Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle by Patrick Cockburn

By Patrick Cockburn

From the award-winning writer of The upward thrust of Islamic State, the fundamental tale of the center East’s disintegration

The Age of Jihad charts the turmoil of today’s center East and the devastating position the West has performed within the area from 2001 to the current. starting with the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, Cockburn explores the big geopolitical fight that's the Sunni–Shia clash, a conflict that shapes the battle on terror, western army interventions, the evolution of the insurgency, the civil wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, the Arab Spring, the autumn of nearby dictators, and the increase of Islamic State.

As Cockburn indicates in arresting aspect, Islamic nation didn't explode into lifestyles in Syria within the wake of the Arab Spring, as traditional knowledge may have it. The association gestated over numerous years in occupied Iraq, ahead of turning out to be to the purpose the place it might probably threaten the soundness of the entire quarter. Cockburn was once the 1st Western journalist to warn of the risks posed by means of Islamic kingdom. His originality and breadth of imaginative and prescient make The Age of Jihad the main in-depth research of the neighborhood obstacle within the heart East to date.

“Patrick Cockburn noticed the emergence of ISIS a lot in advance of anyone else and wrote approximately it with a intensity of figuring out that used to be simply in a league of its personal. not anyone else used to be writing that stuff at the moment, and the judges puzzled even if the govt. should still think about pensioning off the total of MI6 and hiring Patrick Cockburn as a substitute. The breadth of his wisdom and his skill make connections is phenomenal.”
—Judges of the international Affairs Journalist of the yr Award 2014

“Quite easily, the simplest Western journalist at paintings within the center East today.”
—Seymour M. Hersh

“One of the simplest proficient on-the-ground newshounds. He was once mainly right on Iraq.”
—Sidney Blumenthal, in an e-mail to Hillary Clinton

“A compelling sequence of dispatches from a journalist who has discovered the not easy golden rule in Iraq: ‘to forecast the worst attainable outcome.’”
—Kirkus

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Fortunately, I had been to the local Afghan embassy that was controlled by the Northern Alliance and had rather hopelessly added my name to a long list of journalists trying to get into Afghanistan. An embassy official said he would do what he could to help, though he sounded pessimistic. But after a few days he rang up and said that the Northern Alliance had an ancient Russian helicopter and the Tajikistan government had unexpectedly given permission for it to take a few journalists into Northern Alliance–controlled territory.

There is frequently an unfortunate ‘knowledge gap’ about the very period in which current events were gestated. Thus in the UK there is an almost obsessive interest in what happened in 2002 and 2003 when the country controversially went to war in Iraq, but limited knowledge of the disastrous British occupation of Basra between 2003 and 2006, or of what happened in Iraq generally in later years. As American forces withdrew after 2008, interest in the US about what was going on in Iraq petered out.

Three years ago Dostum was forced to flee into exile, for the second time, as the Taliban took over the territory he once ruled. But earlier this year he returned to a mountain stronghold south of Mazar, which the Taliban have never penetrated. As a member of the Northern Alliance, it did not look like a very hopeful venture—until 11 September. The US needed anti-Taliban allies on the ground in Afghanistan. Its initial efforts to pick and choose came to naught. Bombing alone could not destroy the Taliban.

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