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Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Penguin Books) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Steve Coll
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Kurzbeschreibung

28. Dezember 2004 Penguin Books
Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize

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.


Wird oft zusammen gekauft

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Penguin Books) + Taliban + Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia
Preis für alle drei: EUR 38,05

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 738 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin Books; Auflage: Reprint (28. Dezember 2004)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0143034669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143034667
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,6 x 13,9 x 3,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 81.544 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"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

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Steve Coll is most recently the author of the New York Times bestseller The Bin Ladens. He is the president of the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C., and a staff writer for The New Yorker. Previously heworked for twenty years at The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of six other books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Ghost Wars.


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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Einleitungssatz
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. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Wortanzeiger
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis | Rückseite
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0 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Endlich verstanden... 10. November 2007
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Wer hat sie nicht in seinem twenty-something Freundeskreis, die Bekannten die in Afghanistan Entwicklungshilfe betreiben. Doch wie war es noch einmal mit Afghanistan, dem CIA, der Sowjetunion, den Taliban und bin Laden? Zahlreiche Fernsehbeiträge verwirren ein doch mehr als, daß sie helfen. Bei Adam und Eva angefangen, gibt dieses dicke Buch eine Menge antworten, zeigt Zusammenhänge und vor allem gibt einem Einblicke, wie manchmal Außenpolitik betrieben wird, nämlich ziemlich planlos. ?Was wäre wenn?? ist dann auch die Frage, welche einen bei der Lektuere des Buches beschäftigt. Gut zu lesen, macht man eigentlich nur Pausen um die Informationen zu verdauen, die einem dargereicht werden.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great 3. Februar 2009
Von O. Anna
Format:Taschenbuch
ein grossartiges - aber sehr anspruchsvolles Buch für all jene, die sehr gut Englisch sprechen.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Falsche Darstellung 26. Dezember 2011
Von Milzbrand
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch mag eine journalistische Arbeit sein, die die Fakten der Geheimdienste von CIA und der ISI reflektieren will.Doch die Reflektion ist keineswegs objektiv und wissenschaftlich brauchbar.
Der Autor blendet die komplette Geschichte der DVPA aus , der Partei , die all die terroristischen und verbrecherischen Szenarien vorhergesehen und verlautbaren hat lassen. Lediglich auf wenigen Seiten kriegt man mit, dass Dr.Najibullah, der Präsident Afghanistans war und er alle Bemühungen unternommen hat, das Land vom Joch des Imperialismus der Schurkenpolitik Pakistans und der wahabitischen Sekte in Arabien Saudi zu befreien.

Steve Coll offenbart sich als ein Journalist, der Fakten die allseits bekannt sind mit verlagsinternen und commerziellen Informationen zu würzen.
Das funktioniert aber leider nicht, wenn man über Al Kaida, Bin Laden und Taliban schreibt, aber die Gegenseite( DVPA, Internationalistische Politik der Sowjetunion und die Volksbewegungen in Kabul) außer Acht lässt.
Schließlich waren die wirklichen Feinde des fundamentalistischen Terrorbewegungen wie der der Taliban, der CIA-Jihadisten und des Volkes Afghanistan die Jahre der sozialistisch ausgerichteten Regierungen mit ihren klugen Köpfen wie Babrak Karmal, Sultan Ali Keshtmand und Dr.Najibullah.

Coll erzählt über Verstrickungen der CIA und der ISI in der afghanischen Politik ohne einen Blick auf die Geschichte Afghanistans zu werfen.
Dieses Buch ist sehr einseitig geschrieben, verzerrt die afghanische Geschichte und hat leider keine Intention , Neues aufzudecken oder gar ein Fazit zu ziehen.

Wer sich über Bin Laden, Taliban oder George Bush informieren möchte, ist online auf jeden Fall besser bedient.

Mein Fazit lautet : Journalistische Manipulation und Geschichtsverzerrung!!!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  182 Rezensionen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Hard Copy Easier to Read, but Substance is Same: Superb 19. April 2005
Von Robert David STEELE Vivas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Edit of 20 Dec 07 to add links including books since published.

On balance this is a well researched book (albeit with a Langley-Saudi partiality that must be noted), and I give it high marks for substance, story, and notes. It should be read in tandem with several other books, including George Crile's Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times and the Milt Bearden/James Risen tome on The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB.

