'There is no doubt about the authors' exceptional understanding of and deep affection for Afghanistan...All said, this is an indispensable book for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of what has been done in and to Afghanistan in the last 30 years. It is also a book that raises profound questions about how and why well-meaning organisations operate in countries which they, often one-sidedly and driven by their own perception of good and evil, believe to need assistance.'
'A vivid, intelligent journey through post 9/11 Afghanistan and the wider region. Thoughtful, intelligent and deeply moving - this account of the post-war crisis in Afghanistan addresses all the major issues of our disturbed world today. The clarity and intellectual forthrightness of this book will help us all understand the violent and confused world we all live in now. This is a deeply sincere and intelligent book in which the voices of ordinary Afghans describe their past and their future. The most powerful book on post 9/11 Afghanistan that you will be likely to read.'
'Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace provides a devastating critique of US and UN post-conflict policies in Afghanistan. Writing out of more than fifteen years experience in the country and a deep empathy for the Afghan people, the authors dissect the flawed assumptions, misunderstanding, errors and--in some cases--lack of good faith than have stalled progress in rebuilding this shattered country. It should be required reading for all those interested in why post-conflict peace operations can fail--despite good intentions.'
Andrew Mack, University of British Columbia in Vancouver
'Amidst a burgeoning literature on Afghanistan, two seasoned observers have treated readers to a trenchant review of decades of international toying with the Afghan people and state. Their outrage is palpable -- and contagious.'
Larry Minear, Tufts University
'This is a refreshing new look at the layers of complexity that characterize assistance to Afghanistan. The style is blessedly free of academic jargon and bureaucratic rhetoric - and occasionally enlivened by wry asides. The often blunt analyses of ground realities gain credibility from the many years Johnson and Leslie worked within the aid delivery system, heightened by their sustained engagement with Afghans in the cities and in villages. The difficulties the international community and government have in trying to understand one another are interwoven with unusual insights into the nuances of attitudes rooted in social customs. The recommended operational changes will benefit all who care about the well being of Afghanistan.'
Nancy Hatch Dupree, The ACBAR Resource and Information Centre
'Johnson and Leslie have brought together a wealth of first hand understanding of Afghan society and its changing conditions to produce a very rich and moving book. It is informative, thoughtful and unsettling. It makes for very valuable reading.'
Amin Saikal, The Australian National University
' Drawing upon their own experiences, as development workers in Afghanistan, the authors explain the present situation, setting this in the context of competing interests, globally, and the disastrous effects of imperialist policies. These are for us to challenge, here in Britain and in the USA - Afghanistan is very much our business too. This book is essential reading for us all.'
Marjorie Mayo, Goldsmiths, University of London