This book describes the turbulent political history of Afghanistan from the communist upheaval of the 1970s through to the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001. It reviews the importance of the region to external powers and explains why warfare and instability have been endemic. The author analyses in detail the birth of the Taliban and the bloody rise to power of fanatic Islamists, including Osama bin Laden, in the power vacuum following the withdrawal of US aid. Looking forward, Nojumi explores the ongoing quest for a third political movement in Afghanistan - an alternative to radical communists or fanatical Islamists and suggests the support that will be neccessary from the international community in order for such a movement to survive.This study provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the process of political mass mobilization in Afghanistan during the communist upheaval (1978), the Soviet invasion along with the emergence of Afghan Mujahideen (1979-1988) and the rise of the Taliban movement (1996). The book reviews the regional importance of Afghanistan and it analyzes the prospects that existed for peace and the effects that continued warfare would have in the region. The author discusses the ongoing quest for a third political movement in Afghanistan, one that differs from the radical communists and fanatical Islamists. A new epilogue analyzes the situation after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in America.