The most important point in the book is not one the author intended to make. He inadvertently but most helpfully points to the fact that at no time did the U.S. government, in lacking a policy on Afghanistan across several Administrations, think about the strategic implications of "big money movements." I refer to Saudi Oil, Afghan Drugs, and CIA Cash.

Early on the book shows that Afghanistan was not important to the incumbent Administration, and that the Directorate of Operations, which treats third-world countries as hunting grounds for Soviets rather than targets in their own right, had eliminated Afghanistan as a "collection objective" in the late 1980's through the early 1990's. It should be no surprise that the CIA consequently failed to predict the fall of Kabul (or in later years, the rise of the Taliban).

Iran plays heavily in the book, and that is one of the book's strong points. From the 1979 riots against the U.S. Embassies in Iran and in Pakistan, to the end of the book, the hand of Iran is clearly perceived. As we reflect on Iran's enormous success in 2002-2004 in using Chalabi to deceive the Bush Administration into wiping out Saddam Hussein and opening Iraq for Iranian capture, at a cost to the US taxpayer of over $400 billion dollars, we can only compare Iran to the leadership of North Viet-Nam. Iran has a strategic culture, the US does not. The North Vietnamese beat the US for that reason. Absent the development of a strategic culture within the US, one that is not corrupted by ideological fantasy, Iran will ultimately beat the US and Israel in the Middle East.

The greatest failure of the CIA comes across throughout early in the book: the CIA missed the radicalization of Islam and its implications for global destabilization. It did so for three reasons: 1) CIA obsession with hard targets to the detriment of global coverage; 2) CIA obsession with technical secrets rather than human overt and covert information; and 3) CIA laziness and political naiveté in relying on foreign liaison, and especially on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Both Admiral Stansfield Turner and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski come in for criticism here. Turner for gutting the CIA, Brzezinski for telling Pakistan it could go nuclear (page 51) in return for help against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Although the book does not focus on Bin Laden until he becomes a player in Afghanistan, it does provide much better discussion of Bin Laden's very close relations with Saudi intelligence, including the Chief of Staff of Saudi intelligence at the time, Bin Laden's former teacher and mentor. There appears to be no question, from this and other sources, including Yossef Bodansky's book Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America and David Kaplan's US News & World Report on Saudi sponsorship of global terrorism, that Bin Laden has been the primary Saudi intelligence agent of influence for exporting terrorism and Islamic radicalism to South Asia, the Pacific Rim, Africa, Europe, Russia, and the US. CIA and the FBI failed to detect this global threat, and the USG failed to understand that World War III started in 1989. As with other evils, the US obsession about communism led it to sponsor new emerging threats that might not otherwise have become real. However, the book also provides the first documentation I have seen that Bin Laden was "noticed" by the CIA in 1985 (page 146), and that Bin Laden opened his US office in 1986. It was also about this time that the Russian "got it" on the radical Islamic threat, told the US, and got blown off. Bob Gates and George Shultz were wrong to doubt the Soviets when they laid out Soviet plans to leave Afghanistan and Soviet concern about both the future of Afghanistan and the emerging threat from Islamic terrorism.

The middle of the book can be considered a case study in how Pakistani deception combined with American ignorance led us to make many errors of judgment. Some US experts did see the situation clearly--Ed McWilliams from State ("Evil Little Person" per Milt Bearden) comes out of this book looking very very smart.

The final portions of the book are detailed and balanced. What comes across is both a failure of the US to think strategically, and the incredibly intelligent manner in which Bin Laden does think globally, strategically, and unconventionally. Bin Laden understands the new equation: low-cost terrorism equals very high cost economic dislocation.

Side note: CIA provided the Islamic warriors in Afghanistan with enough explosives to blow up half of New York (page 135), and with over 2000 Stinger missiles, 600 of which appear to remain in the hands of anti-US forces today, possibly including a number shipped to Iran for re-purposing (ie London, Dallas, Houston)

One final note: morality matters. I am greatly impressed with the author's judgment in focusing on the importance that Bin Laden places on the corruption of US and Saudi Arabian governments and corporations as the justification for his jihad. Will and Ariel Durant, in "The Lessons of History," make a special point of discussing the long-term strategic value of morality as a "force" that impacts on the destiny of nations and peoples. The US has lost that part of the battle, for now, and before we can beat Bin Laden, we must first clean our own house and demand that the Saudi's clean theirs or be abandoned as a US ally. Morality matters. Strategic culture matters. On these two counts, Bin Laden is winning for now.

