A Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan

Edward Girardet looks at the troubled and complex relationship between Afghanistan and the West in the latter half of the 20th century. As a young foreign correspondent, Girardet arrived in Afghanistan just three months prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979. Over the next decades, he encountered key figures who have shaped the nation and its current challenges—from corruption and narcotics trafficking to selfish regional interests. His book Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan provides crucial insights into why the West's current involvement has been so problematic.