Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

Overview

"For almost three decades, Ahmed Rashid has been the foremost journalist reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Descent into Chaos is a crucial book with a timely message for policy-makers, the military, global strategists, and mostly the ill-informed public alike. Descent follows his acclaimed bestsellers Taliban and Jihad, which are the definitive works to explore the rise of radical extremism, and the massive failures of western interventionist policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For a western audience, ...
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Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

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Overview

"For almost three decades, Ahmed Rashid has been the foremost journalist reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Descent into Chaos is a crucial book with a timely message for policy-makers, the military, global strategists, and mostly the ill-informed public alike. Descent follows his acclaimed bestsellers Taliban and Jihad, which are the definitive works to explore the rise of radical extremism, and the massive failures of western interventionist policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For a western audience, as a foremost voice from the east, Descent is Rashid's definitive work, and not only provides of thoughtful, detailed dissection of seminal events in Central Asian recent history, but an insightful snapshot into future scenarios of where the roadmaps to terror and peace may be headed."--(Greg Mortenson, Author of # 1 NYT bestseller 'Three Cups of Tea')
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"Iraq may turn out to be a mere side show compared with what is at stake with Pakistan and Afghanistan," says Rashid in his critical, timely and expansive book (the introduction alone takes up almost an entire disc). Arthur Morey walks a thin line: his overall success conveying the information in this weighty tome without sounding like a monotone college professor is a credit to his talent. Morey's voice is calm, authoritative and confident. His diction is perfect and his mannered delivery never loses steam. Nevertheless, even with an important book such as this, it is difficult to convey this quantity of factual information in a way that doesn't eventually begin to drone on. Morey fights the good fight and comes out ahead, barely. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 14). (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143115571
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 455,633
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore who writes for The Washington Post, Daily Telegraph (London), the International Herald Tribune, The New York Review of Books, BBC Online, and The Nation. His previous books include Jihad, Taliban, and The Resurgence of Central Asia. He appears regularly on NPR, CNN, and the BBC World Service.
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Table of Contents

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

Glossary

Acronyms

Introduction: Imperial Overreach and Nation Building

Part 1 9/11 and War

1 A Man With a Mission: The Unending Conflict in Afghanistan 3

2 "The U.S. Will Act Like a Wounded Bear": Pakistan's Long Search for Its Soul 24

3 The Chief Executive's Schizophrenia: Pakistan, the United Nations, and the United States Before 9/11 44

4 Attack!: Retaliation and Invasion 61

5 The Search for a Settlement: Afghanistan and Pakistan at Odds 84

Part 2 The Politics of the Post-9/11 World

6 A Nuclear State of Mind: India, Pakistan, and the War of Permanent Instability 109

7 The One-Billion-Dollar Warlords: The War Within Afghanistan 125

8 Musharraf's Lost Moment: Political Expediency and Authoritarian Rule 145

Part 3 The Failure of Nation Building

9 Afghanistan I: Economic Reconstruction 171

10 Afghanistan II: Rebuilding Security 196

11 Double-Dealing with Islamic Extremism: Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan 219

12 Taliban Resurgent: The Taliban Return Home 240

Part 4 Descent Into Chaos

13 Al Qaeda's Bolt-Hole: Pakistan's Tribal Areas 265

14 America Shows the Way: The Disappeared and the Rendered 293

15 Drugs and Thugs: Opium Fuels the Insurgency 317

16 Who Lost Uzbekistan?: Tyranny in Central Asia 338

17 TheTaliban Offensive: Battling for Control of Afghanistan, 2006-2007 349

18 Conclusion: The Death of an Icon and a Fragile Future 374

Acknowledgments 405

Notes 407

Suggested Reading 457

Index 463

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Obama should read this!!

    An excellent account of the economic and political difficulties facing the nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan and of the invovement of the U.S. in creating and exacerbating these problems. Rashid understands that the conflicts in both countries are far more closely related to control of power and resources than to "militant Islam."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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