Pakistan in the Age of Jihad
Please join us for a book discussion with
JOHN R. SCHMIDT
Senior U.S. political analyst and
George Washington University lecturer
is held in conjunction with
the Institute of International Education
Thursday, December 1, 2011
6 p.m. — Reception
6:30 p.m. — Presentation
7:15 p.m. — Book Signing
Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza, Kaufman Center
New York, NY
UNA Members: FREE
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15
ADMISSION: You must make a reservation to attend (see below)
In The Unraveling, a groundbreaking history of Pakistan's involvement with radical Islam, John R. Schmidt, the senior U.S. political analyst in Pakistan in the years before 9/11, places the blame squarely on the rulers of the country, who thought they could use Islamic radicals to advance their foreign-policy goals without having to pay a steep price. This strategy worked well at first — in Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet jihad, in Kashmir in support of a local uprising against Indian rule, and again in Afghanistan by backing the Taliban in the Afghan civil war. But the government's plans would begin to unravel in the wake of 9/11, when the rulers' support for the U.S. war on terror caused many of their jihadist allies to turn against them. Today the army generals and feudal politicians who run Pakistan are by turns fearful of the consequences of going after these groups and hopeful that they can still be used to advance the state's interests.
The Unraveling is the clearest account yet of the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and jihadist groups — and how the rulers' decisions have led their nation to the brink of disaster and put other nations at great risk. Can they save their country, or will we one day find ourselves confronting the first nuclear-armed jihadist state?
John R. Schmidt teaches at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He served in the State Department during a thirty-year service career, including as political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad in the years leading up to 9/11.
Praise for The Unraveling
"Pakistan is where all the headaches of the twenty-first century come together. In The Unraveling, John R. Schmidt draws upon his firsthand experience as a diplomat in that nation to explain why. This is a book filled with useful information, objectively presented and offered at precisely the right time." Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001
"A rare lucid take on the turmoil in Pakistan... (Schmidt) offers a cogent analysis of the havoc caused by a nettlesome concoction of feudal lords, strong military, American pressure and radical Islamist factions all vying for dominance... A deeply thoughtful study geared for the lay reader." Kirkus Reviews
"John R. Schmidt pulls no punches in this timely book. He makes a powerful case that Pakistan's 'feudal political class' is that deserving but conflicted country's worst enemy. He is just as frank in his critique of U.S. policy. His motive is entirely constructive: he administers a bracing and necessary dose of tough love to one of the most important and troubled interstate relations on earth." Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institute
"This thought-provoking, evenhanded, and sobering history is a 'cautionary tale' about the choices Pakistan's ruling classes have made that threaten to bring it to the brink of destruction." Publishers Weekly
"This is the go-to book for readers who want an in-depth understanding of America's number one foreign-policy conundrum: Pakistan. A lively and forceful prose stylist, John R. Schmidt weaves clear analysis and skilled hands-on diplomatic experience among Pakistan's elites into our best explanation of its downward spiral toward incoherence, fueled by the Islamist radicalism they have nurtured and refused to confront. Essential (and accessible) reading on a challenge Americans will face for years to come." Thomas W. Simons, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
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