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Editorial Reviews

Review

"James Farwell has produced a highly readable and balanced account of contemporary Pakistan's tortuous journey toward its current troubled status. I would recommend this book as a guide for any policymaker or commentator seeking a rapid understanding of Pakistan...."
-- Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6

"An engrossing account of Pakistan's fractured history that exposes the faults and foibles of its leaders as they attempted to cling to or gain power...."
-- Shuja Nawaz, director of the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within

"A must-read. Few understand how strategic communication works in Pakistan better than James Farwell."
-- Lt. Gen. Dell L. Dailey, USA (Ret.), former director, Center for Special Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command; former ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism, State Department


"This is a powerful story of tragedy, avarice, power, corruption, deceit, incompetence, treachery, sabotage, and insurgency..."
-- Maj. Gen. David J. Scott, USAF (Ret.), former deputy director, Center for Special Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command


"James Farwell has undertaken original research and considered evidence from a novel perspective to develop insights and explain issues in a refreshingly interesting way..."
-- Colonel Stephen Padgett OBE, Commander British Forces Afghanistan and British Defence Attaché in Kabul 2005-2006

"The military professional should read this book..."—Lester W. Grau, Military Review
(Lester W. Grau)

"Many have written about Pakistan but no one before has talked about the critical impact of strategic communication on policy. ‘The Pakistan Cauldron’ is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the delicate relationship between Pakistan and the United States."—Mark A. Siegel, partner, Locke Lord Strategies, L.P.
(Mark A. Siegel)

“James Farwell has undertaken original research and considered evidence from a novel perspective to develop insights and explain issues in a refreshingly interesting way. His views and conclusions are not constrained by received wisdom or conventional thinking. The intellectual rigour and level-headed analysis with which he tackles this complex project is fascinating and has produced an informative book. One does not have to agree with all he writes to find this work engaging, stimulating and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the region, the important players, influences and resulting challenges. A recommended read. If you want to understand Pakistan, read this book.”—Col Stephen Padgett Obe, Commander British Forces Afghanistan and British Defence Attaché in Kabul 2005-2006
(Col Stephen Padgett Obe)

"James Farwell has produced a highly readable and balanced account of contemporary Pakistan's tortuous journey toward its current troubled status. I would recommend this book as a guide for any policymaker or commentator seeking a rapid understanding of Pakistan. All the basics, and much more, can be found here to unlock the Pakistani enigma."—Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6
(Sir Richard Dearlove)

"An engrossing account of Pakistan's fractured history that exposes the faults and foibles of its leaders as they attempted to cling to or gain power. None has succeeded in giving the country the sustainable leadership it deserves. Pakistan remains, as a result, on the edge of a political precipice."—Shuja Nawaz, director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within
(Shuja Nawaz)

"James Farwell writes on Pakistan with indefatigable passion. He unravels the mysteries surrounding recent turmoil and upheaval in a country that simply refuses to give up despite the stark challenges it faces. For all those interested in the power of 'strategic communication' and how it influences politics and policy, The Pakistan Cauldron is a high-speed car chase through this newly recognized, yet ancient, political art."—Maajid Nawaz, founder and executive director, Quillium Foundation
(Maajid Nawaz)

About the Author

James P. Farwell is an expert in strategic communication who has advised the Department of Defense, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the U.S. Strategic Command on the Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan. He has written commentaries for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Middle East Institute, the National Interest, IO Journal, and Defence IQ. A graduate of Tulane and the University of Cambridge, England, he is also an attorney and a political consultant who has worked nationally and internationally at the presidential level. He is a senior research scholar in strategic studies at the Munk School, Center for Global Security, University of Toronto.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (October 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597979821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597979825
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James P. Farwell (website: jamespfarwell.com)


James P. Farwell is an author and defense consultant who has advised the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND on global initiatives and actions.

He has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense, including Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), Special Operations - Low Intensity Conflict, and U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND and is a subject matter expert in strategic communication, sovereignty, political issues in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and cyber war.

For the U.S. Special Operations Command, he was co-architect of SOVEREIGN CHALLENGE, a flagship program of the COCOM entailing outreach to the foreign military attaché and senior military officers in Washington and advises on strategic initiatives and engagement. His work includes outreach to think tanks, foundations, and the academic community.

As an attorney, he a former partner at Chaffe, McCall, Phillips, Toler & Sarpy, specializing in business law and litigation for major national and international clients. He has served as Arbitrator for NYSE and American Arbitration Association, and a Mediator for American Arbitration Association.

He has international experience handling political campaigns at the presidential level and advising legislative candidates abroad, including United Bermuda Party; New Democracy Party (Greece); and Lee Hoi Chang (Presidential, Korea). In the United States, he has handled strategy and media in successful campaigns for the U.S. Senate, Governor, Congress and statewide offices.

