JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Bruce Riedel, Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad

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  • October 2011
    Volume: 
    5
    Issue: 
    4
    Book Review

    This book was important when Osama bin Laden was alive and a seemingly never ending hunt was on for him. But, now, in the backdrop of his death due to an extraordinary Commando Operation in the heart of the Pakistani territory by the US navy seals and the United States having announced a withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014, it helps to understand, the dynamics of the US-Pakistan relationship which is metaphorically a “Deadly Embrace” as the title of the book suggests. It is a brief and compact narrative of the development and evolution of US-Pak relationship which has been full of contradictions and paradoxes. According to Riedel, “Pakistan has the potential to be a game changer for the global jihad like no other country. As the forces of global jihad have terrified Pakistan, the deadly embrace between America and Pakistan has got deadlier” (p. x). The book narrates the history of US-Pakistan relations since 1947 and the major shifts in this relationship from time to time. Focusing primarily on the global jihad and Pakistan as the epicentre of the phenomenon it explains the changes in the US policy towards it with regard to regional and global issues like war, terrorism, jihad and nuclear proliferation. It also explores future policy options in the light of the increasing terror activities of Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan which have essential and provable connections with the politicians, bureaucracy, military and the ISI in Pakistan. “It also provides some thoughts on what may come next in the jihad, along with some policy recommendations on how to help Pakistan help itself” (p. x).

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