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1 Burnside Asia- Afghanistan

Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Qaeda

by

Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Qaeda Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever?

Seeds of Terror will reshape the way you think about America's enemies, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, author Gretchen Peters traces their illicit activities from vast poppy fields in southern Afghanistan to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys armed with Stinger missiles to the money launderers of Karachi and Dubai.

This isn't a fanciful conspiracy theory. Seeds of Terror is based on hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents. Their information is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the first--and paid for with drug profits.

Seeds of Terror makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn't about ideology or religion. It's about creating a new economy for Afghanistan--and breaking the cycle of violence and extremism that has gripped the region for decades.

Gretchen Peters has covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for the Associated Press and later for ABC News. A Harvard graduate, Peters was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto and won the SAJA Journalism Award for a Nightline segment on Pervez Musharraf. She lives in the United States with her husband, the Robert Capa Gold Medal-winning photojournalist John Moore, and their two daughters.

Eight years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that the Taliban and al Qaeda are better armed and better funded than ever. How have they made such an astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border?

Seeds of Terror gives readers a new perspective on these two groups, revealing their members less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, Gretchen Peters traces their illicit activities from vast poppy fields in southern Afghanistan to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys armed with Stinger missiles to the money launderers of Karachi and Dubai.

Peters' thoroughly researched book is based on hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents. Their information is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the firstand paid for with drug profits.

Seeds of Terror makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn't about ideology or religion, Peters asserts; it's about creating a new economy for Afghanistan, and breaking the cycle of violence and extremism that has gripped the region for decades.

"A stunning, deeply disturbing book . . . A must-read for all Western policymakers and President Obama before they implement any new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan."Ahmed Rashid, New York Times bestselling author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos

"A vitally important book. Until the United States admits what Peters knows, and changes course, the virulent narco-terrorism spreading across South Asia will cause us to lose not only Afghanistan but Pakistan as well."Robert Baer, New York Times bestselling author of Sleeping with the Devil and The Devil We Know

"Peters has done a superlative job with Seeds of Terror. It is a primer for the new administrationa blueprint for what must be done in Afghanistan to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat."Jack Lawn, DEA chief under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush

"The linkage between fighting drugs and fighting terrorism is, with Seeds of Terror, now firmly established. Gretchen Peters, combining personal experience and in-depth research, paints a frightening picture and tells us how to surmount the problem. A critically important book."Raymond W. Baker, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of Capitalism's Achilles Heel

"Detailed and highly readable . . . masterfully traces the enormous success of the illegal heroin trade in Afghanistan."Frederick P. Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA and author of Why Spy?

"One of the most incisive lines in Gretchen Peters new book about the Afghan opium trade is buried on page 134: 'The Taliban and their allies may be earning hundreds of millions from the drug trade, but one thing almost everyone interviewed for this project agreed on was that crooked members of Hamid Karzais administration are earning even more.' Opium may be bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda, as the books subtitle announces, but the huge participation of Afghan government officials in the production and trafficking of opium is a profoundly inconvenient fact for the United States/NATO mission in the country . . . The most damning parts of the book are Ms. Peters analysis of the U.S.s counternarcotics policy itself, which hardly even existed in the first years after the fall of the Taliban regime. Bushs first secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, famously declared that the U.S. military would have no part in fighting the drug trade. That task was handed off to the British. Later, when the U.S. undertook a limited effort at counternarcotics, the teams sent out to confront farmers were not given helicopter rides or military protection; they naturally cancelled the missions, since they involved traveling to some of the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan. Ms. Peters describes the perception among many Afghans, and even Western officials, that the U.S. policy was to condone the drug trade . . . What is clear from Ms. Peters account is that there are people on both sides who have a large stake in making sure the Afghanistan conflict continues. Drug traffickers, be they official or criminal, profit from the instability. One case study in the book clearly points to this conclusion. Arguably the most important drug kingpin of the last two decades, Haji Bashir Noorzai, had been an original founder of the Talibans takeover of Afghanistan in 1994. At that time, the trafficking routes were littered with roadblocks set up by local warlords who collected 'taxes' on the goods passing through. Mr. Noorzai was growing tired of paying the tax, and according to Ms. Peters, invited the Taliban to eliminate his obstacle. After 2001, Mr. Noorzai played both sides of the conflict by courting American agents with useful intelligence on his former Taliban partners, all the while developing his opium empire. He was recently lured to New York by the promise of more cooperation with Americans, but was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration agents upon arrival. Ms. Peters makes some excellent policy suggestions at the end of her book. She is sensitive to the situation of small Afghan farmers, who would be crushed by debt to traffickers if their crops were eradicate

Review:

