Memorial Hall Library

The Life and Legend of the Afghan Warrior Who Helped Topple the Taliban Regime

Brian Glyn Williams and Chris Hemsworth
Author Brian Glyn Williams will discuss his new book, The Last Warlord: The Life and Legend of Dostum. Williams was an adviser to the new film, 12 Strong: The Declassified Story of the Horse Soldiers, which is currently in theatres, starring Chris Hemsworth. Many of the characters from his book are portrayed in the film. The book details how, after 9/11, the CIA contacted the mysterious Afghan-Mongol warrior to help US Special Forces wage a covert war in the mountains of Afghanistan that ended in a stunning victory. It sheds light on how the desperate Special Forces–Afghan cavalry campaign succeeded, against all odds, in liberating Afghanistan's holiest shrine and brought warriors from vastly different cultures together to fight their common Taliban enemy. The Last Warlord shows that, far from serving as a mere backdrop for American heroics, it was the horse-mounted descendants of Genghis Khan that allowed the American military to overthrow the Taliban regime in just two months.

Brian Glyn Williams, PhD, is a professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. He has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency tracking suicide bombers in Afghanistan, and is the author of Predators: The CIA’s Drone War on al Qaeda, Afghanistan Declassified: A Guide to America’s Longest War, and The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation. In addition to his fieldwork in the Islamic world, Dr. Williams has trained U.S. Marines deploying to Afghanistan on tribal history and has lectured at Special Operations Command, MacDill Airbase, and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command and worked for the Directorate of National Intelligence on chemical and biological terror threats. For more on Professor Williams, including his CV, articles for Huffington Post, links to previous books on espionage, warfare, ethnic groups and terrorism, and photos taken in Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan, visit his website

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