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Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia
by Ahmed Rashid

AVAILABILITY: Active Record (Readily Available)

Publication Date: June 2008
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Binding: Trade Cloth
Topics: PAKISTAN_POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT; SOUTH ASIA_FOREIGN RELATIONS; UNITED STATES_FOREIGN RELATIONS_ASIA; AFGHANISTAN_POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Description:

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.

Review:

"Long overshadowed by the Iraq War, the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan and Central Asia finally receives a searching retrospective as Rashid (Taliban) surveys the region to reveal a thicket of ominous threats and lost opportunities — in Pakistan, a rickety dictatorship colludes with militants, and Afghanistan's weak government is besieged by warlords, an exploding drug economy and a powerful Taliban insurgency. The author blames the unwillingness of American policymakers to shoulder the burden of nation building. According to Rashid, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and subsequently refused to commit the forces and money needed to rebuild it; instead the U.S. government made corrupt alliances with warlords to impose a superficial calm, while continuing to ignore the Pakistani government's support of the Taliban and the other Islamic extremists who have virtually taken over Pakistan's western provinces. With his unparalleled access to sources — 'I constantly berated [Afghan President] Karzai for his failure to understand the usefulness of political parties' — Rashid is an authoritative guide to the region's politics and his is an insightful, at times explosive, indictment of the U.S. government's hand in the region's degeneration. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

There was a brief period after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when history seemed to offer Afghanistan a chance for deliverance from years of bloodshed and draconian rule. In short order, American and Afghan forces routed the Taliban regime. The military rulers of neighboring Pakistan reversed policy and embraced the Western war on terror. International support poured in to both countries,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)



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Other Products by the Same Author/Artist:


Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
by Ahmed Rashid

Reg. Price: $14.95  
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