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""Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever? "Seeds of Terror" ""Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever? "Seeds of Terror" will reshape the way you think about America's enemies, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, author Gretchen Peters traces their illicit activities from vast poppy fields in southern Afghanistan to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys armed with Stinger missiles to the money launderers of Karachi and Dubai. This isn't a fanciful conspiracy theory. "Seeds of Terror" is based on hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents. Their information is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the first--and paid for with drug profits. "Seeds of Terror" makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn't about ideology or religion. It's about creating a new economy for Afghanistan--and breaking the cycle of violence and extremism that has gripped the region for decades.


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""Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever? "Seeds of Terror" ""Most Americans think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as a bunch of bearded fanatics fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn't explain their astonishing comeback along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Why is it eight years after we invaded Afghanistan, the CIA says that these groups are better armed and better funded than ever? "Seeds of Terror" will reshape the way you think about America's enemies, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, author Gretchen Peters traces their illicit activities from vast poppy fields in southern Afghanistan to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys armed with Stinger missiles to the money launderers of Karachi and Dubai. This isn't a fanciful conspiracy theory. "Seeds of Terror" is based on hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents. Their information is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the first--and paid for with drug profits. "Seeds of Terror" makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn't about ideology or religion. It's about creating a new economy for Afghanistan--and breaking the cycle of violence and extremism that has gripped the region for decades.

30 review for Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Qaeda

  1. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Gretchen Peters image from DC Environmental Film Festival Gretchen Peters was a very young field reporter for ABC news in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was much intrigued with the role of narcotics trafficking in the politics of the region. Ultimately, her thesis is that what we think of as the Taliban is not a unitary entity based on religious fundamentalism. It is instead a very local and amorphous phenomenon in which the primary moving force is financial gain and the primary movers are inte Gretchen Peters image from DC Environmental Film Festival Gretchen Peters was a very young field reporter for ABC news in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was much intrigued with the role of narcotics trafficking in the politics of the region. Ultimately, her thesis is that what we think of as the Taliban is not a unitary entity based on religious fundamentalism. It is instead a very local and amorphous phenomenon in which the primary moving force is financial gain and the primary movers are international narcotics dealers. Members of “The Taliban” in this or that location are as likely to be paid mercenaries working to protect drug traffickers as they are religious extremists bent on creating a pure way to Allah. Her perspective adds a compelling layer of nuance to our understanding of the political dynamic of the region. She looks at the divergence between the Islamic ban on the use of such substances and shows how that has been twisted by the unscrupulous to allow the growing of opium in order to use it as a weapon against the west. Religious types being used by moneyed interests for their own purposes? Hmmm, sounds rather universal, doesn’t it? She offers a series of recommendations on how the West might attempt to address the problem on the ground. None of her suggestions are easy fixes, but all are at least worth a close examination. With Seeds of Terror, Gretchen Peters has added a significant chunk to the information we have about the Taliban, Al Qaeda, how they operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and their motivations. It serves as a welcome companion to Ahmed Rashid’s Descent Into Chaos and Sarah Cheyes’ The Punishment of Virtue as must reads for anyone interested in the dynamics of that part of the world. PS - with the withdrawal of US troops in 2021, it remains t0 be seen what will happen inside Afghanistan. One thing is certain though. Whatever does happen, it will involve the cultivation and sale of drugs. ======================================EXTRA STUFF Personal, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube pages From her web site Gretchen (@gretchenspeters) is a leading authority on the intersection of crime and terrorism, money-laundering and transnational crime. She is Executive Director of The Center on Illicit Networks and Transnational Organized Crime (CINTOC), a strategic intelligence organization that finds hidden criminal networks. She chairs the Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO), serves on the advisory board of the Center on Economic and Financial Power and previously co-chaired an OECD Task Force on Wildlife and Environmental Crime.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lars Lofgren

