Author: Coll, Steve
Brand: Penguin Books
Number Of Pages: 736
Release Date: 28-12-2004
Details: Product Description
Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize“A well written, authoritative, high-altitude drama with few heroes, many villains, bags of cash, and a tragic ending—one that may not have been inevitable.” —The Washington PostFrom the award-winning and bestselling author of
Directorate S, the explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan.
To what extent did America’s best intelligence analysts grasp the rising thread of Islamist radicalism? Who tried to stop bin Laden and why did they fail? Comprehensively and for the first time, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll recounts the history of the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and sowed the seeds of the September 11 attacks. Based on scrupulous research and firsthand accounts by key government, intelligence, and military personnel both foreign and American,
Ghost Wars details the secret history of the CIA’s role in Afghanistan (including its covert operations against Soviet troops from 1979 to 1989), the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of bin Laden, and the failed efforts by U.S. forces to find and assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.
"Certainly the finest historical narrative so far on the origins of al Qaeda in the post-Soviet rubble of Afghanistan . . .
Ghost Wars provides fresh details and helps explain the motivations behind many crucial decisions." —
The New York Times Book Review
“The CIA itself would be hard put to beat his grasp of global events . . . Deeply satisfying.” —
The New York Review of Books
“A well written, authoritative, high-altitude drama with few heroes, many villains, bags of cash, and a tragic ending—one that may not have been inevitable.” —
The Washington Post
About the Author
Steve Coll is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning
Ghost Wars and the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, and from 2007 to 2013 was president of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C. He is a staff writer for
The New Yorker, and previously worked for twenty years at
The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of seven other books, including
On the Grand Trunk Road, The Bin Ladens, Private Empire, and
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
In the tattered, cargo-strewn cabin of an Ariana Afghan Airlines passenger jet streaking above Punjab toward Kabul sat a stocky, broad-faced American with short graying hair. He was a friendly man in his early fifties who spoke in a flat midwestern accent. He looked as if he might be a dentist, an acquaintance once remarked. Gary Schroen had served for twenty- six years as an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine services. He was now, in September 1996, chief of station in Islamabad, Pakistan. He spoke Persian and its cousin, Dari, one of Afghanistan’s two main languages. In spy terminology, Schroen was an operator. He recruited and managed paid intelligence agents, conducted espionage operations, and supervised covert actions against foreign governments and terrorist groups. A few weeks before, with approval from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, he had made contact through intermediaries with Ahmed Shah Massoud, the celebrated anti-Soviet guerrilla commander, now defense minister in a war-battered Afghan government crumbling from within. Schroen had requested a meeting, and Massoud had accepted.
They had not spoken in five years. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, as allies battling Soviet occupation forces and their Afghan communist proxies, the CIA had pumped cash stipends as high as $200,000 a month to Massoud and his Islamic guerrilla organization, along with weapons and other supplies. Between 1989 and 1991, Schroen had personally delivered some of the cash. But the aid stopped in December 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved. The United States governme
Package Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.7 inches
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