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The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad
Synopses & Reviews
How did a nation founded as a homeland for South Asian Muslims, most of whom follow a tolerant nonthreatening form of Islam, become a haven for Al Qaeda and a rogues gallery of domestic jihadist and sectarian groups?
In this groundbreaking history of Pakistans involvement with radical Islam, John R. Schmidt, the senior U.S political analyst in Pakistan in the years before 9/11, places the blame squarely on the rulers of the country, who thought they could use Islamic radicals to advance their foreign policy goals without having to pay a steep price. This strategy worked well at first--in Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet jihad, in Kashmir in support of a local uprising against Indian rule, and again in Afghanistan in backing the Taliban in the Afghan civil war. But the governments plans would begin to unravel in the wake of 9/11, when the rulers support for the U.S. war on terror caused many of their jihadist allies to turn against them. Today the army generals and feudal politicians who run Pakistan are by turns fearful of the consequences of going after these groups and hopeful that they can still be used to advance the states interests.
The Unraveling is the clearest account yet of the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and jihadist groups—and how the rulers decisions have led their nation to the brink of disaster and put other nations at great risk. Can they save their country or will we one day find ourselves confronting the first nuclear-armed jihadist state?
"This is a book filled with useful information, objectively presented, and offered at precisely the right time."---Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997--2001
How did a nation founded as a homeland for South Asian Muslims become a haven for Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups? In this groundbreaking work, former U.S. diplomat John R. Schmidt, who served in Pakistan in the years leading up to 9/11, takes a detailed look at the countrys relationship with radical Islam. The Unraveling is the clearest account yet of the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and jihadist groups---and how the rulers decisions have led their nation to the brink of disaster and put the world at great risk.
About the Author
John R. Schmidt teaches at the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University. He served in the State Department during a thirty-year service career, including as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad in the years leading up to 9/11.
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