Nojumi's study of the decades-long war in Afghanistan is unique, his perspective being that not only of a political scientist but also of a former mujahid, or holy warrior, against the Soviets. As such, he is able to add to his thorough academic assessment of the factors that brought his native country to its present state by also drawing on his own experiences.

Nojumi's main focus is the success or failure of the various movements in Afghanistan's recent history—from communist coup and Soviet invasion to the mujahidin and the Taliban—in mobilizing the mass of that country's people. He highlights in particular how the period of near constant warfare heightened ethnic, linguistic, and religious identification while also promoting a greater sense of national solidarity among Afghans. Nojumi makes clear that while Afghan society suffered a major upheaval during this time, the country's citizens also made many efforts to govern themselves and achieve stability. He asserts that the failure of these attempts was due in large part to foreign influence, particularly from Pakistan, though he also notes that many of his fellow countrymen are far from blameless. He concludes that if there is one lesson Afghanistan's past two decades have taught, it is that genuine peace can come to the country "only through a cooperative effort, not through a militaristic campaign. "

Yet, perhaps the most pertinent subject in Nojumi's book is that which deals with how the previous distribution of outside aid cemented the power of the few at the expense of the many. As international funds are again pouring into Afghanistan by the billions, the need to understand this background to avoid repeating past mistakes could not be more timely. Nojumi's extensive research on this and many other matters is therefore very important.