Business Standard

Book review: Shadow boxing in Af-Pak

In the circumstances, the war became 'a humbling case study in the limits of American power'


T C A Raghavan
Directorate S
The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016 
Steve Coll
Penguin Random House
757 pages, Rs 1,907 

US President Donald Trump’s New Year tweet about Pakistan’s double dealing embodied a decade-and-a-half of US frustrations. The question for many is why it took so long when what underwrote Pakistan’s policy postures was so self-evident, even as the US’s longest-ever military conflict continued without direction.

There can be no better place to find the answer then Steve Coll’s Directorate S. The title is borrowed from the term used by US diplomats and intelligence officers to describe those units in the ISI that

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First Published: Feb 28 2018 | 11:33 PM IST

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