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Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion Paperback – January 14, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0199893096 ISBN-10: 0199893098 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199893098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199893096
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.5 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"[Peter Bergen] has edited and introduces Talibanistan, a frequently brilliant collection of essays by different experts on the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including an analysis of the extent to which their past links with al-Qaeda represent an enduring threat to the West..." --New York Review of Books


"[Talibanistan] is written with analytic rigor, historical depth, and lucid prose. This is the one book to read on Afghanistan now." --Fareed Zakaria


"One of the most insightful and nuanced books available about the most dangerous neighborhood in the world, and one of the world's murkiest military-religious groups. This collection of essays by experts is a must-read for Af-Pak practitioners, analysts, and enthusiasts."--Omar Samad, United States Institute of Peace and former Afghan Ambassador to Canada and France


"When the Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan nearly two decades ago, they confounded outside analysts. The extremism of their ideology and actions-and their own claims of religious purity-masked the diversity and complexity of their movement. After the September 11 attacks, American and N.A.T.O. policymakers tried to ignore the Taliban, dismissing them as a defeated and unpopular force as they concentrated on Al Qaeda. Now it is evident that the Taliban are a resilient force that will shape politics and violence in Afghanistan and neighboring countries for years to come. Talibanistan is an essential, sophisticated, and highly readable guide, one that takes the complexity of its subject seriously but delivers deep, reliable analysis about an enduring foreign policy and security challenge."--Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001


"This timely and superb array of richly detailed essays by both established scholars and emerging experts captures the essence of the conflict that rages in the unforgiving landscape that is the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region-a conflict now seeping into Pakistan proper."-- Shuja Nawaz, author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within


"Ultimately, the book offers a glimpse into a little known but much discussed group, giving the reader an improved understanding of the complexities in this region. ... Recommended." --CHOICE


About the Author


Peter Bergen is the director of the National Securities Studies Program at the New America Foundation, and is National Security Analyst at CNN. He is the author of The Longest War and The Osama Bin Laden I Know.

Katherine Tiedemann, co-editor, was a research fellow at the New America Foundation until mid-2011. She is the deputy editor of the AfPak Channel on ForeignPolicy.com, where she writes the AfPak Daily Brief, a daily synthesis of the news from and about Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Saleem Ali on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Studying the Taliban as an academic researcher is exceedingly challenging. Inevitably one must rely on anecdotal information from shady sources and even when primary interviews are granted, it is hard to differentiate reality from propaganda on the part of the interviewees. With these limitations in mind Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedeman have assembled a definitive anthology on this most elusive and yet virulent assemblage of Islamic fanaticism. Relying on a range of authors from local journalists in Pakistan's tribal belt to MIT doctoral students, the editors have combed through a very high level of detailed information. Where possible, survey data and NGO field information is triangulated to offer the most rigorous compilation to date on the topic. Unlike earlier books such as Ahmad Rashid's celebrated classic on The Taliban which focus on the historical rise of the movement, this volume goes into detailed descriptions of the factions, rifts and alliances of the Taliban that continue to shift.

Given the highly dynamic situation, some of the material is perhaps not quite up-to-date such as the chapter on the Swat Taliban. Contrary to the chapter author's assertions, development indicators of the valley and the reinvestment has improved considerably since the Taliban were evicted from the region. Also, the recent trial of Bin Laden's son-in-law Abu Ghaith (March 2013) revealed Al Qaeda's connections to Iran which are also not adequately covered in this volume (particularly with reference to the Sunni-Shia divide and the Jundallah movement within Iran's Baloch region).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shahid A. Nawaz on August 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great detail of the group's and individuals who play a key role
Inside Afghanistan and Pakistan and will play a role in the future.
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Review – Talibanistan by Peter Bergen

“Talibanistan” is an accounting of the peoples and places of the Taliban in Afghanistan as of 2011 with only necessary references into the Pakistani Taliban as of 2011. The book is amazing in the detail and naming of names and locations of many of the Taliban leaders. Peter Bergen does give a disclaimer that only those names and places known to the Western Allies and Afghanistan are listed. Others may be referred to, but not with detail to identify them. But the known list is very lengthy.

The book is horrifying in its accounting of the civil right abuses and outright military overreach of both the Kasai Government and the western militaries. These are presented in quoted interviews. In fact the book point blank states that abuses and overreaching by the Kasai Government and the western military, such as home invasions, confiscation, and imprisonment are the reasons for many of the Taliban from their first Taliban Surge, returning in the Taliban Resurgence.

Unless the reader has detailed knowledge of the geography and history of Afghanistan, the book is hard to read. Otherwise the book is well written and quite readable.

The histories, policies and strategies of the Taliban are only briefly discussed. This is mostly an accounting of the people of the Taliban in 2011, how they came back into the movement, and who is talking with whom. As such it is fascinating, but rapidly becoming dated.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for all political and military leaders as well as troops on the ground involved in the war in Afghanistan. The situation on the ground is far more complex than we were led to believe. In fact, I venture to say that had our leaders read this book when we first went into Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, we wouldn't still be there. The situation is too dynamic and complex for the strategy that we and our NATO allies have employed. A MUST READ!
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Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion
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