Mr. Farwell has worked with major multi-nationals including R.J.R. Nabisco, Philip Morris, Freeport-McMoran (now Freeport-McMoran Coppeer & Gold Inc.), Monsanto, Entergy Corporation, Microsoft, Boeing, and Monsanto. He has also worked for advocacy groups and business associations such as the Coalition for Affordable Power, Louisiana Lottery, Louisiana Council for Fiscal Reform, North Carolina Citizens for Business & Industry, and the American Insurance Association.

He holds a B.A. from Tulane University, a J.D. in Law from Tulane University, and a D.C.L.S. in Comparative Law from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College). He has served in the U.S. Army, where he attained the rank of Captain.

He was named one of America's "Rising Stars" by Campaign & Elections Magazine and cited by Roll Call as one of the top political consultants in the United States, with experience nationally and internationally in Presidential campaigns. He serves on the Business Council of New Orleans as Adviser to the Executive Committee.

ACADEMIC

Senior Research Fellow in Strategic Studies at the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies (Canada Centre), Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

PUBLICATIONS/WRITING

Non-Fiction:

"The Power of Jihadi Video," published by the Institute for International Strategic Studies in its flagship publication, Survival (2010);

"Egyptians want Freedom, Not an Islamic Republic (with Dr. Marvin Weinbaum), Middle East Institute commentary, March 7, 2011: http://www.mei.edu/Publications/WebPublications/MEICommentaries/CommentariesArchive/tabid/624/ctl/Detail/mid/1531/xmid/1718/xmfid/13/Default.aspx;

"Western Powers Must Divide Gadhafi From His Supporters," DefenceIQ.com, March 21, 2011:
http://www.defenceiq.com/tri-service/articles/opinion-western-powers-must-divide-gadhafi-from-hi/

"Stuxnet and the Future of Cyberwar," published by the IISS in the February-March, 2011, issue of Survival;

"The Emerging Battlespace of Cyberwar: The Legal Framework and Policy Issues," IO Journal, February 2010;

"Countering Cyber Piracy and Cyber Vandalism: a New Perspective," for the Australian Research Security Institute (2010);

"Information Strategy and Effective National Power," IO Journal, August, 2010;

"Focusing the Fight on Counter-Radicalisation: Why NATO Must Protect Its Own," DefenceIQ.com: http://www.defenceiq.com/article.cfm?externalID=3194 (Part I) and http://www.defenceiq.com/article.cfm?externalID=3206 (Part II);

"Zardari, Tolerance, and Tasser's Murder," published in February 2011 by Breitbart.com.

"Egypt's Brothers Rise," co-authored with Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, The National Interest, May-June, 2011.

In August 2011, he conducted an international web seminar for DefenseIQ.com on the Arab Spring.

"Al Qaeda and Taliban Video: A Weapon of Violence," published in Atlantic Perspectives, September 2011.

He is one of the principal authors of Collusion and Collision: Searching for Guidance in Chinese Cyberspace, released by the SecDevGroup, September 20, 20111.

He has just completed a new book, The Pakistani Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination, and Strategic Communication that will be published by Potomac Books in 2011, and has completed a second book, The Sword of Truth: Communication & Influence, which will be published in 2012.

He is a regular contributor to DefenceIQ.com.

Fiction: He is the author of two unpublished novels, Phoenix Rising, and The Original Kyd. A playwright, his play Legal Insanity is slated for a coming national tour in 2011 in the United Kingdom. An earlier version on which the play is based was produced in London at the prestigious developmental Kings Head Theatre, produced by Tony Award winner Steven Levy, directed by three-time Tony Award nominee John Tillinger, and starred Josefina Gabriele and Michael Praed. He has recently completed several screenplays: The Right Girl, a romantic comedy; Crescent City, a dramatic thriller; The Adventurer, a romantic adventure; The King Maker, a screwball romantic comedy; and Bin Boo Boo the Terrible, a satiric comedy.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy R. Zalman on October 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
James' Farwell's equal ease in the worlds of international affairs and strategic communications is on full display in The Pakistan Cauldron--much to the benefit of its readers. His take on the political dynamics of recent Pakistani history, as seen through the communication strategist's lens, shows vividly the powerful role played by perception and persuasion in all political arenas--not only in the U.S. where spin is king, but also elsewhere. Woe be to the U.S. policy maker, or the rest of us affected by their decisions, who fails to understand the communication calculations at work in Pakistan. Farwell's analysis includes a survey of the reactions to bin Laden's killing, laying the basis for his smart caution that the U.S. must do a better job of understanding and engaging this important, complex country.

