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97 of 119 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Background -
Nearly a decade after 9/11 we're still fighting in Afghanistan, and have yet to withdraw from Iraq (hopefully this year). While we haven't had another major terrorist attack since, we have spent over $1 trillion, thousands have died, and evidence indicates that we've also inspired a surge in Islamist opposition. Currently, many reports indicate things are not going well...
Published on January 14, 2011 by Loyd E. Eskildson

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, Hurried at Times, but Still worth the time
I bought this book as a follow up to Stephen Coll's "Ghost Wars." Coll covers the intelligence war and the rise of Al Qaeda up to 9/11. Bergen carries on from 9/11 to present.

Unfortunately Bergen tries hard, but when compared with Coll he comes off second best by far. The book covers a lot of ground, but it at times has a hurried and rather disorganised style...
Published on October 17, 2011 by Rodney J. Szasz


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97 of 119 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Background -, January 14, 2011
This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
Nearly a decade after 9/11 we're still fighting in Afghanistan, and have yet to withdraw from Iraq (hopefully this year). While we haven't had another major terrorist attack since, we have spent over $1 trillion, thousands have died, and evidence indicates that we've also inspired a surge in Islamist opposition. Currently, many reports indicate things are not going well in Afghanistan. Peter Bergen's (one of the very few Westerners to interview Osama Bin Laden) summary in "The Longest War" is interesting and credible, though suffers from a obvious errors and only superficial treatment of Afghanistan.

The first error occurs at the very beginning when Bergen asserts that 9/11 represented a miscalculation by Bin Laden, causing the collapse of the Taliban regime and the destruction of Al-Qaeda's safe have in Afghanistan. However, given the Taliban's subsequent resurgence, Al-Qaeda's successful relocation to Pakistan etc., and its continued ability to roil and financially bleed foes around the world with various bombings and even attempted bombings, Bin Laden is undoubtedly quite pleased with the trade-off.

Bergen continues with important background - how Bin Laden had concluded that the U.S. was weak, based on our pullout from Vietnam in the 1970s, Reagan's fleeing Beirut after the Marine barracks bombing, Clinton's withdrawal of forces in Somalia after the 'Black Hawk Down' incident a decade later, and our failure to respond to the U.S.S. Cole bombing just prior to Bush II becoming president. As for Al-Qaeda's contribution to the Soviet departure from Afghanistan, Bergen believes it is much overrated - the number of Afghans fighting totaled about 175,000, vs. no more than several hundred outside Arabs at any one time.

After the spectacular successes or our initial Afghanistan bombing campaign, major U.S. blunders eventually undid most of those successes. The biggest was General Franks' refusal to provide more troops at Tora Bora when Bin Laden was fleeing the country, and the Pentagon's ignoring a Special Forces request to be dropped on Pakistan's side of Tora Bora to trap Bin Laden from behind. Instead, Bergen points out, the U.S. relied on 2,000 Afghans under commanders that disliked each other more than Al-Qaeda, and also happy to take bribes from Arabs trying to escape the U.S. bombing assault.

Per Bergen, U.S. commanders at the time were overly concerned over potential casualties and offending Afghan warlords. Some also excused our inaction by claiming insufficient evidence that Bin Laden was at Tora Bora; however, Bergen also reports that V.P. Cheney stated at the time that "Bin Laden was probably there." Pakistan's military, meanwhile, was distracted at the time by a mobilization on its border with India in response to an earlier Pakistani terrorist attack on India's Parliament.

The Bush administration was terrified of another terrorist attack, and thus authorized outsourcing torture to other nations, and pushed terrorist trials by military commissions where it is not required that defendants see all evidence, and coerced testimony and hearsay evidence are admissible. Bergen, however, also goes to some length to establish that the U.S. gained more useful information via humane treatment than otherwise. Most, if not all, information touted as gained from more aggressive techniques turned out to be false alarms or dated information.

