46-0556DS3712007-31125 CIP
Social & Behavioral Sciences \ Political Science \ International Relations
Sinno, Abdulkader H.  Organizations at war in Afghanistan and beyond.  Cornell, 2008.  336p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780801446184, $39.95. Reviewed in 2008sep CHOICE.

This book is a fascinating and serious piece of scholarship that carries implicit policy warnings. Intending to provide greater depth to the shallow understanding of group conflict dynamics, Sinno (Indiana Univ.) avoids the traditional field research and case study approach that dominates literature on the Middle East and conflict, even though he is well-versed in the nuances. He considers five basic organizational structures and argues that organizational theory can explain organizational survival of groups in conflict. He examines Afghanistan and groups in conflict there since 1979 but argues that organizational theory can explain group survival beyond Afghanistan. This final insight is extremely relevant and slightly controversial. It suggests that despite the use of huge militaries to impose new regimes, organizational structure may allow groups to survive and victory in such conflicts seems not to be connected to how many boots are on the ground or how massive and contemporary the materiel of the imposing force. More disturbing, good organizational and strategic choices can be great equalizers in asymmetric warfare. The book presents very important conclusions, but is clearly written for an advanced, specialist audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate collections and up. -- M. D. Crosston, Clemson University

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