Synopses & Reviews
The #1 New York Times bestselling author provides a shocking analysis of the crisis in Pakistan and the renewed radicalism threatening Afghanistan and the West.
Ahmed Rashid is “Pakistan’s best and bravest reporter” (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 first introduced American readers to the brutal regime that hijacked Afghanistan and harbored the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Now, Rashid examines the region and the corridors of power in Washington and Europe to see how the promised nation building in these countries has pro-gressed. 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 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 the Middle East.
Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and the crisis in 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 Rick’s Fiasco did for Iraq — offer a blistering critique of the Bush administration and an impassioned call to correct our failed strategy in the region.
After September 11th , Ahmed Rashid's crucial book Taliban
introduced American readers to that now notorious regime. In this new work, he returns to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia to review the catastrophic aftermath of America's failed war on terror. Called "Pakistan's best and bravest reporter" by Christopher Hitchens, Rashid has shown himself to be a voice of reason amid the chaos of present-day Central Asia. Descent Into Chaos
is his blistering critique of American policy-a dire warning and an impassioned call to correct these disasterous strategies before these failing states threaten global stability and bring devastation to our world.
The leading journalist on Pakistan lays out America's options with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the post-Bin Laden years.
What are the possibilities-and hazards-facing America as it withdraws from Afghanistan and as it reviews its long engagement in Pakistan? Where is the Taliban now in both these countries? What does the immediate future hold and what are America's choices as President Obama considers our complicated history and faces reelection?
These are some of the crucial questions that Ahmed Rashid- Pakistan's preeminent journalist-takes on in this follow-up to his acclaimed Descent into Chaos. Rashid correctly predicted that the Iraq war would have to be refocused into Afghanistan and that Pakistan would emerge as the leading player through which American interests and actions would have to be directed. Now, as Washington and the rest of the West wrestle with negotiating with unreliable and unstable "allies" in Pakistan, there is no better guide to the dark future than Ahmed Rashid.
He focuses on the long-term problems-the changing casts of characters, the future of international terrorism, and the actual policies and strategies both within Pakistan and Afghanistan and among the Western allies-as the world tries to bring some stability to a fractured region saddled with a legacy of violence and corruption. The decisions made by America and the West will affect the security and safety of the world. And as he has done so well in the past, Rashid offers sensible solutions and provides a way forward for all three countries.
Ahmed Rashid, whose masterful account of Afghanistan's Taliban regime became required reading after September 11, turns his legendary skills as an investigative journalist to five adjacent Central Asian Republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—where religious repression, political corruption, and extreme poverty have created a fertile climate for militant Islam. Based on groundbreaking research and numerous interviews, Rashid explains the roots of fundamentalist rage in Central Asia, describes the goals and activities of its militant organizations, including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, and suggests ways of neutralizing the threat and bringing stability to the troubled region. A timely and pertinent work, Jihad is essential reading for anyone who seeks to gain a better understanding of a region we overlook at our peril.
An urgent, on-the-ground report from Pakistan—from the bestselling author of Descent Into Chaos and Taliban
Ahmed Rashid, one of the world's leading experts on the social and political situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, offers a highly anticipated update on the possibilities—and hazards—facing the United States after the death of Osama bin Laden and as Operation Enduring Freedom winds down. With the characteristic professionalism that has made him the preeminent independent journalist in Pakistan for three decades, Rashid asks the important questions and delivers informed insights about the future of U.S. relations with the troubled region. His most urgent book to date, Pakistan on the Brink
is the third volume in a comprehensive series that is a call to action to our nation's leaders and an exposition of this conflict's impact on the security of the world.
About the Author
Ahmed Rashid is a journalist who has been covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia for more than twenty years. He is a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, Far Eastern Economic Review, Daily Telegraph, and The Nation, a leading newspaper in Pakistan. His #1 New York Times bestseller Taliban has been translated into more than twenty languages.
Table of Contents
Descent into Chaos Maps
Countries and Cities of Central Asia
Ethnic Distribution Within Pakistan and Afghanistan
Afghan Provinces and Federally Administered Tribal Areas
NATO Deployment and Provincial Reconstruction Team Locations in Afghanistan, 2007
Opium Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan, 2007
Military Offensives Launched by the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2007-2008
Imperial Overreach and Nation Building
Part One: 9/11 And War
1. A Man With A Mission
The Unending Conflict in Afghanistan
2. "The U.S. Will Act Like a Wounded Bear"
Pakistan's Long Search for Its Soul
3. The Chief Executive's Schizophrenia
Pakistan, the United Nations, and the United States Before 9/11
Retaliation and Invasion
5. The Search for a Settlement
Afghanistan and Pakistan at Odds
Part Two: The Politics of the Post-9/11 World
6. A Nuclear State of Mind
India, Pakistan, and the War of Permanent Instability
7. The One-Billion-Dollar Warlords
The War Within Afghanistan
8. Musharraf's Lost Moment
Political Expediency and Authoritarian Rule
Part Three: The Failure of Nation Building
9. Afghanistan I
10. Afghanistan II
11. Double-Dealing with Islamic Extremism
Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan
12. Taliban Resurgent
The Taliban Return Home
Part Four: Descent Into Chaos
13. Al Qaeda's Bolt-Hole
Pakistan's Tribal Areas
14. America Shows The Way
The Disappeared and the Rendered
15. Drugs and Thugs
Opium Fuels the Insurgency
16. Who Lost Uzbekistan?
Tyranny in Central Asia
17. The Taliban Offensive
Battling for Control of Afghanistan, 2006-2007
18. The Death of an Icon
Pakistan Struggles to Survive
A Fragile Future