Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the. PDF | On the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, guest- bloggers Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe and Dr Thomas. Ghost Wars provides an historical review of and perspective on the the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the resulting resistance The author.
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Editorial Reviews. nbafinals.info Review. Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the Cia, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invas Ion to September 10, Click button below to. eBOOK Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the Cia, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invas Ion to September 10,
They also funded training camps to train the people who came to help fight the Soviets.
One of these was the billionaire Sheikh Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden at the time had close relations with Saudi Arabian intelligence and various Arab charities and provided money for the rebels and for humanitarian aid for the population.
When the Taliban was formed as a small militia group which opposed all of the corruption, it quickly grew. Mullah Omar and his people eventually received the support of the Saudis and Pakistanis.
When the Russians withdrew, they left Afghanistan in the midst of a civil war. Massoud and his Northern Alliance were eventually forced into the northern part of the country. The United States declared neutrality and refused to overtly support any faction.
Bin Laden also left Afghanistan, but the al-Qaeda had already been formed and he was viewed as a rising leader in the world of radical Islam. As a result of this anti-royal stance and criticism of the Saudi royal family during the Gulf War, he was expelled from Saudi Arabia and went to Khartoum, Sudan. After several years he was asked to leave and moved to Afghanistan where the Taliban was now in control.
The training bases that had been used to train fighters against the Soviets were now being used to train Arab jihadist terrorists. In addition there were hundreds of Stinger missiles in the country that the various factions had that could be used to shoot down passenger airplanes.
The CIA was quietly trying to download them, which gave them a reason for covert activities in Afghanistan.
Ghost Wars: From the beginning, Coll shows how the CIA's on-again, off-again engagement with Afghanistan after the end of the Soviet war left officials at Langley with inadequate resources and intelligence to appreciate the emerging power of the Taliban. He also demonstrates how Afghanistan became a deadly playing field for international politics where Soviet, Pakistani, and U.
At the same time, the book, though opinionated, is not solely a critique of the agency. Coll, managing editor for the Washington Post, covered Afghanistan from to He demonstrates unprecedented access to records of White House meetings and to formerly classified material, and his command of Saudi, Pakistani, and Afghani politics is impressive. He also provides a seeming insider's perspective on personalities like George Tenet, William Casey, and anti-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke "who seemed to wield enormous power precisely because hardly anyone knew who he was or what exactly he did for a living".
Coll manages to weave his research into a narrative that sometimes has the feel of a Tom Clancy novel yet never crosses into excess. While comprehensive, Coll's book may be hard going for those looking for a direct account of the events leading to the attacks. The CIA's engagement with bin Laden as a target for capture begins a full two-thirds of the way into Ghost Wars, only after a lengthy march through developments during the Carter, Reagan, and early Clinton Presidencies.
But this is not a critique of Coll's efforts; just a warning that some stamina is required to keep up. Ghost Wars is a complex study of intelligence operations and an invaluable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of how a small band of extremists rose to inflict incalculable damage on American soil.
Three administrations all ignored the warnings of their own staffs. Steve Cole lays down alot of facts and he does not have a biased opinion.
This book says alot about how America's role in recent-history shapes events in it's future to sometmes catostrophic proportions. All American History buffs need to pick up a copy, it's hard to put down once you get into it.
It most likely won't change your mind about what we should or shouldn't do, or who we should or shouldn't vote for. But it will educate you as to what already happened. The same Afghanistan that was also the one of the CIA's greatest successes.
They also ineffectually engaged the genocide being committed by the Serbs in Bosnia, and then later by the Serbs in Kosovo. As well as ineffectually engaging Iraq. It wasn't a secret declaration of war. They had been trying to tell us the same for years. After the embassy bombings, one CIA employee tearfully told Tenet that the blood was on his hands.
Guys at the CIA knew an attack on American soil was coming. By the late 90's even the reluctant CIA director had come around though he never endorsed any of his people's plans against Osama or the Taliban. Tenet did warn his buddy democratic congressman to avoid air travel and to not congregate in public at the end of because of the imminent Al Qaeda threat.
They were a big enough threat to warn a congressman that his life might be in danger around large amounts of US citizens that might be victims.
But Al Qaeda was apparently not big enough a threat to warrant helping their opposition the Northern Alliance. Not big enough a threat to OK a strike against them.
Unfortunately the Pakistanis were told about the upcoming cruise missile attack and they in turn told the Taliban, who informed their main benefactor OBL.
And as I read the book that thought loomed over my head. And truthfully, even though Clinton probably understood the CIA when they told him that an attack were coming, there was not much he could do with an uncooperative military, and a congress that did not trust him on either side of the isle.
The FBI and other agencies were able to thwart attacks of the new millennium. And Clinton understood when the various agencies told him that it was luck alone that had enabled them to stop that Millennium attacks, and that they would most likely not catch the next one.
Killing bin Laden at that time would have unlikely stopped anything. I think it was Richard Clark who told them; "act now like you are going to act after the attack, treat our uncooperative allies of Pakistan and the Gulf States, as if the attack had already happened".