Project Summary Intelligence Review: Directorate S ?The CIA
and Americas Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016-Steve Coll
-Allen Lane- Penguin Books-2018-ISBN-978-1-846-14660-2 Book Review by Agha .H
.Amin , Major (Retired) 07 April 2018 Authored by Agha H Amin List Price: $3.59
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm) Black & White on White paper 30 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1987659184 (CreateSpace-Assigned) ISBN-10: 198765918X BISAC:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / International Secur On
page 12 the writer repeats a false and unsubstantiated claim that CIA pilots
had to fly Russian MI series helicopters for Northern Alliance , whereas in
reality Afghanistan never had any shortage of Afghan helicopter pilots. On page
14 the author confirms his absolute lack of knowledge of geography when he
fallaciously claims that Panjsher valley slices north towards Tajikistan ,
whereas in reality Panjsher valley inclines towards Chitral in Pakistan towards
the Northeast , ending at Anjuman Pass. The authors analysis is a clear
testament of fallacious assessments of US policy makers about Afghanistan like
on page-17 he discusses Al Qaeda and US policy makers obsession with Al Qaeda.
As a matter of fact Al Qaeda was never the real player in Afghanistan all along
. It was a puny group with limited strategic ability.

The real players in Afghanistan all along were Taliban
supported by Directorate S of the ISI. This basic US perceptual error
repeatedly appears in Steve Colls voluminous narrative and Steve Coll himself
is quite confused about it. Steve Colls factually flawed statements like
page-17 where he states “Recalling the miserable fates of Imperial Britain”
while referring to Britains Afghan wars.Why Coll has to make such baseless
statements is perplexing. As a matter of fact all three Afghan wars were a
strategic success , the first being waged by a British private company. All
three Afghan wars made British strategic position in India and West Asia
stronger and created a more stable Afghanistan.I guess it is fashionable in western
authors to make such statements about what a terrible place Afghanistan was and
is . Nowhere does the author analyse that every intelligence agency generates
warnings about likely attacks so that its reputation and credibility is
protected when one attack occurs. On page-37 Steve Coll admits that 9/11 was a
CIA intelligence failure.Page-38 discusses the interesting finding that an
inquiry board in 2005 recommended action against Cofer Black for failing to
perform to professional standards at the time of 9/11. Steve Coll nowhere
analyses why and how Al Qaeda succeeded in 9/11 attacks but could never repeat
this performance .

On page-41 Coll discusses inflated perceptions in the CIA
about Afghanistan where Coffer Black thinks that four or five dozen CIA personnel
may perish in the planned attack on Afghanistan in late 2001. Al Qaeda is all
along exalted by Steve Coll to a very high pedestal. Like on page 50 he
discusses that US policy makers feared an alliance between Al Qaeda and the
Pakistani state. On page-54 Coll starts fabricating Pakistani history
absolutely baselessly when he states that General Musharraf was awarded a
gallantry award for action behind Indian lines in 1971, whereas in reality
Musharraf never saw any action in 1971 India Pakistan War. This false statement
was first mentioned in Steve Colls book and now repeated in the book under
review. I interviewed General Musharrafs commanding officer Brigadier Iqbal
Nazir Warraich now settled in Canada in 2005 and he dismissed this assertion of
Steve Coll as absolutely baseless nonsense.


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