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Directorate S : the C.I.A. and America's secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2018. ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation with, although often in direct opposition to, I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the United States was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Steve Coll
ISBN: 9781594204586 1594204586 9781846146602 1846146607
OCLC Number: 1020679112
Description: xxiii, 757 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Part one. Blind into battle, September 2001-December 2001 --
"Something has happened to Khalid" --
Judgment day --
Friends like these --
Risk management --
Catastrophic success --
Part two. Losing the peace, 2002-2006 --
Small change --
Taliban for Karzai --
The enigma --
"His rules were different than our rules" --
Mr. Big --
Ambassador vs. Ambassador --
Digging a hole in the ocean --
Radicals --
Part three. The best intentions, 2006-2009 --
Suicide detectives --
Plan Afghanistan --
Murder and the deep state --
Hard data --
Tough love --
Terror and the deep state --
The new big dogs --
Losing Karzai --
A war to give people a chance --
Part four. The end of illusion, 2010-2014 --
The one-man C.I.A. --
The conflict resolution cell --
Kayani 2.0 --
Lives and limbs --
Kayani 3.0 --
Hostages --
Dragon's breath --
Martyrs Day --
Fight and talk --
The Afghan hand --
Homicide Division --
Self-inflicted wounds --
Coups d'état --
Epilogue: Victim impact statements.
Other Titles: C.I.A. and America's secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Responsibility: Steve Coll.

Abstract:

"Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation with, although often in direct opposition to, I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the United States was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when fifty-nine countries, led by the United States, deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the United States was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan. Today we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s Directorate S. This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence. Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism."--Jacket.

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Every assertion is carefully sourced and checked. This book is in the finest traditions of American investigative journalism. Coll is the thinking man's Michael Wolff. -- Sherard Cowper-Coles * The Read more...

 
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