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The universe of militant groups in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), near the Afghan border, is far more complex and diverse than is commonly understood. While these groups share many ideological and historical characteristics, the militants have very different backgrounds, tribal affiliations, and strategic concepts that are key to understanding the dynamics of this dangerous, war-torn region-- the main safe haven of al-Qaeda and the gateway to fighting in Afghanistan. This volume of essays, edited by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann and produced in connection with the New America Foundation, explores the history and current state of the lawless frontier of "Talibanistan," from the groups that occupy its various sub-regions to the effects of counterinsurgency and military intervention (including drone strikes) and the possibility of reconciliation. Contributors include MIT's Sameer Lalwani, NYU's Paul Cruickshank, Afghan journalist Anand Gopal, and Brian Fishman of the New America Foundation.
Peter Bergen is the director of the National Securities Studies Program at the New America Foundation, and is National Security Analyst at CNN. He is the author of The Longest War and The Osama Bin Laden I Know.
Katherine Tiedemann, co-editor, was a research fellow at the New America Foundation until mid-2011. She is the deputy editor of the AfPak Channel on ForeignPolicy.com, where she writes the AfPak Daily Brief, a daily synthesis of the news from and about Afghanistan and Pakistan.