Descent into Chaos
How the War Against Islamic Extremism is Being Lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia
From the author of the bestselling, authoritative Taliban, comes a provocative and revelatory account of the crisis in Pakistan and the renewed radicalism threatening Afghanistan and the West
Since 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq, the West has been fighting a 'War on Terror', through force and through the building of new societies in the region. In this clear and devastating account, with unparalleled access and intimate knowledge of the political players, Descent into Chaos chronicles our failure.Having reported from central Asia for a quarter of a century, Rashid shows clearly why the war in Iraq is just a sideshow to the main event. Rather, it is Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the five Central Asian states that make up the crisis zone, for it is here that terrorism and Islamic extremism are growing stronger.Documenting with precision how intimately linked Pakistan is with the Taliban and other extremist movements, while remaining the US's main ally in the region, Rashid brings into focus the role of many regional issues in supporting extremism, from nuclear programs to local rivalries, idiotic peace-keeping to tyrannical rulers. For Rashid, at the heart of the failure in Iraq is the US's refusal to accept the need to build nations.Ambitious and urgent, analysing events, policies and personalities across the largest landmass in the world, Descent into Chaos chronicles with chilling accuracy why Islamic extremism is now stronger than ever.
Ahmed Rashid is Pakistan's premiere journalist, an expert on Central Asia, on jihad and Muslim extremists movements, on the Taliban and Al Qaeda, on insurgency, and on the catastrophe of US policy in this region, on which he has reported for twenty-five years. Author of three books, his work Taliban was a huge international bestseller, widely recognised as the definitive account. He has personally met and interviewed many of the key players in Central Asia and has travelled extensively for this book. He writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, the Washington Post, the International HeraldTribune, BBC Online and many other European and American dailies and websites.