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Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism Hardcover – January 1, 2011


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Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism + Imperial Designs: War, Humiliation & the Making of History + Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (January 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597975303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597975308
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,264,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In his concise yet powerful book, [Tripathi] details the interlocking decisions and strategies that inflamed the conflict and produced a new and dangerous historical context.”

“Deepak Tripathi’s third book…is a political-military history of modern Afghanistan that’s sharp and to the point.”

“The Afghanistan killing fields threaten to become for President Obama what Vietnam’s were for President Johnson: a political death trap both for Americans and their European allies. No one has better explained the making of this situation than Deepak Tripathi in this book. A long-time BBC correspondent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Tripathi not only dealt every day with the tribalism and poppy growing that now rule the Afghans, but has also exploited newly released Russian, British, and U.S. documents to provide a superb, if sometimes terrifying, historical context—including Ronald Reagan’s massive help to those who are now killing American soldiers. Tripathi’s work should be read by anyone who hopes to understand this tragedy.”


“Deepak Tripathi’s penetrating analysis of the Afghan tragedy comes at just the right time, when the United States is becoming more deeply embroiled in an impossible situation. He approaches the Afghan puzzle with a judicious historical perspective that clarifies the way in which hysteria about terrorism continues to obscure the truth about U.S. policy, the Taliban, and the suffering people of Afghanistan. I wish this book could be put in the hands of President Obama and his advisers. It would be a sobering corrective to self-delusion. Failing that, we can only hope that a better-informed public, educated by books like this one, will demand a change.”

“A book for anyone who wants to understand Afghanistan’s transformation from a relatively tolerant and peaceful tribal setting to a society ridden by a ‘culture of violence’ through the agency of external actors. Tripathi offers an array of unique and valuable insights into both the local processes and global forces that have conspired to devastating effect on the country since the 1970s. This authoritative account combines the experience of a journalist stationed in the country with the archival savvy of a veteran researcher.”


“In this incredibly well-documented book, Deepak Tripathi describes in painful detail the sufferings of the Afghan peoples at the hands of those who are playing the Grand Chess Game—above all the Russians, the Americans, and the British—for their own selfish, anti-Muslim reasons (they would have not done all that to a Christian country in Europe). There can be only one conclusion to this shocking book: Hands off Afghanistan, and if help is needed, then from people to people, not via violent and corrupt governments.”


“Offers the most objective and comprehensive account of foreign interventions leading to a culture of violence in Afghanistan. Policymakers in Washington, Kabul, and Islamabad will do well to heed Deepak Tripathi’s call for a reconciliatory and development-oriented approach.”

About the Author

DEEPAK TRIPATHI, PhD, FRHistS, is a British historian and former journalist whose career (1974–2000) was spent primarily with the BBC, where he was a correspondent, editor, and commentator. In the early 1990s, Tripathi set up the BBC bureau in Kabul and was the resident correspondent in Afghanistan. He has also reported from Syria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India. He is the author of Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan and Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism. Tripathi received his PhD from the University of Roehampton, where he is an honorary research fellow. He lives near London.

More About the Author

DEEPAK TRIPATHI, PhD, FRHistS, FRAS, is a British historian of the Cold War, the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States in the world. He is an honorary research fellow at the University of Roehampton in London, and serves on the Global Advisory Board and Research Team of Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies, a network of scholars and practitioners. He is the author of a trilogy that includes "Imperial Designs: War, Humiliation and the Making of History" (2013), "Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism" (2011) and "Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan" (2010), published by the Potomac imprint of the University of Nebraska Press. Earlier, Tripathi spent a long career as a journalist (1974-2000), primarily with the BBC.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wilfred Cude on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Deepak Tripathi, a former BBC journalist with years of covering Afghanistan and the adjacent nations, offers a thoroughly-documented, insightful and ultimately disturbing analysis of the development and proliferation of terrorism within and beyond that troubled region. Beginning with a Soviet-sponsored coup in 1973, Tripathi traces the ever-widening spiral downwards into an all-pervasive "culture of violence" engulfing Afghanistan and converting that unhappy country into a "breeding ground" of terrorism spawning 9/11 and the international tragedies thereafter.
Once a succession of coups drew the Soviet military deeper into Afghanistan, the American administrations of Carter and Reagan sustained an ever-expanding covert operation supporting the Mujahideen resistance, giving the USSR "its Vietnam war." After ten years of what Mikhail Gorbachev called "the bleeding wound," the Soviets withdrew, leaving behind a "toxic environment" nurturing "a culture of terror." A lethal combination thereafter of Pakistani meddling, the involvement of Osama bin Laden, the ascendency of the Taliban, and the horror of 9/11 demonstrated how the shattered nationa fabric yielded the world of terrorism we now inhabit. Ironically, as Tripathi shows, the same forces defeating the Soviets are now arrayed against America and NATO: we westerners have blundered into the same Afghanistan trap we first set for others. Instead of replaying the Soviet scenario to inevitable defeat, Tripathi urges recognition of "the futility of counterinsurgency," and a recourse to undercutting Afghani corruption ande building a genuine Afghani democracy.
The message here is absolutely essential for America and the NATO allies to grasp, but resistance to it will regrettably be fierce.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Hillstrom on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Deepak Tripathi's new book is an excellent contribution to the debate over policy choices with respect to Afghanistan. Tripathi offers an indepth look at the modern history of the country and presents essential background towards understanding the roots of the conflict and the links to Islamic terrorism. Without such an in depth understanding policy makers run the risk of repeating the pitfalls of Soviet policy in Afghanistan.

I have written a comprehensive review of the book, which was published at the Foreign Policy Journal.. That review is also available above in the editorial reviews.

David Hillstrom
Author
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