Afghanistan has been ravaged politically and militarily for over twenty-two years and the bleak fortunes of the country took another turn on 9/11 when two jetliners flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Soon began the war against terror but has that war been won? US bomber aircraft carriers have stopped circling the skies above Afghanistan and forensic experts are still carrying out DNA tests on the countless samples that were picked up from the caves in Tora Bora to answer the crucial question of whether Osama bin Laden is dead or alive. President George W. Bush had promised to smoke him out and deliver justice but over a year into the battle it is clear that irrespective of Osamas fate, a lot still needs to be done vis--vis the war against terror. Afghanistan and 9/11 journeys through the ruins of the twin towers and through the battle-torn country to take a close look at what the 11 September attacks have in store for Afghanistan. Is the Taliban a spent force? Has the Al Qaeda been contained? Is Afghanistan finally back on the road to peace? Afghanistan and 9/11 tries to answers these critical questions and raises other important ones.
Anand Giridharadas is a writer based in Washington, DC who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major US dailies. Ajai Shukla, who entered Afghanistan soon after the 9/11 attack, covers defence and security issues for New Delhi Television, a news channel. Rahimullah Yusufzai has been covering Afghanistan since the early Eighties and was the first journalist to report the emergence of the Taliban and to interview Mullah Mohammad Omar. John Jennings covered the collapse of the Taliban regime for The Washington Times and used to work as a public-relations assistant to President Burhanuddin Rabbanis representatives in Washington. Dr Syed Rifaat Hussain was a former minister for information at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC and is the chairman, Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. J.N. Dixit was the eminent former foreign secretary of India. He is a widely consulted foreign affairs specialist and is the author of many seminal books. Julie Sirrs, formerly on intelligence officer in the US, specialises in Afghanistan and Pakistan.