Descent into Chaos
by Ahmed Rashid
Descent into Chaos is a timely and critical book about the ongoing turmoil and degeneration in Afghanistan and Central Asia, written by acclaimed veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid (Taliban and Jihad). He surveys this region to reveal to us the failure of U.S. policymakers’ (both past and present) at nation building because of their refusal to commit the forces and money needed to rebuild after the invasion of Afghanistan.
Rashid also shows us the powerful extremist forces at work in that region of the world and explains how U.S. policy makers made corrupt alliances with warlords to impose a superficial calm while continuing to ignore the Pakistani government’s support of the Taliban and other Islamic extremists, instead choosing to focus on Iraq. Afghanistan and Pakistan, he argues, are greater threats to the West than Iraq.
The material in the entire book is extremely detailed and significant, and it is revealed to us by such a qualified writer. Rashid walks us through the history of Afghanistan and explains the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, laying out past events clearly and chronologically. He explains how U.S. ally Pakistan has armed and financed the Taliban. He also outlines future scenarios of where we may be headed, so it’s a good wake-up call for our future policy-makers and the ill-informed public in the West.
Although this book is not an easy read, it begins to clear up a lot of the confusion, and I’d recommend it to anyone.