The 'War of Error' (Iraq) was meant to prevent a next attack. However, again, early military successes were nearly undone by subsequent mistakes - specifically Bremer's orders removing Baath party officials from all positions and dissolving Iraq's military, the U.S. military's refusal to negotiate with Sunni leaders until years later, failure to even attempt to secure Iraqi weapons caches estimated to total 1 million tons, humiliating home searches that widely antagonized the populace, and the Abu Ghraib scandal. As for preventing a supposed link-up between Hussein's Iraq and Al-Qaeda, Bergen reports that in 2006 the CIA estimated there were only 1,300 foreign fighters in Iraq - albeit almost all Al-Qaeda and the source of most of the suicide attackers. IEDs were the leading cause of American combat deaths by the latter half of 2005 - yet only about 10% of military transport trucks were armored, and the military delayed procurement of more - another major mistake.

Returning to Afghanistan, Bush II blocked nation-building there, we deployed only 6,000 soldiers initially, and blocked the use of non-U.S. troops outside Kabul for the first two years. Bergen believes that Pakistan's haven was the key to the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan. Between 2001-06, no senior Taliban leader was arrested or killed in Pakistan, despite the fact that most of them lived there. Heroin growth provided much better income to Afghan farmers than other crops, and even many urban occupations - about $12/day, per Bergen, a month's pay for most. Since about 10% of the population grew poppies, this put the U.S. in a quandary - alienate Afghans, or allow the drug to fuel social problems at home. By the time President Bush II left office, the Taliban had a presence in 72% of Afghanistan.

The 2005 London subway bombings cost about $14,000, including airfares to/from Pakistan and chemicals, and Bergen reports Bin Laden bragged in 2004 that Al-Qaeda's $500,000 'investment' in 9/11 created a $500 billion loss for the U.S. (Undoubtedly an underestimate, given our subsequent expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for Homeland Security.) Here Bergen commits his second major error - claiming that Al-Qaeda naively believed they could bleed the West dry. Between China and the War on Terror, our finances are obviously suffering.

Many fear Internet-spawned terrorism acts. Bergen, however, claims no evidence of a successful terrorist attacked operationalized mainly via the Internet. Further, while the 2003 Madrid train bombings were the product of a 'leaderless jihad' financed via local drug dealings, the most effective terrorists were usually organized training camp graduates. As for 'the bomb' - Bergen sees little likelihood Al-Qaeda will succeed because Pakistan's weapons (the most likely source) utilize electronic locks and probably are stored disassembled, and the total amount of stolen highly enriched uranium is only one-third that required to create a bomb. (Also, making a bomb requires considerable skill and precision.)

Positive U.S. moves include General Petreus' requiring troops to live among Iraqi citizens ("we can't commute to this war"), negotiating (belatedly) with local tribal leaders, creating the equivalent of gated communities, 'the surge,' increased use of drones, chain analysis of captured cell phones, and targeting IED makers. Bergen lists Malaki's initiating operations against former ally Al-Sadr and Shia forces in Basra and ending the Shia bias within its military and police forces as positive Iraqi moves.

What did we accomplish in Iraq? None of the stated goals, says Bergen. No WMDs were found or in production, no alliance between Saddam and Al-Qaeda was found, no democratic domino effect occurred in the region, peace did not come to Israel, and the war was not paid for via increased oil revenues to Iraq.

The 'good news,' per Bergen, is that Al-Qaeda is creating growing problems for itself via Muslim civilian deaths, failing to provide either a positive vision of where it is going or social services such as schools and welfare assistance, and alienating one government after another - including Iran. Surveys, however, show a positive view of the Taliban in Afghanistan; moreover, there are those discouraging reports from non-military personnel on the scene. I fear Bergen is over-optimistic.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afghanistan, January 29, 2011
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
PAKITA,KHOST & GHAZNI PROVINCES/2003;IRAQ/2005

Very good book...the author provides insight into al qaida (hereinafter al Q" in order to understand the initial organizational structure, the intent, the history and the current status of Al Q.."the base".

