Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan [Audiobook]
07 February 2018, 07:53
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 28 hrs 30 mins | 785.12MB
Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, best-selling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.
Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S", was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when 59 countries, led by the US, deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the US was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan.
Today, we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the US-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But, more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s "Directorate S". This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence.
Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism.
The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to Be American [Audiobook]
06 February 2018, 03:49
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 59 mins | 329.73MB
A journalist chronicles the next chapter in civil rights - the story of a movement and a nation, witnessed through the poignant and inspiring experiences of five young undocumented activists who are transforming society's attitudes toward one of the most contentious political matters roiling America today: immigration.
They are called the DREAMers: young people who were brought or sent to the United States as children and who have lived for years in America without legal status. Growing up, they often worked hard in school, planned for college, only to learn they were, in the eyes of the United States government and many citizens, "illegal aliens".
Determined to take fate into their own hands, a group of these young undocumented immigrants risked their safety to "come out" about their status - sparking a transformative movement, engineering a seismic shift in public opinion on immigration, and inspiring other social movements across the country. Their quest for permanent legal protection under the so-called "Dream Act" stalled. But in 2012 the Obama administration issued a landmark new immigration policy: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which has since protected more than half a million young immigrants from deportation even as efforts to install more expansive protections remain elusive.
The Making of a Dream begins at the turn of the millennium, with the first of a series of "Dream Act" proposals; follows the efforts of policy makers, activists, and undocumented immigrants themselves; and concludes with the 2016 presidential election and the first months of the Trump presidency. The immigrants' coming of age stories intersect with the watershed political and economic events of the last two decades: 9/11, the recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama presidency, and the rebirth of the anti-immigrant right.
In telling their story, Laura Wides-Muñoz forces us to rethink our definition of what it means to be American.
The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East [Audiobook]
03 November 2017, 15:35
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 46 mins | 320.5MB
From the Wall Street Journal reporter who's been breaking news on the historic and potentially disastrous Iran nuclear deal comes a deeply reported exploration of the country's decades-long power struggle with the United States - for listeners of Steve Coll's Ghost Wars and Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower
For more than a decade, the United States has been engaged in a war with Iran as momentous as any other in the Middle East - a war all the more significant as it has largely been hidden from public view. Through a combination of economic sanctions, global diplomacy, and intelligence work, successive US administrations have struggled to contain Iran's aspirations to become a nuclear power and dominate the region - what many view as the most serious threat to peace in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Iran has used regional instability to its advantage to undermine America's interests.
The Iran Wars is an absorbing account of a battle waged on many levels - military, financial, and covert. Jay Solomon's book is the product of extensive in-depth reporting and interviews with all the key players in the conflict, from high-ranking Iranian officials to Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating team. With a reporter's masterly investigative eye and the narrative dexterity of a great historian, Solomon shows how Iran's nuclear development went unnoticed for years by the international community only to become its top security concern. He catalogs the blunders of both the Bush and Obama administrations as they grappled with how to engage Iran, producing a series of both carrots and sticks. And he takes us inside the hotel suites where the 2015 nuclear agreement was negotiated, offering a frank assessment of the uncertain future of the US-Iran relationship.
This is a book rife with revelations, from the secret communications between the Obama administration and the Iranian government to dispatches from the front lines of the new field of financial warfare. The Iran Wars exposes the hidden history of a conflict most Americans don't even realize is being fought but whose outcome could have far-reaching geopolitical implications.