In 1989, after I had fled from Kabul in late 1987, the American Center in Peshawar, Pakistan, provided me with a Fulbright grant to write my prison memoirs at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Before doing so, I went through the journal that I kept from 1979 until the Kabul regime arrested me in 1982. By reviving the events of the period in my mind, the journal proved so impressive that I decided to write instead a political history of the period. The result is this work, the first draft of which I composed during the six months of my fellowship with the center.
I acknowledge my special indebtedness to Kent Obee, director ofthe United States Information Service in the American embassy in Islamabad; Richard Hoagland, head of the American Center in Peshawar; and John Dixon, director of Afghan Section at the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D.C. These three men made the Fulbright grant possible. During my stay in Honolulu, Mr. Dixon also provided me with press clippings on Afghanistan, for which I am also grateful. In the East-West Center, Mr. Robert Hewett (director of the center), Meg White, Mrs. Joy Teraoka, and Joyce Gruhn were very helpful, and I am grateful. I also wish to thank Professor Alden Mosshammer, chair of the History Department of the University of California, San Diego, for giving me access to the main library of the university, which enabled me to broaden my vision of the subject. I also want to thank David Christine, a computer specialist neighbor from New Zealand who helped me learn the computer technique while editing the work. His ready help eased my work very much for which I am grateful. I also want to express my thanks and appreciation to Stanley Barton for going through the manuscript and making useful suggestions regarding its style and editing. First as my student in a course on contemporary Afghan history that I taught at UCSD, and subsequently as my friend, Mr. Barton has been very helpful indeed, for which I am thankful. My gratitude also goes to Dan Gunter for his thorough editing of my work and to the University of California Press for making my work accessible to the readers. Last but not least, I am grateful to Mr. Zamin Mohmand for sending me press clippings on Afghanistan and the region.