Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden

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Penguin UK, Mar 3, 2005 - History - 736 pages
704 Reviews

The news-breaking book that has sent schockwaves through the White House, Ghost Wars is the most accurate and revealing account yet of the CIA's secret involvement in al-Qaeada's evolution.

Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll has spent years reporting from the Middle East, accessed previously classified government files and interviewed senior US officials and foreign spymasters. Here he gives the full inside story of the CIA's covert funding of an Islamic jihad against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, explores how this sowed the seeds of bn Laden's rise, traces how he built his global network and brings to life the dramatic battles within the US government over national security. Above all, he lays bare American intelligence's continual failure to grasp the rising threat of terrrorism in the years leading to 9/11 - and its devastating consequences.


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Review: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

User Review  - Marik Casmon - Goodreads

An excellent book about the history of US involvement in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in the years before 9/11. The book makes clear the great number of missed opportunities the US had ... Read full review

Review: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

User Review  - Goodreads

It's long, and it's dry but if you are looking for one of the best compilations on US relations with Afghanistan this is the book. Also a great companion to Peter Tomsen's The Wars of Afghanistan. Between the two you'll know more on US/Afghan history than most of Congress. Read full review


Principal Characters
PART ONE BLOOD BROTHERS November 1979 to February 1989
Were Going to Die Here
Lenin Taught Us
Go Raise Hell
I Loved Osama
Dont Make It Our War
We Couldnt Indict Him
Were Keeping These Stingers
Does America Need the CIA?
PART THREE THE DISTANT ENEMY January 1998 to September 10 2001
You Are to Capture Him Alive
The Kingdoms Interests
We Are at War
Lets Just Blow the Thing Up

Who Is This Massoud?
The Terrorists Will Own the World
Inshallah You Will Know My Plans
We Won
PART TWO THE ONEEYED MAN WAS KING March 1989 to December 1997
Serious Risks
A Rogue Elephant
We Are in Danger
A Friend of Your Enemy
Maintain a Prudent Distance
A New Generation
Slowly Slowly Sucked into It
Dangling the Carrot
The Manson Family
That Unit Disappeared
You Crazy White Guys
Is There Any Policy?
Daring Me to Kill Them
What Face Will Omar Show to God?
Many Americans Are Going to Die
What an Unlucky Country

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About the author (2005)

Steve Coll, winner of a 1990 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism, has been managing editor of the Washington Post since 1998 and covered Afghanistan as the Post's South Asia bureau chief between 1989 and 1992. Coll is the author of four books, including On the Grand Trunk Road and The Taking of Getty Oil.

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