The stories of the agency’s officers and leaders, their conflicts, their successes, and their failures, help describe and explain the secret wars preceding September 11 the way stories of generals and dog-faced GIs have described conventional wars in the past. The U.S. embassy in Kabul had been shut for security reasons since late 1988, so there was no CIA station in Afghanistan from which to collect intelligence about the Taliban or the sources of their newfound strength. His troops showed poor discipline. A zombie apocalypse is one thing. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, as allies battling Soviet occupation forces and their Afghan communist proxies, the CIA had pumped cash stipends as high as $200,000 a month to Massoud and his Islamic guerrilla organization, along with weapons and other supplies. Some of them mercilessly massacred rivals while battling for control of Kabul neighborhoods. “Do you know how many of those missiles I received?” He wrote a number on the paper and showed it to Schroen. The agency wanted Massoud to drive west and shut down the Salang Highway for the winter. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Massoud described the Saudi’s puritanical, intolerant outlook on Islam as abhorrent to Afghans. America’s primary actor in this subterranean narrative was the CIA, which shaped the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan during the 1980s and then waged a secret campaign to disrupt, capture, or kill Osama bin Laden after he re turned to Afghanistan during the late 1990s. Few CIA officers in the field or at Langley understood Massoud’s weakening position or the Taliban’s strength. Something is going on but you don't know what it is, do you Mr Jones? Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. By one account the Afghan warlord who had greeted bin Laden’s plane in May had been assassinated, leaving the Saudi sheikh with out a clear Afghan sponsor. It's no place I'd ever want to visit, but as this book proves, it wasn't always what it evolved into. THE GHOST WAR. The total cash spent by the CIA on Stinger repurchases during the mid-1990s rivaled the total cash donations by other sections of the U.S. government for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan during those years. “It’s never crashed before,” Khalili assured Schroen. Some of them mercilessly massacred rivals while battling for control of Kabul neighborhoods. The news-breaking book that has sent schockwaves through the White House, Ghost Wars is the most accurate and revealing account yet of the CIA's secret involvement in al-Qaeada's evolution. So I’d just nod my head, but I didn’t know what he was actually saying.”, “Still, the Pakistanis beat the CIA’s systems. Yes, Massoud and his colleagues were grateful for the aid the CIA had provided during the years of Soviet occupation, but now they were bitter about what they saw as an American decision to abandon their country. Its potency sowed fear among thousands of Russian pilots and troops. Along the surrounding roads lay rusting carcasses of tanks and armored personnel carriers, burned and abandoned. Other writers can make history feel more exciting. Despite that, the book is quite heavy and slightly outdated (2004). An intensely personal, firsthand account of historic Green Beret operations, valor, and post traumatic success. In Afghanistan and neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Davies’s words and similar remarks by other State Department officials that week were interpreted as an American endorsement of Taliban rule. A riveting history of a Space Age disaster that left the Canadian wilderness polluted by Soviet radioactive waste. There are CIA agents handing over briefcases of dollars in desert tents..disappearing American missiles..secret exchanges and coded messages. Schroen now reminded Massoud about their agreement six years earlier, and he mentioned that he had personally handed over $500,000 to Massoud’s brother. For those who have never understood why the USA continues to dance with the terrorist supporting Pakistani regimes, this a good primer. Massoud agreed but said he needed financial help. Every Presidential administration - Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II all failed. That September 1996, Massoud’s reputation had fallen to a low ebb, however. The West had a strange fascination for 20th century Afghanistan. Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. In 1996 the CIA estimated that about six hundred Stingers were still at large. A thoroughly researched, but ultimately an overly long piece of writing that didn't add a lot of new information to this reader. RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2018. Some of these local powers and spies were partners of the CIA. It seemed incredible to some who had lived through the anti-Soviet Afghan War that Massoud could have received so few. The going rate per missile ranged between $80,000 and $150,000. Between 2,000 and 2,500 missiles had been given away by the CIA to Afghan rebels during the war. The CIA had not predicted the fall of Kabul that September. They met in a house that had once been the residence of Austria’s ambassador, before rocketing and gun battles had driven most of Europe’s diplomats away. In part because airpower did not figure much in the grinding civil war then being fought in Afghanistan, commanders holding the missiles proved willing to sell. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Kasi had killed two and wounded three, and then fled to Pakistan. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020,, Inc. or its affiliates. But you can’t ask him a third time. Help Bookmark Tell a Friend Out-of-Print Wish List Home The agency wanted Massoud to drive west and shut down the Salang Highway for the winter. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Paperback – Illustrated, December 28, 2004, MP3 CD Library Binding, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged. It's a complex situation by all means, but Coll somehow made it all very clear! Situations like Afganistan were never idealogical problems, they are social problems and the sooner the Western govenments understand this (especially the US), the sooner some sort of balance is more possible. In the winter of 1990, Schroen reminded Massoud, the CIA had been working closely with the commander. There he had fought and negotiated with equal imagination during the 1 980s, punishing and frustrating Soviet generals. They delivered Gary Schroen to one of the half-dozen unmarked safehouses Massoud maintained in Kabul. GENERAL SCIENCE FICTION | When I was nine years old my father was deployed to Afghanistan for the Canadian Armed Forces. THRILLER | Directorate S: The C.I.A. Situations like Afganistan were never idealogical problems, they are social problems and the sooner the Western govenments understand this (especially the US), the sooner some sort of balance is more possible. Intelligent and objective this is a recognised good author and journalist. One concern in particular was now rising: terrorism. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

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