Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism

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Beginning with the Communist Saur Revolution of 1978 and continuing through Gen. David Petraeus's 2010 appointment replacing Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, this book is an inside account of one of the most vicious conflicts fought between the two Cold War superpowers: the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-89). Analyzing the behind-the-scenes decisions made in Moscow, Washington, and Kabul, former BBC correspondent Deepak Tripathi shows how that conflict transformed Afghanistan into a sanctuary for terrorism. Explaining how Afghanistan descended into a civil war from which the Taliban emerged, Tripathi explores the ways in which the country ultimately became a grotesque mirror image of the anticommunist alliance of U.S. forces and radical Islamists in the Cold War's final phase. Calling for a departure from the current pursuit of military strong-arm tactics, he advocates an approach that is centered on development, internal reconciliation, and societal reconstruction in Afghanistan.