Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid was another such believer whose trust has soured. His new book, Descent into Chaos, is both the record of his personal disillusionment and a meticulous, invaluable, chronicle of how the United States has destroyed hope for democracy and development in Afghanistan, the other Central Asian "Stans," and Pakistan in the years since 9/11.
Rashid, and many like him, thought the United States would have to side with freedom in his native part of the world.
The book is an exhaustive, pained narrative of the abysmal U.S. failure in Central Asia.
As the U.S. gets slowly booted from Iraq, this region is going to become the main zone of imperial conflict. Past performance ensures that the result will be bloody for the local population and probably fruitless for the NATO nations now embroiled there.
Ominously, today Juan Cole points out that with regard to the war in Pakistan/Afghanistan (yes, the U.S. is engaged in military action in both countries), "Obama looks closer to the thinking of the US officer corps in Afghanistan than does McCain."
If you want to know where your military is at 3 am, I cannot recommend Rashid's current book too highly.