Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 2005
The explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan.
With the publication of Ghost Wars, Steve Coll became not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but also the expert on the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of Bin Laden, and the secret efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998.
©2011 Steve Coll (P)2011 Penguin
"Ghost Wars is a complex study of intelligence operations and an invaluable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of how a small band of extremists rose to inflict incalculable damage on American soil." (Amazon.com review)
Say something about yourself!
Mistakes were made, by Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43. Bush 41's policies put the Taliban in charge of Afghanistan, Clinton kept them there and Bush 43 was distracted by a VP and a Condi who were uninformed and uninterested. We armed the "resistance" fighters and abandoned them when the "resistance" got rid of the Russians. We relied on biased, self-serving "intelligence" from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, both countries supported the Taliban. We gave millions to Pakistan, much of which was diverted to personal accounts, and succeeded in tipping the balance toward the military intelligence side and away from the civil executive/legislative side, destabilizing a nuclear power.
Were there good outcomes? Well, the Russian economy imploded, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Republic disintegrated. Would the Wall have fallen anyway? Maybe. We'll never know.
Good news? The Cold War was over. Bad news? We entered the era of terrorism. We don't know how this era will end but, thanks to this book, we know how it began.
Painful, depressing great read.
How well it covered the subjects promised in the subtitle.
It's not that kind of book. There are sequences where some of the operator's exploits are described, but mainly it is a steady, factual account of the players and events through this moment of history.
Only the realization that through the abdication of our oversight of how weapons and materiel were being used to the ISI, and how Saudi Arabia was funding the brainwashing of a jihadi fighting force, we fertilized the ground for our enemies to grow against us.
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