious threat."
83-85 A Dangerous Alliance

Chapter 6: Operation Enduring Freedom
86-108 READ THIS ENTIRE CHAPTER

Chapter 7: Light Footprint
109 Panama as a model for a light footprint.
110-115 Naïve and Irresponsible
120 Should U.S. develop a carabinieri or gendarmerie?
124 Paragraph: "It soon became clear that…"
124-129 A Fait Accompli
129-131 Warlords
131-133 Learning the Right Lessons?

Chapter 8: Early Successes
139-142 "Accelerating Success"
150 Replacement of US leaders

Chapter 9: The Logic of Insurgency
151-162 READ ENTIRE CHAPTER

Chapter 10: Collapse of Law and Order
164-170 A Monopoly of Force? (164-170)
172 Problems with the Afghan police
174 Focus on "checking the boxes"
176-180 Afghan National Army
181 People fear for their lives

Chapter 11: A Growing Cancer
184 Paying lip service to governance versus providing actual services
188 Paradoxes of reconstruction in Afghanistan
189-192 Operational Primacy (189-192)
195 This page represents an effective summary of the drug issue
196 Should President Karzai get rid of his brother
200-202 A Cancer in the Government (200-202)

Chapter 12: The Perfect Storm
204 What comprised the "perfect storm"
209 Commanders told not to use "counterinsurgency"
212 Photos begin on opposite page. Look at each one and read captions.
216-217 Pat Tillman
221 Much useful material on this page.

Chapter 13: A Three-Front War
224-230 Complex Adaptive Systems
237 Why did people support the Taliban?

Chapter 14: National Caveats
238-39 What are the issues facing the coalition?
240 Why is this approach a "disaster"
245 NATO looking for a mission
248-253 NATO's Paradox
253-255 Clearing but Not Holding
255 What do you think of this assessment?

Chapter 15: The Water Must Boil
258 Why must the water boil at the right temperature?
263 Entire page
270-278 Lots of great issues within these pages

Chapter 16: Al Qa'ida: A Force Multiplier
284 Grievances against us

Chapter 17: In the Eye of the Storm
299 Read this page carefully
302 Provincial Reconstruction Teams
303-306 Civilian Casualties
308 Read this page carefully

Chapter 18: Back to the Future (313-325)
313-325 How realistic are these recommendations?

Afterword
327-340 Read these pages completely