Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion

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Peter Bergen, Katherine Tiedemann
OUP USA, Feb 14, 2013 - Political Science - 496 pages
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The longest war the United States has ever fought is the ongoing war in Afghanistan. But when we speak of "Afghanistan," we really mean a conflict that straddles the border with Pakistan--and the reality of Islamic militancy on that border is enormously complicated.

In Talibanistan, an unparalleled group of experts offer a nuanced understanding of this critical region. Edited by Peter Bergen, author of the bestselling books The Longest War and The Osama Bin Laden I Know, and Katherine Tiedemann, these essays examine in detail the embattled territory from Kandahar in Afghanistan to Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. They pull apart the distinctions between the Taliban and al Qaeda--and the fractures within each movement; assess the effectiveness of American and Pakistani counterinsurgency campaigns; and explore the pipeline of militants into and out of the war zone. Throughout, these scrupulously researched studies challenge convenient orthodoxies. Counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman criticizes the customary distinction between an Afghan and Pakistani Taliban as being too neat to describe their fragmented reality. Hassan Abbas paints a subtle portrait of the political and religious forces shaping the insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province, uncovering poor governance, economic distress, and resentment of foreign troops in nearby Afghanistan. And Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann try to identify the real numbers of drone strikes and victims, both militants and civilians, while disputing claims for their strategic effectiveness.

These and other essays provide profound new insight into this troubled region. They are required reading for anyone seeking a fresh understanding of a central strategic challenge facing the United States today.
 

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Contents

The Taliban in Kandahar
1
The Relationship Between alQaeda and the Taliban
69
The Taliban in Zabul and Uruzgan
94
The Taliban in North Waziristan
128
The Taliban in South Waziristan
164
Pakistans Counterinsurgency Strategy
202
CIA Drone Strikes and the Taliban
229
The Drone War View from the Ground
237
The Taliban in Swat
289
The Taliban in Bajaur
314
The Taliban in Pakistan An Overview
336
The 80 Percent Solution The Strategic Defeat of bin Ladens alQaeda and Implications for South Asian Security
388
Negotiations with the Taliban
431
A Note on Spelling
483
A Note on the Notes
484
Index
485

Public Opinion in Pakistans Tribal Regions
248
The Political Landscape of the Taliban Insurgency in Pakistan
262

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About the author (2013)


Peter Bergen is the director of the National Securities Studies Program at the New America Foundation, and is National Security Analyst at CNN. He is the author of The Longest War and The Osama Bin Laden I Know.

Katherine Tiedemann, co-editor, was a research fellow at the New America Foundation until mid-2011. She is the deputy editor of the AfPak Channel on ForeignPolicy.com, where she writes the AfPak Daily Brief, a daily synthesis of the news from and about Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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