Descent Into Chaos: The US and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

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Penguin, 2008 - Political Science - 484 pages
13 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.

 

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Review: Descent into Chaos: The United States & the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan & Central Asia

User Review  - Pete Combe - Goodreads

Wish I could give it zero stars. This guy is biased, inconsistent, and has wildly unrealistic goals and expectations. He may know the basic facts, but his analysis and reasoning are ridiculous ... Read full review

Review: Descent into Chaos: The United States & the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan & Central Asia

User Review  - Bushra - Goodreads

The book may be hard to read in the initial chapters, as it sets out the comprehensive landscape of Afghan regional stakeholders and warlords, but it does indeed gives you an good insight into Af-Pak ... Read full review

Contents

MAPS
xvii
Glossary
xxxv
A MAN WITH A MISSION
3
THE U S WILL ACT LIKE A WOUNDED BEAR
24
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVES SCHIZOPHRENIA
44
ATTACK
61
THE SEARCH FOR A SETTLEMENT
84
A NUCLEAR STATE OF MIND
109
DOUBLEDEALING WITH ISLAMIC EXTREMISM
219
TALIBAN RESURGENT
240
ALQAEDAS BOLTHOLE
265
AMERICA SHOWS THE WAY
293
DRUGS AND THUGS
317
WHO LOST UZBEKISTAN?
338
THE TALIBAN OFFENSIVE
349
CONCLUSION
374

THE ONEBILLIONDOLLAR WARLORDS
125
MUSHARRAFS LOST MOMENT 45
145
AFGHANISTAN I
171
AFGHANISTAN II
196
Acknowledgments
405
Suggested Reading
457
Index
463
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

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.

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