Afghanistan War
A Documentary and Reference Guide
by Ryan Wadle
October 2018, 357pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5746-1
$108, 90€, A155
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5747-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

For nearly 40 years Afghanistan has been in a near-constant state of war.

Providing an invaluable introductory resource for students investigating the war in Afghanistan, this book highlights the evolution of the conflict through the documents that helped to shape it.

This carefully curated primary source collection includes more than 80 documents from the national and international participants in nearly four decades of conflict that led to the Afghanistan War. Readers will gain an understanding of the macro and micro costs of the war on the participants and the political, social, economic, and military factors that have allowed the fighting to persist. Authored by a former member of the Afghanistan Study Team at the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute, readers will gain special insight into the military dynamics of the war in Afghanistan and how the war has changed those who have fought in it.
The book is divided into four chapters that cover the primary phases of the war in Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and Civil War, 1979–2001; Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Reconstruction Begins, 2001–2003; The Taliban Return, 2003–2009; and The Surge, Drawdown, and an Uncertain Future, 2009–2017. This structure enables readers to clearly understand how the war evolved and the most significant developments that shaped each period.


  • Reflects the subject expertise of its editor, a former member of the US Army's Combat Studies Institute's Afghanistan Study Team
  • Collects documents from many of the major participants that cover the political, social, economic, and military evolution of the conflict
  • Discusses political, social, and military factors to explain why conflict has persisted in Afghanistan for nearly four decades
  • Highlights both the continuity and change in policies in Afghanistan over the past 40 years
  • Includes translations of some Taliban documents to give an even broader perspective of the war
Ryan Wadle, PhD, is associate professor of Comparative Military Studies at the Air Command and Staff College's eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He was previously a member of the Afghanistan Study Team at the U.S. Army's Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is author of HAMMER DOWN: The Battle for the Watapur Valley.


"This work is all it claims to be— a documentary and reference guide. . . .Dr. Wadle makes it clear and easy to understand with every document being given a noted sources and analysis, including dates and significance. Recommended."—ARBAonline, January 1, 2019

Documentary and Reference Guides

Expertly chosen primary source documents, analytical commentary, and comprehensive study resources present Americans grappling directly with complex social and political issues in ways that have had a deep and lasting impact on contemporary society.

Students often are unaware that hotly contested public debates have deep historical roots. Intended to allow readers to engage with history and discover the development of controversial social and political issues over time, the Documentary and Reference Guides series introduces such issues through carefully chosen primary source documents.

The documents analyzed in these volumes encourage critical thinking, offering fresh perspectives as they sweep away preconceptions and restore immediacy to debates that may have become stale. They encourage students to explore for themselves how important issues came to be framed as they are and to consider how contemporary discussion might advance beyond the assumptions and hardened positions of the past.


  • 50–100 primary source documents, topically and chronologically organized, including excerpts from legislation, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, manifestos, broadcast statements, such controversial writings as Thomas Paine's pamphlets and excerpts from the Federalist Papers, and personal writings, such as letters
  • 15–25 photographs
  • Accessible analysis sections and lively sidebars illuminating documents that are crucial to the subject, but relatively legalistic or technical
  • A Reader's Guide to the Documents and Sidebars, organized by subject, to enable readers to pursue particular lines of inquiry through more than one chapter
  • A comprehensive, annotated, general resources section supporting student research needs
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