    As a journalist with a deep interest in Afghanistan, Gretchen Peters offers an extensively researched account of the evolution of the heroin trade within Afghanistan and Pakistan. The recent escalation of hostilities in the region and the resurgence of the Taliban can be directly attributed to the proliferation of poppy fields. Furthermore, Afghanistan can now be described as a narco-state that parallels the development of the FARC within Colombia more closely than the insurgency in Iraq. From p As a journalist with a deep interest in Afghanistan, Gretchen Peters offers an extensively researched account of the evolution of the heroin trade within Afghanistan and Pakistan. The recent escalation of hostilities in the region and the resurgence of the Taliban can be directly attributed to the proliferation of poppy fields. Furthermore, Afghanistan can now be described as a narco-state that parallels the development of the FARC within Colombia more closely than the insurgency in Iraq. From personally meeting many of the major players within the opium trade to relentlessly obtaining access to confidential intelligence cables and documents, Peters has gone to great lengths to provide a substantiated narrative of the Afghanistan heroin trade. Response: While Peters has extensively researched the connections between the Afghanistan insurgency, the numerous regional actors, and the poppy trade, the book suffers from a lack of broader context. Little discussion is given to the flows of opium once it exits the region beyond a brief mention of Europe being the primary recipient. Without a complete understanding of the opium markets that Afghanistan fuels, policy solutions will suffer as opium markets adapt to one-sided efforts. This book is very much a journalistic account of the topic and suffers from a lack of theory. Peters largely neglects theoretical discussion of counterinsurgencies or counternarcotics operations. Many of Peters' conclusions coincide with counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine and could have greatly benefited from incorporating principles of COIN within her work, giving it a more substantial theoretical basis. The U.S. Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual is excellent supplemental reading for anyone engaged with these issues. Several important topics could have used far more discussion and depth. For example, Peters quickly dismisses the initial strategy for the Afghanistan invasion as inadequate "with predictably unfortunately results. (105)" Since the awareness of COIN doctrine has been a relatively recent phenomena (the U.S. Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual was published in 2006), initial operations within Afghanistan may have suffered from a lack of theoretical understanding of the nature of the conflict instead of blatant strategic errors. For Peters to claim that the current situation in Afghanistan was predictable from the start, far more depth is needed. Peters's discussion of Iran is also cursory. Even though Peters does document several instances of Iranian involvement, Peters avoids exploring whether or not this involvement is the result of official Iranian policy or the result of a few Iranian actors searching for profit. In contrast, the connections between Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly the ISI, are discussed extensively. Bottom Line: A pivotal book for understanding Afghanistan. Those interested in illicit networks, the intricacies of the Afghanistan insurgency, or the complexities of the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship will also find this book fascinating. The book is also easily accessible for readers without a background on these topics. For more reviews and a summary of Peters' main points, find us at Hand of Reason.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    The truth will set you free but after reading this book the fight for Afghanistan looks hopeless. We've been ignoring the self evident truths for the past eight years. Drug traffickers are able to collaborate much better than our own government. Hopefully Obama is listening to this woman. She's been there and seen it all first hand. Taliban is anything but an organized entente-- just an association of narco-thugs imposing a feudal agronomy on farmers who make nothing off their crops but just get The truth will set you free but after reading this book the fight for Afghanistan looks hopeless. We've been ignoring the self evident truths for the past eight years. Drug traffickers are able to collaborate much better than our own government. Hopefully Obama is listening to this woman. She's been there and seen it all first hand. Taliban is anything but an organized entente-- just an association of narco-thugs imposing a feudal agronomy on farmers who make nothing off their crops but just get to keep their lives. Protecting the people is the key but the only ones who can do this are NATO or the US as the Afghan government is corrupt or incapable. Some suggest it's not drugs but corruption as enemy number one. Nor can you look at just Afghanistan alone. You must look at Pakistan. This is a regional conflict. We've lost eight years since 2001 and I don't know if we can get them back. Makes you wonder about the old adage there's no place to go but up. Taliban has actually cached opium as prices are going down. If we start spraying then prices will rise-that's what they want us to do. Peters offers answers too and they all sound doable. I really like her idea of targeting narco drug lords with military hit teams much like we would terrorists-they are one in the same.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clayton