The book moves through Iraq with the al Q with emphasis on the invasion of Iraq, the disbandment of the military and civilian infrastructure and the onset of the insurgency. The book provides a deep introspective review based on current information and direct quotes from those who were in the decision matrix who were involved in what was initially a "war of choice"...Iraq. But, moreover, the disbandment of the Iraqi military in total and the entire civilian infrastructure was in fact the causation of the nearly 4300 US KIA and some 30,000 severely wounded...aside from the nearly 1 trillion in costs to the US taxpayer. These critical components of the Iraq war decision by the Bush people empowered al Q which sought to divide the Sunni against the Shi....this division of religious ideology continues to plague Iraq..and will do so for many years to come.

The book provides unique insights into the invasion of Afghanistan...and the horrific decision to basically abandon Afghanistan with the war in Iraq. For readers who have read previous books...or who served in Afghanistan post Tora Bora or Operation Anaconda (March of 2002) know that all efforts at post war reconciliation or stability was overshadowed by the war in Iraq.

From a personal standpoint, I witnessed the significant decrease programs designed to stabilize Afghanistan due directly to the war in Iraq. In short, we lost the momentum..and as such have and will pay a continuing price both in personnel losses, an ever evolving military strategy..and the increase in Taliban influence and empowerment throughout Afghanistan.

Bergen has an excellent introspective review of "what happened" based on quoted prove sources from those people involved in the planning and execution of the war(s) both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In closing, we made many, many mistake.....the war in Iraq was a war of choice. Historically, the evidence of many of the assumptions of the Bush era people and the acts carried out have proven to horrific in error, against the law...and (in the case of Iraq) against the recommendations of the military leadership.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Complete History of the US v of Al-Qaeda, January 29, 2011
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
The magazine 'The Economist', in its review, noted that Bergen offers nothing new in his new book on the US and it's war against Al-Qaeda, 'The Longest War'. I have to agree on that point; however, what Bergen offers is a complete history of the association between Al-Qaeda and America that as you read it is almost painfully familiar. Bergen provides a history of Al-Qaeda's beginnings, bin Laden of course, the bombing of the Cole, 9-11, bombing or our embassy in Africa, the war in Afghanistan, the Bush team's desire to go into Iraq, Guantanamo, water boarding, the on going war in Afghanistan, individual terrorists & sects and their various attempts/plans, and of course the endless search for Al-Qaeda/bin Laden. He also covers the actions of, although not in great deal, George H. W Bush, Clinton, W and Obama. This book provides quite a lot of detail in only 350 pages of narrative. The downside is only the last chapter or two address the most recent searches for Bin Laden and tries to pin point where he is and his present state of affairs. I do wish that Bergen had included some of his insights that he shared recently during his interview with Bill Maher where he spoke with genuine optimism that the U.S. can succeed in Afghanistan. In his book, he does note that bin Laden had the support of 63% of the Pakistan in 2004 but it's down to 18% today, certainly a good sign. If you want a very good overall history of the war against Al-Qaeda, this is a good book to read.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering incompetence, staggering costs, January 22, 2011
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Charles A. Krohn (Panama City Beach, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
This isn't something for faint-hearted or zealous partisan readers. But readers who care about national security and follow war events closely will applaud the quality research behind this remarkably objective publication. Anyway, that's my take.

The Vulcans organized our response to 9/11, generally with public support here and abroad. But the picture quickly darkened as it became apparent we were in over our head with no credible grand strategy. Maybe the Vulcans should have spent more time at the forge than sniffing each other's musk. This might have caused us to recalibrate some our efforts sooner, instead of waiting until after the 2008 election.

Almost anyone who has served in the White House, Pentagon or war theater understands the importance of positive metrics to reinforce the wisdom of those in charge. Analysts who are less optimistic simply disappear, and their charts shredded. In fact, honest doubters should be brought into the fold immediately, instead of being dismissed for disloyalty. Although unstated, this is certainly a supportable inference from The Longest War.

