Ghost Wars

Ghost Wars

The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

Book - 2004
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An account of the CIA's involvement in the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and gave rise to bin Laden's al Qaeda. For nearly the past quarter century, while most Americans were unaware, Afghanistan has been the playing field for intense covert operations by U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies-invisible wars which sowed the seeds of the September 11 attacks and which provide its context. From the Soviet invasion in 1979 through the summer of 2001, the CIA, KGB, Pakistan's ISI, and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Department all operated directly and secretly in Afghanistan. They primed Afghan factions with cash and weapons, secretly trained guerrilla forces, funded propaganda, and manipulated politics. In the midst of these struggles bin Laden conceived and then built his global organization. The author tells the secret history of the CIA's role in Afghanistan, from its covert program against Soviet troops from 1979 to 1989, to the rise of the Taliban and the emergence of bin Laden, to the secret efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998. Based on extensive firsthand accounts, this story goes well beyond anything previously published on U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. It chronicles the roles of midlevel CIA officers, their Afghan allies, and top spy masters such as Bill Casey, Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al Faisal, and George Tenet.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2004
ISBN: 9781594200076
1594200076
Branch Call Number: 958.1045 COLL
Characteristics: xvii, 695 p. : maps ; 25 cm

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johnbacich
Jun 22, 2017

This book shows how insane the various parties in the middle east are. They use violence to settle tribal, ethnic, family, regional, national and religious sect problems. The one thing they agree on is Israel and the U.S. are somehow responsible for all the woes in their part of the world. We're not, they are. The author, who worked for the Washington Post never mentions the media's part in 911. Their war against American intelligence agencies was definitely part of the problem.

i
imanibrown
May 27, 2014

For any American intrested in how this all began (which should be all Americans)this book is the place start. Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the War on Terror didn't just appear overnight but they were the result of gross (even laughable) myopic oversight. Our government thinks it has a solid grasp on Middle Eastern issues and complexities. This book proves our government wrong.

debwalker May 02, 2011

Mapping the long, mistake-filled road to 9/11, this book examines the C.I.A.’s covert role during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and America’s later neglect of the country during the post-cold war ’90s, when the Taliban and Al Qaeda took advantage of the political vacuum. Mr. Coll chronicles the failures of both the Clinton and Bush administrations to mount a serious attack on Al Qaeda and to implement a coherent counterterrorism strategy.

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