By Patrick Cockburn
From the award-winning writer of The upward push 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 zone from 2001 to the current. starting with the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, Cockburn explores the enormous geopolitical fight that's the Sunni–Shia clash, a conflict that shapes the struggle 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 exhibits in arresting aspect, Islamic country didn't explode into life in Syria within the wake of the Arab Spring, as traditional knowledge might have it. The association gestated over numerous years in occupied Iraq, prior to transforming into to the purpose the place it might probably threaten the steadiness of the entire quarter. Cockburn was once the 1st Western journalist to warn of the risks posed by means of Islamic nation. His originality and breadth of imaginative and prescient make The Age of Jihad the main in-depth research of the nearby main issue within the center East to date.
“Patrick Cockburn noticed the emergence of ISIS a lot ahead of anyone else and wrote approximately it with a intensity of figuring out that used to be simply in a league of its personal. no one else was once writing that stuff at the moment, and the judges questioned even if the govt should still examine pensioning off the entire 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 12 months Award 2014
“Quite easily, the simplest Western journalist at paintings within the center East today.”
—Seymour M. Hersh
“One of the easiest educated on-the-ground newshounds. He used to be more often than not right on Iraq.”
—Sidney Blumenthal, in an e-mail to Hillary Clinton
“A compelling sequence of dispatches from a journalist who has discovered the tough golden rule in Iraq: ‘to forecast the worst attainable outcome.’”
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Extra info for Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East
As other states in the region disintegrate, ISIS alone has been able to create a new state, monstrous though it may be, capable of conscripting soldiers, taxing its people and defending its borders. The start of the war in Afghanistan was the prelude to a more general crisis. There were already many fault lines in the Arab and Islamic worlds, but the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the earthquake whose aftershocks we still feel. It energised and expanded existing conflicts and confrontations such as those between Shia, Sunni and Kurds; Saudi Arabia and Iran; countries opposed to US policy and those favouring it.
Already the Hazara Shia Muslims, who make up 19 per cent of the population, are protesting at the Tajik takeover of Kabul. Power in Afghanistan is fragmented and will remain so. Even villages behave like independent republics. A foreign peace-keeping force might help to reduce the friction between different parties, armies and ethnic groups. But, as the UN discovered in Somalia, failure to be seen as wholly neutral would have disastrous results. 1 December 2001 Confident, swaggering, but with an air of jovial menace, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the burly Uzbek warlord who has just conquered much of northern Afghanistan, is explaining how his men have come to kill hundreds of Taliban captives during a prison uprising.
On his return I asked him why he had done such a dangerous thing and he explained wryly that his office in New York had told him to call some expert on Iraq in a think tank in Washington to get their assessment of the US air strikes. My newspaper, The Independent, never put me under any such constraints or questioned my judgement in any of these wars and conflicts. I used to sympathise with American colleagues in 2003 and again in 2008 who knew very well that the war in Iraq was not won, but were being confidently contradicted by their home offices.
Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East by Patrick Cockburn