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Seeds of Terror How Drugs, Thugs, and Crime Are Reshaping the Afghan War

ISBN: 9780312429638 | 0312429630
Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Picador
Pub. Date: 4/27/2010

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Seeds of Terroris a groundbreaking triumph of reporting, a book that changed U.S. policy toward the Afghan heroin trade and the fight against terror. In it, Gretchen Peters exposes the deepening relationship between the Taliban and drug traffickers, and traces decades of America's failure to disrupt the opium production that helps fund extremism. The Taliban earns as much as half a billion dollars annually from drugs and crime, and Peters argues that disrupting this flow of dirty money will be critical to stabilizing Afghanistan. Based on hundreds of interviews with fighters, smugglers, and government officials,Seeds of Terroris the essential story of the narco-terror nexus behind America's widening war in Afghanistan. Gretchen Petershas covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for the Associated Press and later for ABC News. A Harvard graduate, Peters was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto and won the SAJA Journalism Award for aNightlinesegment on Pervez Musharraf. She lives in the United States with her husband, the Robert Capa Gold Medal-winning photojournalist John Moore, and their two daughters.Seeds of Terroris a groundbreaking triumph of reporting, a book that changed U.S. policy toward the Afghan heroin trade and the fight against terror. In it, Gretchen Peters exposes the deepening relationship between the Taliban and drug traffickers, and traces decades of America's failure to disrupt the opium production that helps fund extremism. The Taliban earns as much as half a billion dollars annually from drugs and crime, and Peters argues that disrupting this flow of dirty money will be critical to stabilizing Afghanistan. Based on hundreds of interviews with fighters, smugglers, and government officials,Seeds of Terroris the essential story of the narco-terror nexus behind America's widening war in Afghanistan. "What is clear from Ms. Peters' account is that there are people on both sides who have a large stake in making sure the Afghanistan conflict continues . . . Ms. Peters makes some excellent policy suggestions at the end of her book. She is sensitive to the situation of small Afghan farmers, who would be crushed by debt to traffickers if their crops were eradicated. Instead, she suggests that counternarcotics policy should be oriented toward netting the big traffickers, including, if necessary, the traffickers who work inside official government positions . . . In addition to these policies, Ms. Peters maintains that any counternarcotics strategy will fail without the accompaniment of classical counterinsurgency tactics: protecting the population and bringing insurgents into the political realm."--Ian Chesley,Far Eastern Economic Review "As its title suggests, this timely work of reportage documents how opium trafficking has fueled the Taliban's ever-expanding presence in Afghanistan . . . Peters' book casts a spotlight on misguided international development efforts and failed Bush administration policies that facilitated the growth of the Afghan drug trade . . . Peters' analysis of this disastrous single-mindedness is powerful because it is underpinned by the actual testimony of frustrated government officials. She is most provocative, however, when revealing how the lines that separate various political factions--the Taliban, the U.S.-backed Afghan government, the U.S. government itself--are in fact very blurry in present-day Afghanistan. Her detailed take on Wali Karzai is a good case in point. Karzai, she discovers, has not only worked as a U.S. operative, but he also has links to Haji Juma Khan, the notorious Afghan drug kingpin with Taliban and Al Qaeda connect


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