From 2003 to 2006 there was nothing but good news from the Green Zone, until even party loyalists could not paper over distressing reports of the ethnic turmoil in Iraq that was destroying the nation's social fabric from within. What saved the day, temporarily at least, was the Surge that helped put the exiled Sunnis back in the game from which they were ousted by Ambassador Bremer in 2003. We don't know yet how the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia will resolve their differences, but we're reasonably confident that Al Qaeda doesn't have the power it once did to create mayhem. Like him or not, the Surge would not have happened without the support of President Bush.

In a similar vein, President Obama inherited a mess in Afghanistan but he's behaving more aggressively than his predecessor who showed far more interest from the git-go in liberating Baghdad than Kabul. This is a bit of a surprise, considering the rhetoric of the Obama campaign.

My favorite quote is from Colonel Patrick Lang, talking about human intelligence (HUMINT) in the final chapter about why we haven't yet found bin Laden.

"Everyone talks about effective HUMINT, but nothing is happening. The people who do this kind of work are gifted eccentrics, who the bureaucrats don't like, or they are the criminal types, who the lawyers don't like."

I think the book would have been a little stronger if Bergen focused more on our failure to have a strategy for what we want to accomplish in the long run, rather than short-term objectives, attainable or not in the near term. It will be interesting to read how former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld treats some of these issues in his upcoming book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Most Up-to-Date, Concise History of the Entire War on Terror Currently Available, January 29, 2011
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
Though I speak Arabic and have lived in the Middle East, I am not an expert - but I do like to read on the subject and when I saw that the well respected Peter Bergen was coming out with a new book, I immediately decided to buy it as soon as it came out. This book is now my go-to book for friends/family who ask for a recommendation of one book to read on the subject: if you want to find an up-to-date, concise one volume history of the War on Terror/Iraq/Afghanistan, this is the one. Most people do not have time to read widely on the subject, but we should all know about it - so I believe this book fulfills an important role.

Mr Bergen's story starts in a logical place, describing how Osama bin-Laden became the Osama bin-Laden, then describing 9/11 - how it happened, why it happened, and what the initial US response was. All this in just the first four chapters - so the pace moves right along. The Iraq and Afghan Wars take up more than half of this work, but attention is given to several other important subjects such as global terror threats (chapter 8), extraordinary rendition (chapter 7), Al-Qaeda and WMDs (chapter 13), and the worldwide Muslim dialogue over Jihadism (chapter 17).

It is worth drawing attention to the section on Muslim dialogue over Jihadism (chapter 17), which is a topic you will not find well treated in many other places, and many Americans assume does not happen at all - for the simple fact that they do not hear it. That is because it mostly occurs in other countries and in other languages, and the fact that it is included here is a significant and valuable contribution.

At just under 500 pages, this book appears longer than it is - because only 51% of the book is actual text. The rest of the book is notes, sources, and an Index. It isn't clear why the author decided to include such a complete accounting of his sources for an introductory text rather than simply including a "selected bibliography," as is generally done. He may have been worried that the book would be controversial, but a book this short covering so much ground is somewhat hard to make contentious as simply reporting information consumes your space. A lighter, less intimidating book may have helped the book reach more readers.

Though some on the right may find the obligatory Bush-bashing in the earlier sections of book frustrating, Bush is given due credit for the surge, and it is duly noted that Barrack Obama vigorously opposed the surge which did ultimately save Iraq. (For those on the left, simply reverse the order: though some may be frustrated at the criticism of Obama over the surge, there is plenty of Bush bashing...)

Like many books of this type, the reader is sometimes left to wonder if the author remembers what it was like when the events described happened. For instance, so caught up in the analysis and the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that there was real, widespread concern that Iraq would arm terrorists with WMDs which everyone thought they had (according to post-war debriefings this includes Saddam's own generals up until right before the war). That fear, justified or not, was real, as was the real fear of further serious attacks. Writers often do the same thing when writing about the days of détente and the Soviet Union. Instead of acknowledging the very real role the fog of war plays, political actors are often ascribed evil motives, rather than simply criticized for being wrong.