As an extra bonus, Farwell's attention to the intended and unintended messaging of Pakistan's political elite makes for engaging, entertaining reading. Who else has so carefully noted Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's fashion savvy: "He [was] equally at ease attired in expensive suits strutting about foreign capitals and in the awami (people's) shirt and Jinnah cap haranguing people ...."? Or has thought to capture Benazir Bhutto's passionate approach to life through her love of Baskin Robbins ice cream?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stan Schrager on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a really good book, and stands out distinctly from all the other many books about Pakistan. It reveals the psyche and the unique qualities of this troubled and important nation through the eyes of three of its most compelling contemporary protagonists -- A.Q. Khan, Pervez Musharraf and the intriguing Benezir Bhutto. The latter especially is so well drawn that she takes on added near-beatific qualities, and it is so easy to understands what a loss her death was to her nation. No other book that I have read about Pakistan makes her as intriguing as this one.

As a retired Foreign Service Officer who has dealt with Pakistan in the past, I understand how hard it is to get this country right; many have failed, but Farwell succeeds.

Farwell weaves a compelling and prodigiously researched adventure of a traditional society whose place in the world was forever changed by September 11 and our admonition that they were "either for us or against us." To this day, Pakistan has not answered that question, and Farwell, in deft and compelling prose, demonstrates why and how Pakistan was forced into troubled and unnatural alliances that threaten US policy in that region and at the same time threaten Pakistan's own sovereignty. He understands and deftly describes the enormous price Pakistan has paid, and is paying, for what they perceive of as "America's War."

This would have been enough to have made this a compelling read. But Farwell, a recognized expert in the new area of "strategic communication," takes this discipline and applies it to the three principals in the final part of this intriguing book. He shows how this discipline is applied in "real life" and how it is more than just a concept for cerebral tennis, but rather an art with, in some cases, life and death consequences.

Pakistan lends itself only to an approximation of truth, but Farwell gets as close to the vital center of this troubled nation as anyone has done so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ted Tzavellas on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Was it only more than a decade ago that candidate George W Bush barely recalled who Pervez Musharraf was when asked about Pakistan? It's notable how times and relevance to America's security interests have changed since then. This doesn't disparage President Bush as much as it reminds us all that most Americans once considered Pakistan, if they could even pick it out on a map, to be just another third world country.

Today, we hear constantly about Pakistan and its competing, internal forces. Pakistan is a key partner with elements of its government alleged to actively support those whose interests are inimical to the United States. Such a dichotomy perplexes and confuses even the most knowing among us.

James Farwell's book, The Pakistan Cauldron, succeeds in putting key events of the past ten years into sharp focus for a country that has become both one of America's key international partners and one of its most problematic, international challenges. Farwell does a superb job weaving Pakistan's threads of disparate elements, interests, intrigues, behind-the-scenes insights, and perspectives into a tapestry of information and knowledge. Farwell also relates Pakistan to the interests of the United States and does well in explaining how good friends can sometimes displease, if not hurt, you.

The Pakistan Cauldron reflects Farwell's broad background and deep expertise in politics, national security, and foreign affairs. Farwell has taken his experience advising senior US government officials and decision makers in these areas, and successfully turns it to the needs of a broader audience. Whether a reader is a casual news follower or government policy expert, all can benefit from this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Weinstein on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination and Instability (Potomac Books)by James Farwell really explains the convoluted political culture of conspiracy. For the first time, I began to understand the underpinnings of the U.S./Pakistan relationship. The book explains the post bin Laden era by examining its past leaders, A.O. Kahn, the "rock star" popular engineer of Pakistan's nuclear program; Pervez Musharraf, the general turned politician, who skillfully deflected criticism from the secretive military in regard to nuclear proliferation; and Benazir Bhutto, the charismatic politician, whose promise for a stable enlightened country was cut short by assassination.

These leaders, despite their differences, put Pakistan first, a fact misjudged by the American perception of Pakistan as a strategic ally. Farwell shows the dynamic of the U.S. Pakistani relationship, within the context of a political culture that breeds conspiracy theory, assassination, and a sense of betrayal. And he shows how that relationship has fared in fighting terrorism, al Qaeda and the Taliban. This is the only place that explains the difference between domestic and foreign Taliban and why Pakistan might care. He also shows how our objectives would be met or not, depending on the results of Pakistan's volatile political process.

I especially enjoyed the portrait of Benazir Bhutto as a champion for the democratic process and religious tolerance. Musharraf, her competitor, mishandled the aftermath of her assassination creating an autocrat's "playbook" for blunders in a time of crisis. This is a great story of intrigue told with high drama and wit.
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