Synopses & Reviews
Ahmed Rashid is the voice of reason amid the chaos of Central Asia today. His unique knowledge of this complex, war-torn region gives him a panoramic vision and grasp of nuance that no Western writer can emulate. In Descent Into Chaos, Rashid reviews the regional conditions since 9/11 and the catastrophic aftermath of America's failed war on terror. The underlying theme is clear, devastating and deeply critical of current U.S. foreign policy. Iraq is essentially a sideshow. Pakistan and Afghanistan are where the war really began. Pakistan remains the crucial resource and key player, and Afghanistan is where the fight against Islamic insurgency is eventually going to be played out. Rashid also brings into clear focus the regional issues of Central Asia that few in our country seem to understand and yet are having a crucial impact on our own security and conduct. Seven years after 9/11, despite the thousands of lives and billions of dollars that have been spent in the region, it is in chaos. Pakistan, unstable and armed with nuclear weapons, has become terrorism central. The Taliban is resurging and reconquering land, and al Qaeda is stronger than ever. And at the heart of these calamities is the United States? refusal to accept its responsibility for statecraft and nation building and its utter failure to understand the region. Rashid's blistering critique of American policy is also a warning and an impassioned call to correct our failed strategies. There is no more urgent global task.
Ahmed Rashid is a oePakistana (TM)s best and bravest reportera (Christopher Hitchens). His unique knowledge of this vast and complex region allows him a panoramic vision and nuance that no Western writer can emulate.
His book Taliban introduced American readers to the brutal regime that hijacked Afghanistan and harbored the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Now, Rashid examines Central Asia, and the corridors of power in Washington and Europe, to see how the promised nation building in the region has progressed. His conclusions are devastating: an unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan, a renewed al Qaeda profiting from a booming opium trade, and a Taliban resurgence and reconquest. While Iraq continues to attract most of the American media and military might, Rashid argues that Pakistan and Afghanistan are where the conflict will finally be played out and that these failing states pose a graver threat to global security than does the Middle East.
Benazir Bhuttoa (TM)s assassination and the crisis on Pakistan are only the beginning. Rashid assesses what her death means for the region and the future. Rashid has unparalleled access to the figures in this global drama and provides up-to- the-minute analysis better than anyone else. Descent into Chaos will do for Central Asia what Thomas Ricksa (TM)s Fiasco did for Iraq a offer a blistering critique of recent American policy and an impassioned call to correct our failed strategy in the region.