- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (November 16, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439120250
- ISBN-13: 978-1439120255
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,796,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Scorpion's Tail: The Relentless Rise of Islamic Militants in Pakistan-And How It Threatens America Hardcover – November 16, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Pakistani journalist Hussain (Frontline Pakistan) accurately describes the U.S.-led military action in central Asia not as a war in Afghanistan but "largely a Pushtun war" happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These distinctions provide the underpinning for a remarkably comprehensive and well-researched effort. He draws a line from Indian independence, when Islamists resisted the idea of a separate Muslim state in their desire to exert power within India, giving rise to a brutal trail of extremism within Pakistan that has fully flowered in the current conflict. Hussain argues that U.S. drone attacks have provided the Pakistani Taliban with a fresh crop of recruits--many of them middle-class and well-educated, as all the while the Pakistani army continues its "creeping coup," and al-Qaeda grows increasingly organized. He knows his subject matter and gives an unflinching and objective assessment of a problem that seems to grow larger and well beyond the scope of mere military action. (Nov.)
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About the Author
Zahid Hussain is an award-winning journalist and writer, a senior editor with Newsline and a correspondent for The Times of London, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. He has also covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for several other international publications, including the Associated Press (AP) and The Economist. His book Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle With Militant Islam has won widespread acclaim as a seminal text on the subject. He lives in Pakistan.
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Top customer reviews
The take home here is that the old guard of the Al Qaida comprised of a bunch of disaffected Arab and Central Asian Islamists is being replaced by a new generation of highly educated, militarily trained Pakistanis ... and that this shift is detrimental to US security, and to global and regional stability. But actually the whole new Al Qaida movement is wracked with self-contradictory impulses, and it is likely to leave more dead Pakistanis behind than Americans, Afghans, or even Indians.
Okkkkkaaaaayyyyy - Aah... Paging Dr. Obvious, Paging Dr. Obvious... why is this well known fact suddenly the subject of a book?
The book confirms some of the conclusions that I have reached in my own deep dives into the myriad ailments of Pakistan, i.e.
- The Pakistani state lives in a constant (self-imposed) fear of extinction - this psychosis is collectively shared by the government, the media and everyone else who wants to think this way/
- This fear leads the Pakistani state to constantly make deals with the devil. All of these deals rebound on the Pakistan state - reinforcing the same fear that led to the deals in the first place.
- Absent any mechanisms for true accountability, the cycle of fear perpetuates leaving a trail of dead people in its wake.
- And a bunch of observers write all manner of self-serving accounts of the "troubled times in Pakistan".
- And some miserable chump like me actually buys such books and reads them only to discover that whatever is written there is already published in much greater detail elsewhere.
Seriously, my money would have been better spent on the modern classic "How to Avoid Huge Ships" by Capt. Trimmer!
This is an interesting though disturbing reading. It is scary to believe a Taliban government ruling both Pakistan and Afghanistan. This book shows it is a very real possibility.
The book covers both the history of Pakistan plus recent events over the past few years. I think everyone will have seen these events on the news as the last story before the broadcast runs the daily feel good story of the day. However this book will give you the rest of the story. The book starts out with a good history of the nation. You will see then how the history of the nation really shapes events today. It covers the story of the Swat valley invasion, the terrorist attacks, the assassinations and more. You will see how the western press has minimized these events in the interest of time. An how these events were much more serious and extensive than the news said. Normally that would be just another day in the third world. However this third world nation has nuclear arms. That is what will keep you up.
A great book for any serious student on world affairs.