    Everyone should read this book. I read it because I had to interview the author. It's an eye opening investigation into what's fueling the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan. To a greater extent heroine over ideology! Gretchen Peters spent nearly a decade reporting from this region and her understanding of the nuanced challenges facing the U.S. are second to none. This book is one that I'd wish every member of Obama's cabinet would read and then write a book report on. Everyone should read this book. I read it because I had to interview the author. It's an eye opening investigation into what's fueling the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan. To a greater extent heroine over ideology! Gretchen Peters spent nearly a decade reporting from this region and her understanding of the nuanced challenges facing the U.S. are second to none. This book is one that I'd wish every member of Obama's cabinet would read and then write a book report on.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Murphy

    Seeds of Terror: How Heroin is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda by Gretchen Peters is a book that I read too late to really feel the full impact of it. Peters lays out a very convincing case that the Taliban is heavy embedded into opium production and the heroin trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only issue I have with her argument is that in the process of trying to correct a false understanding of the organization, she oversells her case to the point where the Taliban exists more for d Seeds of Terror: How Heroin is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda by Gretchen Peters is a book that I read too late to really feel the full impact of it. Peters lays out a very convincing case that the Taliban is heavy embedded into opium production and the heroin trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only issue I have with her argument is that in the process of trying to correct a false understanding of the organization, she oversells her case to the point where the Taliban exists more for drugs than for its original purpose. That I don't buy. Also, I feel like if I read this book before I did my undergraduate thesis I would have been more blown away by it, as when I took that class I learned first hand from someone who tried to tackle the opium trade in Afghanistan what some of the problems were. I had, rather flippantly, suggested in one of my teams memos that we could try legalizing it and regulating it thinking "this guy is government, no way is he going to be receptive to this" only to find out that they had looked into that very prospect, along with several others. What this book is good for is the details and the original argument, as this was the first major push to make it as far as I am aware. So, the book gets pretty good marks from me. 87/100

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Important topic but repetitive analysis. The link between drugs and terrorism in the middle east is critical in the fight against terrorism. Peters belabors the same point over and over again. The search into "HJK" is one of the more intriguing stories of an Afghan drug kingpin. Many details about these drug figures are still unknown which limits the author's analysis. The book mashes up news stories and has some good analysis on potential solutions to solve the drug-terrorism connection. Important topic but repetitive analysis. The link between drugs and terrorism in the middle east is critical in the fight against terrorism. Peters belabors the same point over and over again. The search into "HJK" is one of the more intriguing stories of an Afghan drug kingpin. Many details about these drug figures are still unknown which limits the author's analysis. The book mashes up news stories and has some good analysis on potential solutions to solve the drug-terrorism connection.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fred Leland

    Interesting book that will have you questioning policy issues our government has in place in the Afghanistan where 90 percent of the opium grown there end up here in the United States. Ultimately we are funding terrorism through the illicit drug trade! Scary thought even scarier is the addiction problem we have here. The book I recommend as it opens the eyes!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Darrell E.

    Overall, a very good book about the intertwining of narcotics and the Taliban. I did think that Peters's recommendations are bit ignorant or pie in the sky at the end, but she does make some salient points. Peters is one of the few people to focus on Taliban financing. Overall, a very good book about the intertwining of narcotics and the Taliban. I did think that Peters's recommendations are bit ignorant or pie in the sky at the end, but she does make some salient points. Peters is one of the few people to focus on Taliban financing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Doug Caldwell

    I thought this book covered more current events but it was published over 10 yrs ago. Author offers at end several solutions to the problem. I wonder how many have worked/failed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tika

