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Afghanistan Today


 with Benjamin Ostrov

short description:
Learn about the impact of the US led intervention into Afghanistan and the response of the Afghans. Gain insight into how the Great Game of the nineteenth century influences Afghans’ perceptions of current events.
long description:
This course seeks to acquaint the student with the impact of the American led
intervention into Afghanistan. The effect of this intervention is viewed in terms of the
indigenous players in Afghanistan as well as the lingering effects of the nineteenth
century contest for the country between the United Kingdom and Czarist Russia.

A. Ethnography and Languages
William Dalrymple, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 2013, chaps.
1. Pashtun
2. Dari
a. Hazaras
Ben Ostrov, “Afghans Think Hazaras Are an Iranian Fifth Column,” AP-A Estimate,
CSOC, August 27, 2011
b. Tajiks
c. Uzbeks

B. Socio-Cultural Values
1. Pashtunwali
Wahid Momand, "Pashtunwali,”
Steve McDonald, "The Way of the Pashtunwali,”

William Dalrymple, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 2013, chaps. 3-10

Stefanie Nijssen, "The Taliban's Shadow Government in Afghanistan,” Civil-Military
Fusion Centre, September 2011.
Charles Hawkins & Robert Love (eds.), "The New Great Game: Chinese Views on
Central Asia,” chaps. 1-5, 11, 2006.
Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, 2001

level of difficulty:
all welcome
minimum class size:
I am available immediately.
fee comments:
that is the fee not per lesson but for the whole course.
 session structure





Afghanistan Today

live session

Learn about the impact of the US led intervention into Afghanistan and the response of the Afghans. Gain insight into how the Great Game of the nineteenth century influences Afghans’ perceptions of current events.

1h 0m

total duration: 1h 0m over 1 session(s)
comments: this is subject to negotiation with the student. There would
be one class per week over five weeks.

languages: English
duration: 1h 0m
fee: 200US$  (2000lp)
payment: at booking
delivery method: live online and self-paced

Quick Help

Hong Kong

Benjamin Ostrov

description of :
I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of
Chicago and have taught for 28 years in universities. Besides
this, I spent three years in Afghanistan working as an analyst
with the US Military.
Teacher's qualifications:
Benjamin C. Ostrov
1-3 On King St., block 5, flat 12D, Ravana Garden
Shatin, NT Hong Kong
NY fax: (1) 631 610-2705
HK phone: (852) 64003664

Education and Training
Human Terrain System (HTS), 7 -12/09 including training at
University of Nebraska, Omaha Afghan Studies Center
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; Management
Development Program (MDP); Jun. 03
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637; M.A. in
International Relations with Specialization in Chinese Affairs;
June 1977; Ph.D. in Political Science; June 1987.
Hamilton College, Clinton, New York 13323; B.A., double
major with Honors: Asian Studies and Religion; June 1975.
College of Teachers, University of London, TESOL, 2007.

Foreign Languages: Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese),
Excellent communication skills (both written and oral)
Ability to Build a Team to Solve a Problem
Imagination in Problem Solving
Tertiary Education Curricula Design

Work Experience
English for non-native speakers, Virtual Teachers Agency
(USA), 9/13 - ; APMI Kaplan and Wall Street Institute School
of English (HK), 10/2007-4/2008; Caritas Adult Education
Centre (HK), 1979-1980

In Afghanistan preparing briefs for COMISAF (Generals
Petraeus and Allen) as Senior Reports Analyst (SRA) for the
Atmospheric Program – Afghanistan (AP-A) at CSOC
(Combined Stability Operations Cell), 3/10 – 6/12.
Transferred to Bagram and contiuing with AP-A as SRA,
6/12 – 3/13

In Iraq, doing counter-insurgency work for Department of
State as Senior Governance Specialist, Provincial
Reconstruction Team, Ninewa, 4-11/08

At Kazakh-British Technical University as Dean of the Faculty
of Economics & Finance while in the Department of
Management. Also as Professor taught Social Philosophy in
the International School of Economics and Social Sciences
(ISE) run by KBTU and London School of Economics and
Political Science, UK, June 2005 – May 2007

At the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics &
Strategic Research (KIMEP), I held the post of Professor in
the Department of Public Administration and Dean of the
College of Social Sciences. Initially, I was Chair of the
Department of Political Science & Public Administration. At
the end of March 2003, I became Acting (and later
permanent) Dean of Graduate & Undergraduate Studies. In
September 2003, once KIMEP split into colleges, I became
Dean of the College of Social Sciences.
Dean of the College of Social Sciences, KIMEP, September
2003 -
Acting Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, KIMEP,
April - September 2003.
Professor and Chairman, Department of Political Science and
Public Administration, KIMEP, August 2002 - March 2003.

From Tutor to Associate Professor with tenure, Department
of Government and Public Administration, Chinese
University of Hong Kong, August 1979 - June 2002.

Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science,
University of Oregon, Eugene, January - June 1996

Major Publications
The foci of my recent research are the issues of
technology transfer, commercialization of innovation, and
counteracting corruption. Previous research also covered
these issues with emphasis on China's military sector.
2009: Kazakhstan: Contemporary Politics (editor). Norwalk,
CT: Eastbridge Press
2005: "Something of Value: The Religious Response to De-
Maoization in China," The Social Science Journal 42, no. 2,
The Western Social Science Association.
2003: "China's Untouchables: The Anti-Smuggling
Investigation Bureau," Asian Policing 1, no. 1 (January 2003).
2002: "Hong Kong's Cyberport: Do Government and High-
Tech Mix?" The Independent Review 7, no. 2 (Fall).
2002: "The Anti-Smuggling Investigation Bureau's War on
Smuggling in China," Police Practice and Research: An
International Journal 3, no. 1, Special Issue (March):41-54.
To be reprinted in Policing Corruption: International
Perspectives, Rick Sarre, Dilip Das, and H.J. Albrecht (ed.),
Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, forthcoming.
2000: "Clientage in the PRC's National Defense Research and
Development Sector," in Lowell Dittmer, Haruhiro Fukui, and
Peter N.S. Lee (ed.), Informal Politics in East Asia. New York
and London: Cambridge University Press.
1994: "Integrating Civil and Military Production in China:
Program and Policy," in Jong S. Jun (ed.), Development in the
Asia Pacific: A Public Policy Perspective. Berlin, Germany:
Walter de Gruyter and Company.
1993: "Coordination and Constraint in China's Bureaucracy,"
in Miriam Mills and Stuart Nagel (ed.), Public Administration
in China. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
1991: Conquering Resources: The Growth and Decline of
The PLA's Science and Technology Commission for National
Defense. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

5/21/02: Consulting in Hong Kong to delegation from the
U.S. National War College
4/3/97: In Hong Kong to Svante Kilander, Minister (Political
Affairs) at Swedish Embassy in Beijing about developments
in China, especially Chinese military
5/19/94: Consulting in Hong Kong to visiting delegation
from the U.S. Congress's General Accounting Office about
China's military modernization, modernization in general,
its regional relations, and the issue of MFN renewal.

Major Presentations
3/09: Yew Chung International School Hong Kong Public
Lecture Series 2009, “Iraq Today.”
5/15/03: "Making Enemies: George Bush's War on Terrorism
and the Uighurs of Xinjiang," NATO Conference held at
Kazakh-American University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
7/30/02: "China's Untouchables: The Anti-Smuggling
Investigation Bureau" - Presented at the Asian Association of
Police Studies annual meeting in Hong Kong.
4/02: "Something of Value: The Religious Response to De-
Maoization in China" - Presented at the Western Social
Science Association annual meeting in Albuquerque, New
5/01: "The Anti-Smuggling Investigation Bureau's War on
Smuggling in China" - Presented at International Police
Executive Symposium (IPES) annual meeting in Szczytno,
6/97: "Commercialization of Know-how as Applied to
China" - presented at the Conference on Public Sector
Management Reform in China sponsored by CUHK's GPA
Dept., and the Dept. of Management and Hong Kong Public
Administration Association at Hong Kong Polytechnic
4/95: "The PLA, Chinese Foreign Policy, and Asian
Regionalism" - presented at the Conference on the Politics
and Economics of Regional Cooperation in East and
Southeast Asia sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-
Milwaukee/Marquette University Center for International
Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
8/92: "Formal Organization and the Birth of Clientage in the
PRC: The National Defense R&D Sector" - presented to the
International Symposium on Informal Politics in East Asia
sponsored by the Pacific Rim Research Program of the
University of California and the Chinese Reform and
Development Programme of the HK Institute of Asia-Pacific
Studies at CUHK.
6/21/91: Presented talk on "Organizational Competition
and the Development of China's National Defence Science
and Technology" at The Institute of International Relations,
National Chengchi University, Mucha, Taipei, Taiwan
6/18/90: Conducted seminar on Chinese Defense R&D and
Production sponsored by National War College and
Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense
University, Washington, D.C.
4/90: "Coordination and Constraint in China's Bureaucracy"
- presented to the annual conference of the American
Society for Public Administration, Los Angeles, California.

George Koon, AECOM, AP-A Senior Reports Analyst,
Mr. George Reasonover, email:
Prof. Richard P. Suttmeier, Formerly Chairman, Department
of Political Science, 154 PLC, University of Oregon, Eugene,
Oregon 97403/ email:
Prof. Peter T.Y. Cheung, Foremer Chairman, Department of
Politics & Administration, University of Hong Kong, phone:
2857 8362, email:
Prof. Steven J. Gross, Temple University, College of
Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Studies, Ritter Hall 254, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091/ email:, phone: 1 215 204 8064, 1 802 598
Prof. John Clark, Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan/ email:, phone: 996-312-31-50-32,
President, International University of Central Asia
Prof. John Leonard, email:
Prof. Steve Green, Director of Academic Programs,
Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan/ email:

Prof. Daniel Gibran, Department of History, Geography, and
Political Science; 209 Crouch Hall, Tennessee State
University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209,
USA/ email:,, phone: 1 615 963-5650

's preferred teaching style:
My style is socratic. The learning which has the most impact
on students is that which comes from self-discovery. My
probing questions are designed to provoke students to their
own leaps in understanding.

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