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Descent into Chaos

The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

Ahmed Rashid - Author

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ISBN 9781440631047 | 560 pages | 03 Jun 2008 | Penguin | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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After September 11th , Ahmed Rashid's crucial book Taliban introduced American readers to that now notorious regime. In this new work, he returns to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia to review the catastrophic aftermath of America's failed war on terror. Called "Pakistan's best and bravest reporter" by Christopher Hitchens, Rashid has shown himself to be a voice of reason amid the chaos of present-day Central Asia. Descent Into Chaos is his blistering critique of American policy-a dire warning and an impassioned call to correct these disasterous strategies before these failing states threaten global stability and bring devastation to our world.

Descent into Chaos 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 One: 9/11 And War

1. A Man With A Mission
The Unending Conflict in Afghanistan

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

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

4. Attack!
Retaliation and Invasion

5. The Search for a Settlement
Afghanistan and Pakistan at Odds

Part Two: The Politics of the Post-9/11 World

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

7. The One-Billion-Dollar Warlords
The War Within Afghanistan

8. Musharraf's Lost Moment
Political Expediency and Authoritarian Rule

Part Three: The Failure of Nation Building

9. Afghanistan I
Economic Reconstruction

10. Afghanistan II
Rebuilding Security

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

12. Taliban Resurgent
The Taliban Return Home

Part Four: Descent Into Chaos

13. Al Qaeda's Bolt-Hole
Pakistan's Tribal Areas

14. America Shows The Way
The Disappeared and the Rendered

15. Drugs and Thugs
Opium Fuels the Insurgency

16. Who Lost Uzbekistan?
Tyranny in Central Asia

17. The Taliban Offensive
Battling for Control of Afghanistan, 2006-2007

18. The Death of an Icon
Pakistan Struggles to Survive

19. Conclusion
A Fragile Future

Acknowledgments
Notes
Suggested Reading
Index

"Not only provides 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 The New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea

"Powerful."
-Wolf Blitzer

"Rashid, a Pakistani journalist, is that most valuable of political analysts: both insider and outsider to the problem he studies. His book should be read by anyone pondering how America might stop widening Osama bin Ladin's pool of bomb-clad volunteers."
- Chicago Tribune

"[A] brilliant and passionate book."
-The New York Review of Books


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