    Nice

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucas

    The greatest value of this book that it transforms the war on terror into the more conventional war on drugs, and reduces puritanical holy warriors to hypocritical drug lords. It's understandable that the Taliban and Al Qaeda would favor the former narrative over this new one, but why our leaders on the opposing side would would prefer it also is more of a mystery that the author doesn't speculate about. The best reason I can think of is that as of 2001 we had already been fighting the 'war on dr The greatest value of this book that it transforms the war on terror into the more conventional war on drugs, and reduces puritanical holy warriors to hypocritical drug lords. It's understandable that the Taliban and Al Qaeda would favor the former narrative over this new one, but why our leaders on the opposing side would would prefer it also is more of a mystery that the author doesn't speculate about. The best reason I can think of is that as of 2001 we had already been fighting the 'war on drugs' for three decades, and it is obviously just a police action where success is measured by the degree of containment and there will never be achievement of complete victory. Existing domestic (though minority) opposition to the drug war would also figure in. Playing up the clash of religions also works for both sides, but I think that is less significant. The book would benefit greatly if it had a better model of heroin economics. The author states that reducing opium production will raise the price of heroin, and therefore it is a wash- but she doesn't show this. Does for example halving production double the profits- or triple them, or raise them only by 50%? Even at the end of the book she says the goal must be to shift poppy plantings to other regions where the profits will not go to militant anti-Western parties, so it follows that reducing the production for long enough in Afghanistan will create price pressure that will increase production elsewhere. But even within the book's simplistic model, there are contradictions in her recommendations- fields and farmers should not be targeted since the reduction in production will increase profits, but at the same time we should be going after smuggler convoys, Afghan chemists who can convert the poppy to heroin, and the big-time smugglers in Afghanistan and Pakistan- that may be a good strategy for other reasons but it would also tend to reduce the supply of heroin the same as attacking the fields. The author takes for granted that the drug profits are benefiting forces who are thinking up and capable of executing spectacular attacks against the West. This is more likely to be true in central Asia than anywhere else, but the corrupting effects of the drug trade work both ways- eventually they will only care about perpetuating the business, and recruits will be enticed by a share of the proceeds rather than virgins in the afterlife. The case of Iran is interesting: Iran suffers a huge drug problem both in terms of addiction and the corrupting effects on the government (which gives lie to the claims of the Taliban that is is okay to produce a prohibited drug if only infidels use it), but it appears to be supporting the Taliban in order to undermine NATO. The likely explanation is that like in Pakistan (or in rarer cases the U.S. with the CIA) the autonomy of the intelligence services can frequently act in opposition to the best interests of the civilian government. The strategy of hoarding and dumping of poppy by the Taliban prior to the U.S. invasion is interesting, and there is speculation that the Taliban will reduce production voluntarily or anticipates a field spraying campaign, and it will then cash in on new hoards.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bharat

    Overall Great Book from Gretchen Peters. Journalist Peters draws on 10 years of reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan for this important examination of the nexus of [drug] smugglers and extremists in the global war against terrorists. She draws most of her conclusions from Americas investigating agency's working in Afghanistan which are mostly fabricated to satisfy Washington lawmakers. In the end she offers a less-than-convincing strategy to sever the link, including military strikes against Overall Great Book from Gretchen Peters. Journalist Peters draws on 10 years of reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan for this important examination of the nexus of [drug] smugglers and extremists in the global war against terrorists. She draws most of her conclusions from Americas investigating agency's working in Afghanistan which are mostly fabricated to satisfy Washington lawmakers. In the end she offers a less-than-convincing strategy to sever the link, including military strikes against drug lords, alternative-livelihood programs for small farmers, regional diplomatic initiatives and a public relations campaign etc. Those sounds great theoretically but she fails to support her strategy with solid or proven examples, makes her work even more less credible. Prescriptions aside, Peters has done a superlative job with Seeds of Terror. Surely we should applause her for spending 10 years in Afghanistan which tops the list of worlds deadly and largest law less country and gave us a great Insight.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brook Larsen

    Good and easy read for those of you who have an interest in what is actually taking place over in Afganistan with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The book starts off with a brief history of Afganistan and the inception of the Taliban and Al Qaeda and its evolution over the last 30 years. The meat of the book talks about the corrupt and illegal cultivation of opium and how that illegal and corrupt trade within that region is supplying al Qaeda with an endless amount of money and military arms. The boo Good and easy read for those of you who have an interest in what is actually taking place over in Afganistan with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The book starts off with a brief history of Afganistan and the inception of the Taliban and Al Qaeda and its evolution over the last 30 years. The meat of the book talks about the corrupt and illegal cultivation of opium and how that illegal and corrupt trade within that region is supplying al Qaeda with an endless amount of money and military arms. The book makes a point that unless we fight this drug problem and endless flow of drug money within Afganistan and that region we will not be able to truely claim victory over the Taliban and Al Qaeda. By cutting off the terrorists access to drug money we will have a better chance with slowing down Al Queda and other organizations fighting a similar cause against the West.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Edwards