Other books that augment this one:
The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Vintage)
Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush
Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander
First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan
See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Exhaustive and Comprehensive 5. Mai 2006
Von David W. Nicholas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is one of those books that you'll read, and take away a lot from afterwards. Steve Coll writes with authority and confidence about a number of aspects of the United States' involvement in Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion til 9/11. He covers many aspects of the war, from the war in Afghanistan, the subsequent civil war, and negotiations with and between such actors as the CIA, US Defense and State Department, various Afghan groups, and the Pakistani army and government. From spies with suitcases of cash meeting their contacts in the Pakistani countryside to cruise missiles hitting Osama's compound, the book covers every aspect of the conflict itself. From the CIA and the Air Force arguing over who should control and pay for the Predator drones that were used to look for Osama, to Pakistan's various coups and the Taliban's indifference to outside opinion, Coll also pays considerable attention to the political events behind the actual conflicts.

This is a long, involved book that has a huge amount of information in it. It's detailed, carefully written, and very comprehensive. The tone of the book, while somewhat serious and scholarly, isn't really biased in any particular direction. The author, for instance, pays a great deal of attention to Ahmed Shah Massoud, but he doesn't sugarcoat his portrait of Massoud, making clear that he was partially responsible for the Mujaheddin Government's fall in the mid-90s, and also noting that he financed his movement with heroin sales to Russia and Europe. He examines each of these issues dispassionately and carefully, looking at every angle he can think of.

If I have a criticism of the book it's the lack of conclusion. The author appears to want to let history speak for itself, and avoids judgments. This is in some ways good: we're probably not going to be able to make this sort of judgment about the Clinton or Bush administration for years, not objectively anyway. But the book starts in the Carter administration, and even there he presents a narrative of what happened without comment. He also often tells you both sides of the story, recounting first the State department's view of the CIA's reluctance to do something, then giving you the CIA's version of events, so that you're unsure which side he's on, let alone which side the facts are. It's a bit unsettling, though perhaps that's because the events themselves are unsettled, too.

I enjoyed this book, learned a great deal from it, and apart from its length would recommend it. It's relatively well-written and very informative.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Refreshingly objective 28. April 2005
Von John Allnutt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Steve Coll's Ghost Wars is an invaluable history of the U.S. Government's relationship with Afghanistan and other geopolitical players involved in its fate from December 1979 - September 2001. While this narrative about the USG's "war on terrorism" focuses on the intelligence component rather than the law enforcement, the reader learns the political, legal and diplomatic obstacles CIA faced (and still does) in the effort to protect this nation of 275,000,000 from suicide bomber attacks anytime and anywhere, including within the United States. Mr. Coll's book is a welcome addition to the literature of terrorism which should be read in conjunction with the 9/11 Commission Report; and Best Laid Plans by David Martin and John Walcott.

Mr. Coll chronicles Afghanistan's tragic history from the Soviet invasion through the Soviets' expulsion and the fall of the Soviet Union; through the civil strife that followed until the Taliban's rise to power and Al Qaeda's parasitic attachment to the regime. He identified opportunities lost (as well as attempted) that might have changed the course of events leading to the September 11 attacks. From the time of the Soviets' expulsion, many partisan readers will be tempted to hang the bulk of responsibility on any of 3 Republican administrations or a 2-term Democratic administration. Other readers might fully blame the CIA, the NSC, State or Defense Departments. But these would be more examples of blaming the victim, a tiresome political argument Americans have had to endure for two election cycles. I for one, am delighted that Mr. Coll refrained from such an indulgence.

While there is plenty of "blame" to go around as to why our government, in hindsight, did not act on this or that, the activities of the Saudi and Pakistani governments also share in the stock of shortsightedness. Mr. Coll identifies the ways that Saudi and Pakistani officials duped the USG about their relationship with the Taliban but were, in turn, also duped by the Taliban regarding Al Qaeda's activities.

So why should we Americans torture ourselves with how these many components might have played out differently? Would it have saved all lives on September 11? Some? Or might seemingly favorable circumstances between so many conflicting views from different governments have actually cost more lives when aligned with other events? Mr. Coll writes about what happened without speculation as to what should have happened. The reader is more likely to fully appreciate the complexities of terrorism prevention.

