“!http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/images/2006/charlieswar.jpg!”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0871138549/002-4289368-6803240?v=glance&n=283155 This is the book on how the US got involved in Afghanistan supporting Islamic militants against the Soviets. Highly recommended. George Crile’s Charlie Wilson’s War is the story of how one man, U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson, almost single-handedly launched the several billion dollar CIA/Saudi operation in Afghanistan to force out the occupying Soviets, without a vote in Congress, and without the clear approval of the President. What started as barely a nuisance campaign turned into the greatest covert operation in CIA history.
Besides the Afghan war, this book gives a brilliant insight on how the US government works. Those from the third world will find themselves at home with all the congressional wheelings and dealings. The amazing thing is the amount of power US congressmen and senators have. Thirdworld senators are barely able to push around a few million dollars, while their US equivalents are dealing in the billions.
Charlie Wilson and America never thought of the consequences (or more likely, didn’t care) of funneling billions of dollars worth of arms through the Pakistan army and training thousands of mujahideens. Thousand of other articles and books have already said this, but this book confirms it, and explains at great length exactly how it was done and funded..
Many people have wondered why the US left so abrubtly after the Soviets left Afghanistan – well, read the book to find out. Charlie’s War not only drove the Russians out of Aghanistan, but destroyed both Afghanistan and Pakistan in the process. Ironically, Charlie Wilson deserves to be high up on Pakistan’s official most hated list, but he remains on Pakistan’s payroll as a lobbyist. Even more ironically, one of Israels biggest supporters, Charlie, was the godfather to the jew-hating “Mujahideen”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mujahideen, who were financed, armed, and trained during Charlie’s War.
A “review”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0871138549/ref=cm_rev_next/102-7372095-7848944?ie=UTF8&customer-reviews.sort%5Fby=-SubmissionDate&n=283155&s=books&customer-reviews.start=31 on Amazon puts it best: “It is one of those books that will teach the reader a great deal on at least a half dozen important topics. ”
There is a “movie based on the book”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472062/ as well, due out in 2008.
* “Salon.com”:http://dir.salon.com/story/books/review/2003/07/21/crile/index.html :: In George Crile’s thrilling tale of good intentions gone wrong, one boozing congressman convinces the U.S. to support the Afghan mujahedin — many of whom 20 years later want to see us dead.