Sunday, April 25, 2004

GHOST WARS: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll is an astonishing and impeccably reported book. Kevin Drum called it "too detailed" but I felt the exact opposite. For example, it doesn't not tell us whether Ahmed Shah Massoud's assassination was linked to the 9/11 plot. (Perhaps, we'll know with the conspirators' trial currently ongoing in Belgium.)

Ghost Wars does make one thing clear. Neither Carter, Reagan, Bush I or Clinton had a reasoned and sound policy for Afghanistan. When an American President has had not a coherent policy for Afghanistan, Afghanistan has been a mess. Does George W. Bush have a policy that makes sense? If he does, we'd like to hear it.

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