Americans have to discuss how powerful and pro-active they want their CIA and FBI regardless of which party controls the White House. It isn't just a matter of "personality clashes" or "turf wars." USG agencies have conflicting missions. There was and will continue to be fleeting foreign government support that varies year to year and ally to ally. The discussion about how these components work together is important enough that the less political posturing, the more successful a discussion about terrorism is likely to be. Mr. Coll's book illustrates that there are no easy answers. May Ghost Wars be part of the historic literature regarding September 11 for decades to come.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Shared values vs Shared interests. US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the rise of Radical Islamic Terrorism 15. Oktober 2006
Von T. R. Santhanakrishnan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
One of the best books written about the emergence of religion based terrorism directed against several causes and several societies.

Steve Coll provides a balanced dispassionate analysis and profound insight into the new menace that is powerful enough to challenge peace everywhere.

United States has two kinds of friendships in world politics:

(a) Friendships founded on shared values

(b) Friendships founded on shared interests

Friendships founded on shared values (such as those with UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and Japan) last forever. The friendship does not leave a trail of destruction behind.

Friendships founded on shared interests (such as those with Iran under the Shah, Philippines under Marcos, Pakistan under Zia, Saudi Arabia above oil) last short periods of time but leave a trail of destruction somewhere.

US friendship with two such shared interests has created a monster that is likely to be a greater challenge to peace and security everywhere than anything humanity has seen so far.

Saudi Arabia has been funding radical Islamic groups around the world to appease its domestic constituency of religious right. Saudi donations helped create radical Islamic groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan to attract, train and equip youth who are willing to kill and willing to die.

Pakistan provided an intelligence service that could orchestrate insurgency against a conventional army; provided a limitless supply of youth willing to die for holy causes; and an efficient supply chain of high tech arms.

The Reagan Administration joined hands with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to contain Soviet expansionism. The mission was successful.

But there were unfortunate side effects. US lost interest in the region after the collapse of the Soviet Union. CIA station heads in Islamabad began to dictate US policy in the region instead of the Administration.

The Jihadists, assembled against Soviet Union, did not go home to become investment bankers and stock brokers. They stayed and sought new causes. Fight for Palestine. Fight against America. Fight against the House of Saud. Fight for Islamic rule in Afghanistan. Fight for liberation of Kashmir.

Pakistan had a field day. The ISI could use the jihadists for its favourite causes: Hekmatyar, Taliban, Kashmir. State sponsored terrorism was born. Funding was available from Saudi Arabia and from narcotics trade. State sponsored terrorism gave way to a multinational radical Islamic terrorism when Pakistan tainted every political objective with a religious colour (a lesson learnt from the jihad against Soviets).

It is now possible for a Mullah in a village in Pakistan to issue a fatwah by fax that could motivate a young British Muslim to enroll in an ISI sponsored terrorism training center in Pakistan and undertake a mission to destroy social fabric in a nation that is probably busy with a super bowl.

A foreign policy shaped by shared interests is probably not that good an idea.

This book provides a well researched insight into the rise of radical Islamic terrorism. The best on the subject. Easy to read. Disturbing to think about.

Shall look forward to the next book from Steve Coll.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A well edited reality show 5. August 2008
Von Yogesh Upadhyaya - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
It was a pleasure reading this very well written and researched book. As an Indian, I grew up reading about the defeat of Russians in newspapers. The subsequent battle for Afghanistan between the communist government and the mujahedin entered my consciousness through snatches of news on the radio. So, it was great to get the stories and personalities around people like Masooud.

However, as I reached to the end of the book, I realized that clearly the author was not telling the whole story. Some gaping holes in the book are

1. CIA and the US government remained unaware of Pakistan support to Taliban for a long period. Did they not have sources in the ISI and Pakistan government?
2. Ditto for Saudi support to Taliban.
3. The Israeli agency Mossad is mentioned once in passing in the book. It is difficult to believe that they did not have any intelligence presence in a region which was developing as big threat to their existence. it is difficult to believe that they were a player of no significance in the whole story.

Now, there may be very good reasons for such omissions. However, they left me feeling that the book finally depends on revelations that were very tightly controlled. Obviously there would be control to protect the integrity of sources. But only slightly less obviously, the control can be used to "paint a picture." If you reveal only selected facts, most intelligent readers would draw the conclusions you want them to. I don't know what all has been left out. All I know is that the omissions pointed out above are too significant for me. They make me feel that I am watching a well edited reality show.
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