In all, though, this is a careful, concise history of the War on Terror, Afghanistan, and Iraq that is fully up-to-date. 4.5 stars out of 5.

EDIT: 2/19/11 -- I just saw the book for the first time in print; I had read it on my kindle. While 49% of the text is notes/etc, not main text, it is all in small print -- so that it represents perhaps 1/10 of the total pages in the print bound book. Still, I can't raise it up to a full 5 stars for the other reasons mentioned.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, Hurried at Times, but Still worth the time, October 17, 2011
I bought this book as a follow up to Stephen Coll's "Ghost Wars." Coll covers the intelligence war and the rise of Al Qaeda up to 9/11. Bergen carries on from 9/11 to present.

Unfortunately Bergen tries hard, but when compared with Coll he comes off second best by far. The book covers a lot of ground, but it at times has a hurried and rather disorganised style to it; he frequently jumps ahead in sidebar themes, while not providing the necessary context or providing it after he has introduced the subject. The case in point of the torture or detainees leaps right into the rights of non-combatants, the legal definitions, and the ex-post facto justification of the Bush regime for waterboarding... all of this is described without a general discussion of how the prisoners came to be in the hands of the Americans. He backtracks and gives details. This style can be slightly off-putting at times.

Bergen's central thesis is that Al Qaeda erred big time in attacking the US and that its policy of direct confrontation with the West was a complete and utter failure. Western powers and the US crushed Al Qaeda militarily and the particular brand of extreme interpretations of the Koran as favoured by the Wahabists, were soundly rejected by the vast majority of Muslims.

Some people have reviewed the book and said it is a damning indictment of the Bush adminstration. He is rather partisan at times in favour of Democratic Presidents and their reactions to 9/11. But the assertions of Bergen are hardly new and he develops his arguments in an empirical way. Nothing is controversial here unless you live in the manichean world of the contemporary United States where one side is all light and the other darkness -- by the tenor of American media Bergen is tame, calm-headed and reasoned.

The prose could be livened up a little as befits a book of type - mass market paperback. Not the best... I give it two-and-three-quarters stars out of five. "
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work, informative and thoughtful, May 10, 2011
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
Bergen qualifies as an authority on Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden, and this work is a thorough, thoughtful commentary that gives excellent insight to the reader on Al-Qaeda, the impetus behind it's declaration of war on America, and the complexities involved in "how to handle a problem like Bin Laden."

As the world now knows, Bin Laden has been removed from the equation. But I still think this is an important work that is worth your time if you have a desire to attain a better understanding of exactly how complex this conflict was and really still is.

As a political commentary, I think the book works reasonably well; however, as with all things political, time creates a more perfect lense through which to view past events. Our past three presidential administrations have each faced some relatively new challenges with this particular conflict. A critical view of all of them is appropriate as it leads to a better understanding of the conflict; however, I'm not so sure Bergen ever really explains how different decisions would have changed the course of things significantly.

I suspect the most talked about premise of the work is the notion that Bin Laden "miscalculated" 9/11 and its after-effect. Five years ago, it was easier to dismiss that premise. Today, I think it's actually a supported claim, which demonstrates the difficulty in judging history too soon. This work will provide excellent backgound for a better understanding of "where we go from here."
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79 of 110 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided Perspective, January 20, 2011
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
The Longest War

Peter Bergen is a well known journalist and television personality. He is regularly shown on CNN as the guru on terrorist organizations. So, when he publishes a book on the so called `war on terror' it makes sense to have a look at what he has to say. He is, after all, an opinion leader on the subject. Let me state from the outset though that I was not impressed with the product.

This book covers material from pre 9/11 to the present and provides background detail on how the 9/11 attacks were planned and how the U.S. government responded, first under George W. Bush and now Barack Obama. The broad outlines of the story are familiar to anyone who takes an interest in current and international affairs. Nothing new emerges from Mr Bergen's new book. I will grant that he provides a wealth of background information regarding discussions leading to major policy decisions. But this information is presented as informal, anecdotal stories in keeping with the current fashion in popular literature. At times one wonders whether the stories are factual or simply hearsay. The author does provide copious notes that amount to nearly a third of the book's volume. But a future historian wishing to use the material would need to dig deeper to separate out viable sources from the mere opinions of the cast of Mr Bergen's interviewees.

