The Longest War The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-01-11
  • Publisher: Free Press
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TEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center, and after seven years of conflict, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq only to move into Afghanistan, where the ten-year-old fight continues: the war on terror rages with no clear end in sight.

In The Longest War Peter Bergen offers a comprehensive history of this war and its evolution, from the strategies devised in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond. Unlike any other textbook on this subject, here Bergen tells the story of this shifting war's failures and successes from the perspectives of both the United States and al-Qaeda and its allies. He goes into the homes of al-Qaeda members, rooting into the source of their devotion to terrorist causes, and spends time in the offices of the major players shaping the U.S. strategic efforts in the region.

At a time when many are frustrated or fatigued with what has become an enduring multigenerational conflict, this textbook will provide an illuminating narrative that not only traces the arc of the fight but projects its likely future. Weaving together internal documents from al-Qaeda and the U.S. offices of counterterrorism, first-person interviews with top-level jihadists and senior Washington officials, along with his own experiences on the ground in the Middle East, Bergen balances the accounts of each side, revealing how al-Qaeda has evolved since 9/11 and the specific ways the U.S. government has responded in the ongoing fight.

Bergen also uncovers the strategic errors committed on both sides the way that al-Qaeda's bold attack on the United States on 9/11 actually undermined its objective and caused the collapse of the Taliban and the destruction of the organization's safe haven in Afghanistan, and how al-Qaeda is actually losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world.

This textbook also shows how the United States undermined its moral position in this war with its actions at Guantanamo and coercive interrogations including the extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar, who was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in 2003 and was tortured for four years in Egyptian prisons; his case represents the first and only time that CIA officials have been charged and convicted of the crime of kidnapping.

In examining other strategic blunders the United States has committed, Bergen offers a scathing critique of the Clinton and Bush administrations' inability to accurately assess and counter the al-Qaeda threat, Bush's deeply misguided reasons for invading Iraq including the story of how the invasion was launched based, in part, on the views of an obscure academic who put forth theories about Iraq's involvement with al-Qaeda and the Obama administration's efforts in Afghanistan. At a critical moment in world history The Longest War provides the definitive account of the ongoing battle against terror.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xv
Holy Tuesdayp. 3
Explaining 9/11p. 11
Blinking Redp. 36
Kicking Assp. 51
The Great Escapep. 68
The Destruction of the Basep. 86
The Gloves Came Offp. 95
Home Front: The First Bush Termp. 121
Building the Case for War with Iraqp. 131
The War of Errorp. 153
Almost Losing the War the United States Thought It Had Wonp. 174
Al-Qaeda 2.0p. 197
Al-Qaeda's Quixotic Quest for Weapons of Mass Destructionp. 214
The United States of Jihadp. 233
Pakistan: The New Basep. 247
The Fall of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Rise of an Iraqi Statep. 266
The Jihad Withinp. 297
The End of the "War on Terror"?p. 303
Obama's Warp. 309
The Long Huntp. 335
Note on Sourcesp. 351
Intervieweesp. 353
Notesp. 357
Bibliographyp. 437
Acknowledgmentsp. 453
Indexp. 457
Afghanistan and Pakistanp. xi
Iraq and the wider Middle Eastp. xiii
Major attacks by al-Qaeda or those inspired by its ideas around the world since 9/11p. xiv
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Good Background March 27, 2011
I bought this very good used textbook...the author provides insight into al qaida (hereinafter al Q" in order to understand the initial organizational structure, the intent, the history and the current status of Al Q.."the base". The book provides a deep introspective review based on current information and direct quotes from those who were in the decision matrix who were involved in what was initially a "war of choice"...Iraq
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The Longest War The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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