"Journalist Peters draws on 10 years of reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan for this important examination of 'the nexus of [drug] smugglers and extremists' in the global war against terrorists. Citing firsthand testimony, classified intelligence reports and specialized studies, Peters builds a solid case for her contention that the 'union of narco-traffickers, terrorist groups, and the international criminal underworld is the new axis of evil.' Ground zero is Afghanistan, where the rejuvenated Taliban depend on opium for 70% of its funds and there is 'overwhelming circumstantial evidence' of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the drug trade. Peters argues that the failure to halt this money flow to terrorist networks is 'the single greatest failure in the war on terror,' and warns that stanching the flood of drug money into terrorist coffers is essential. The author offers a less-than-convincing strategy to sever the link, including 'military strikes against drug lords,' 'alternative-livelihood programs' for small farmers, regional diplomatic initiatives and a public relations campaign. Prescriptions aside, Peters has exhaustively framed one of the thorniest problems facing policy makers in this long war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Seeds of Terror is a groundbreaking triumph of reporting, a book that changed U.S. policy toward the Afghan heroin trade and the fight against terror. In it, Gretchen Peters exposes the deepening relationship between the Taliban and drug traffickers, and traces decades of America's failure to disrupt the opium production that helps fund extremism. The Taliban earns as much as half a billion dollars annually from drugs and crime, and Peters argues that disrupting this flow of dirty money will be critical to stabilizing Afghanistan. Based on hundreds of interviews with fighters, smugglers, and government officials, Seeds of Terror is the essential story of the narco-terror nexus behind America's widening war in Afghanistan.

Synopsis:

Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever?

Seeds of Terror will reshape the way you think about America's enemies, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, author Gretchen Peters traces their illicit activities from vast poppy fields in southern Afghanistan to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys armed with Stinger missiles to the money launderers of Karachi and Dubai.

This isn't a fanciful conspiracy theory. Seeds of Terror is based on hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents. Their information is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the first--and paid for with drug profits.

Seeds of Terror makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn't about ideology or religion. It's about creating a new economy for Afghanistan--and breaking the cycle of violence and extremism that has gripped the region for decades.

About the Author

Gretchen Peters has covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for the Associated Press and later for ABC News. A Harvard graduate, Peters was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto and won the SAJA Journalism Award for a Nightline segment on Pervez Musharraf. She lives in the United States with her husband, the Robert Capa Gold Medal-winning photojournalist John Moore, and their two daughters.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312379278
Subtitle:
How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda
Author:
Peters, Gretchen
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Political
Subject:
BIO025000
Subject:
Drug traffic
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Asia - General
Subject:
Asia - Central Asia
Subject:
Taliban
Subject:
Drug traffic - Afghanistan
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Criminology
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Military - Afghan War (2001-)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090512
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Plus one 16-page color photo insert
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Afghanistan
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Qaeda Used Hardcover
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Thomas Dunne Books - English 9780312379278 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Journalist Peters draws on 10 years of reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan for this important examination of 'the nexus of [drug] smugglers and extremists' in the global war against terrorists. Citing firsthand testimony, classified intelligence reports and specialized studies, Peters builds a solid case for her contention that the 'union of narco-traffickers, terrorist groups, and the international criminal underworld is the new axis of evil.' Ground zero is Afghanistan, where the rejuvenated Taliban depend on opium for 70% of its funds and there is 'overwhelming circumstantial evidence' of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the drug trade. Peters argues that the failure to halt this money flow to terrorist networks is 'the single greatest failure in the war on terror,' and warns that stanching the flood of drug money into terrorist coffers is essential. The author offers a less-than-convincing strategy to sever the link, including 'military strikes against drug lords,' 'alternative-livelihood programs' for small farmers, regional diplomatic initiatives and a public relations campaign. Prescriptions aside, Peters has exhaustively framed one of the thorniest problems facing policy makers in this long war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

Seeds of Terror is a groundbreaking triumph of reporting, a book that changed U.S. policy toward the Afghan heroin trade and the fight against terror. In it, Gretchen Peters exposes the deepening relationship between the Taliban and drug traffickers, and traces decades of America's failure to disrupt the opium production that helps fund extremism. The Taliban earns as much as half a billion dollars annually from drugs and crime, and Peters argues that disrupting this flow of dirty money will be critical to stabilizing Afghanistan. Based on hundreds of interviews with fighters, smugglers, and government officials, Seeds of Terror is the essential story of the narco-terror nexus behind America's widening war in Afghanistan.

"Synopsis" by ,

Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever?

Seeds of Terror will reshape the way you think about America's enemies, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, author Gretchen Peters traces their illicit activities from vast poppy fields in southern Afghanistan to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys armed with Stinger missiles to the money launderers of Karachi and Dubai.

This isn't a fanciful conspiracy theory. Seeds of Terror is based on hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents. Their information is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the first--and paid for with drug profits.

Seeds of Terror makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn't about ideology or religion. It's about creating a new economy for Afghanistan--and breaking the cycle of violence and extremism that has gripped the region for decades.

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