Aside, however, from my concerns over style and depth of insight, the real problem that I have with the book is that its perspective is firmly rooted within an American bias. Mr Bergen does offer a bit of criticism on the obvious issues, such as the invasion of Iraq under the banner of Bush's war on terror. But again, those of us who follow events already knew that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda; the decision to invade Iraq and to `change the regime' was made for other reasons. What we need is a book by a reputable author which exercises a fundamental critique of US policy from a fair and impartial perspective. And The Longest War is simply not that book. Any readers who may be looking for a moral compass to interpret the terrorist attacks followed by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and again Afghanistan, will be disappointed. It is not satisfactory to criticize the decision to invade Iraq as an error of judgment. Thousand of innocent civilians were killed as a consequence. The US government under President Bush must bear responsibility for those deaths under any equitable application of international law. The Obama administration has now increased the practice of drone attacks on alleged militants in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. This policy has been copied from the Israeli practice within Palestine. There is no justification for such unilateral acts of violence in international law. But Mr Bergen clearly sides with the view that the threat from "Al Qaeda could (not) be dealt with by law enforcement alone." (Chapter 18)

As a brief footnote I should add, as another reviewer has done already, that the kindle addition of this book costs more than the hard copy. Personally I bit my tongue and bought the kindle version anyway for convenience. Poor decision: the file is not properly formatted and as a result the contents are not directly accessible on the kindle.

David Hillstrom
Author of The Bridge
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Convincing, May 26, 2011
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This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
If you're looking for a contemporary analysis of America's enduring war with al Qaeda you'll be hardpressed to find a better expert than Peter Bergen. As "director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C.; a research fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security and CNN's national security analyst..., Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University [2008]and he has worked as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University," Bergen has few peers ([...]). His latest work is likely one of the more critical insights into our handling of the fight against al-Qaeda.

With Bergen's qualifications beyond question The Longest War is a riveting read, his cerebral analysis is both illuminating and thorough, and at times punctuated with snippets of humor - Saddam Hussein admitting he had no WMD's for example, the US and the UN destroyed them in the 1990's, but he kept up the illusion to keep Iran at bay. Bergen confesses to interviewing some 700 people for the book, ranging from former al-Qaeda operatives to former staffers of the Bush administration and security agencies. In short, it is comprehensive.

Bergen is uncompromising in his critique of the handling of America's response to al-Qaeda, particularly the Bush administration. While he concedes they prevented large scale attacks on our homeland, he leaves few stones unturned as he sifts through the systemic failures which likely allowed the attacks of 9/11 to occur in the first place and our failure to capture bin Laden in the 2001 battle of Tora Bora.

According to Bergen the days of the Bush administration make for grim reading. They are littered with issues of human rights abuses, such as the 183 waterboarding procedures (which were banned in 2003) on Sheik Khalid Mohammed while in US custody, competing and conflicting policies between various government agencies, the convoluted and protracted campaign in Iraq, and finally the misdirection of policies in Afghanistan.

A great book, filled with exceptional examples and definitely recommended reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced treatment of a politically volatile topic, April 8, 2011
This review is from: The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (Hardcover)
After reading this book, I felt that Mr. Bergen offered a very even-handed account of personalities and events that have affected so many Afghans, Iraqis, Americans and others since 11 September 2001. Though a bit leery of his CNN credentials, I can say that his analysis and recounting of events tries to take all perspectives into account. He is neither rants against nor gushes over President Bush. If there is blame to assign, he does so in a logical and reasoned manner. Likewise with praise. It seems Bergen does a good job of not succumbing to 20/20 hindsight and political bias.
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The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda
The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda by Peter L. Bergen (Hardcover - January 11, 2011)
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