Descent into Chaos: Book summary and reviews of Descent into Chaos by Ahmed Rashid

Descent into Chaos

The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

By Ahmed Rashid

Descent into Chaos
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2008,
    544 pages.

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Book Summary

Ahmed Rashid is 'Pakistan's best and bravest reporter' (Christopher Hitchens). His unique knowledge of this vast and complex region allows him a panoramic vision and nuance that no Western writer can emulate.

His book Taliban first introduced American readers to the brutal regime that hijacked Afghanistan and harbored the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Now, Rashid examines the region and the corridors of power in Washington and Europe to see how the promised nation building in these countries has progressed. His conclusions are devastating: An unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan, a renewed al Qaeda profiting from a booming opium trade, and a Taliban resurgence and reconquest. While Iraq continues to attract most of American media and military might, Rashid argues that Pakistan and Afghanistan are where the conflict will finally be played out and that these failing states pose a graver threat to global security than the Middle East.

Benazir Bhutto's assassination and the crisis in Pakistan are only the beginning. Rashid assesses what her death means for the region and the future. Rashid has unparalleled access to the figures in this global drama, and provides up-to-the-minute analysis better than anyone else. Descent Into Chaos will do for Central Asia what Thomas Rick's Fiasco did for Iraq - offer a blistering critique of the Bush administration and an impassioned call to correct our failed strategy in the region.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Rashid is an authoritative guide to the region's politics and his is an insightful, at times explosive, indictment of the U.S. government's hand in the region's degeneration." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Ahmed Rashid Author Biography

Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist and author, has been the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph and The Far Eastern Economic Review for twenty years. He is a regular contributor to BBC Online, The Washington Post, and other respected venues.

His book Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia has been a world-wide best seller. It has been translated into 22 languages and one million copies have been sold since September 11, 2001.

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