    This book really filled in the gaps as to how Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were funded when Bin Laden was cut off from his family fortune. Peters writes a policy book that everyone in Washington needs to read to address the way ahead in Afghanistan. She details how the blind eye we turned to the farming of Poppy during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan is now causing us to pay a similar price. The irony of our CIA actions during those times and our current involvment in the region is shocking. Peters This book really filled in the gaps as to how Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were funded when Bin Laden was cut off from his family fortune. Peters writes a policy book that everyone in Washington needs to read to address the way ahead in Afghanistan. She details how the blind eye we turned to the farming of Poppy during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan is now causing us to pay a similar price. The irony of our CIA actions during those times and our current involvment in the region is shocking. Peters offers solutions to dealing with poor farmers who are forced at gun point to grow poppy that funds local Taliban tribes and ongoing Al Qaeda activities. A very important and informative book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    The thesis that the insurgency and narcotics traffic are interlinked in Afghanistan is absolutely correct. While this books clearly articulates this link, the narrative does not effectively bring the reader to any larger conclusion - it is choppy and reads like are report. Furthermore, the conclusions reveal the author's limited understanding of the overall conflict. There are plenty of suggestions that are wonderful in an unconstrained world but fail to understand the political limiations and p The thesis that the insurgency and narcotics traffic are interlinked in Afghanistan is absolutely correct. While this books clearly articulates this link, the narrative does not effectively bring the reader to any larger conclusion - it is choppy and reads like are report. Furthermore, the conclusions reveal the author's limited understanding of the overall conflict. There are plenty of suggestions that are wonderful in an unconstrained world but fail to understand the political limiations and practical application of fighting in Afghanistan. Overall, it was worth the read but is an introductary tome on the topic.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I probably would have rated this higher, but I only read half and then accidentally left it on an airplane on the way back from Bangladesh. So, unfortunately I missed out on the parts I was really looking forward to. The author makes a good analysis of several different aspects both historically and currently of the problems of drug production and smuggling in Afghanistan, along with it's ties to the militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since it ties my two favorite topics for what I want to do I probably would have rated this higher, but I only read half and then accidentally left it on an airplane on the way back from Bangladesh. So, unfortunately I missed out on the parts I was really looking forward to. The author makes a good analysis of several different aspects both historically and currently of the problems of drug production and smuggling in Afghanistan, along with it's ties to the militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since it ties my two favorite topics for what I want to do with my life, it was likely to hold my interest.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Suzhanna

    This is a book worth reading. It is very dense, with complex relationships which made it difficult to follow at times. It is definitely a book to read from front to back, with little interruption. There is a lot of detail, however; the subject matter determines that. This is an alarming analysis of how intricate the relationships between the various people and agencies resulted in an amazing resurgence of the poppy trade. There are reference maps which makes the reading a little slow. Eye opening This is a book worth reading. It is very dense, with complex relationships which made it difficult to follow at times. It is definitely a book to read from front to back, with little interruption. There is a lot of detail, however; the subject matter determines that. This is an alarming analysis of how intricate the relationships between the various people and agencies resulted in an amazing resurgence of the poppy trade. There are reference maps which makes the reading a little slow. Eye opening.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was a well-researched and well-organized book. The author does a great job of introducing the history of the opium trade in Afghanistan, then moves on to the ever-evolving current situation as well as the ramifications of that situation. She then ends with a solution to the problem. It read somewhat like a report and less like a book, but ultimately it was very informative and thought-provoking.

  19. 5 out of 5

    C

    Informative, but written much like a high school research paper with endless supporting facts and "classified documents shown to this author." It easily could have been a twenty page essay rather than 200+ pages of repetition. However, the thesis is relevant: terrorist organizations run like illegitimate businesses - it's not just about targeting or head hunting, find the cash flow and cut it off. Informative, but written much like a high school research paper with endless supporting facts and "classified documents shown to this author." It easily could have been a twenty page essay rather than 200+ pages of repetition. However, the thesis is relevant: terrorist organizations run like illegitimate businesses - it's not just about targeting or head hunting, find the cash flow and cut it off.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    The book is great in the beginning but becomes repetitive after a while and loses the readers attention. She has solid evidence to support her claims and she has a great multi-approach to solving the drug problem in Afghanistan but you have to get through so much repetitive fact stating to get to her solution. If you have a strong interest in readying about how drugs contribute to terrorism its a great book but beware you might become disinterest after reading too much of Ms. Peters book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Starts out great but it becomes repetitive towards the end. It is very informative and well written but I seemed to loose interest after a while. This may be because I already knew a lot about it or maybe I just have a short attention span-who knows. I think that it's a very important subject that far too many people are unaware of and/or misinformed about. Starts out great but it becomes repetitive towards the end. It is very informative and well written but I seemed to loose interest after a while. This may be because I already knew a lot about it or maybe I just have a short attention span-who knows. I think that it's a very important subject that far too many people are unaware of and/or misinformed about.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

    Extremely good read on Afghanistan. Highly recommended for those who wounder what is really going on. She had been on the ground in Afghanistan for 10 years prior to 9/11. She then returned and did further research for this book. This book seems to be a little pro US but the interviews are real as well as the data.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    I think this is an important story that needs to be told, but this book doesn't seem to do the job. I had already read much of the information in other (and better) books and each chapter seems to just be a different way of saying the same thing-drugs bankroll terrorism. I was disappointed by this book. I think this is an important story that needs to be told, but this book doesn't seem to do the job. I had already read much of the information in other (and better) books and each chapter seems to just be a different way of saying the same thing-drugs bankroll terrorism. I was disappointed by this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gordon

    An incredibly well documented book on the terror-insurgency-drug nexus. Great policy recommendations at the end in Chapter 8. Perfectly in tune with Dr. Felbab-Brown's analysis in Shooting Up. If this doesn't convince you we have to tackle the poppy/opium trade in Afghanistan-Pakistan, nothing will. An incredibly well documented book on the terror-insurgency-drug nexus. Great policy recommendations at the end in Chapter 8. Perfectly in tune with Dr. Felbab-Brown's analysis in Shooting Up. If this doesn't convince you we have to tackle the poppy/opium trade in Afghanistan-Pakistan, nothing will.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ole Phillip

    I can highly recommend this book. Once you get going there is no stopping, you simply must finish it. The author has done a mass of research and it ties in beautifully with other books and articles published on the subject of drugs trade in the region. Even if you would not be interested as such, it reads like a novel and is full of illustrious characters, good and bad, but mostly bad....

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Shabalina

    If you want a real researched book that describes heroin production and trade in Afghanistan and that describes related US policy from a macro level, this book is for you. If you want a riveting story of intrigue, or unique and groundbreaking recommendations to eradicate the trade you might be disappointed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Wow! I learned so much from Gretchen Peters about Afghanistan, terrorists groups, drug trade, and international relations in this book. Her vast knowledge and intimate understanding of Afghanistan provides a unique set of insights into some difficult and complex issues.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Eye-opening read about how al Qaeda and the Taliban are thriving from the drug trade and how combating terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan (and the middle east in general) is pointless unless you deal with the drug trade which has been flourishing for generations. A great read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    The title of the book is a bit of a misnomer. She clearly shows how narcotrafficking is bankrolling the Afghan insurgents, but the links she suggests to Al Qaeda and international terrorism are slim and circumstantial at best. Still, a worthwhile book on narcotrafficking in Afghanistan.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wes F

    Good expose of the rotten-to-the-core drug mafias that exist along both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border--and how the Taliban and al-Qaeda exploit the drug trade for their terrorist/insurgent purposes.

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