Peter L. Bergen – The Longest War


Ten years have passed since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center, and after seven years of conflict, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq – only to move into Afghanistan, where the 10-year-old fight continues. The war on terror rages with no clear end in sight.

In The Longest War, Peter Bergen offers a comprehensive history of this war and its evolution, from the strategies devised in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond. Unlike any other book on this subject, here Bergen tells the story of this shifting wars failures and successes from the perspectives of both the United States and al-Qaeda and its allies. He goes into the homes of al-Qaeda members, rooting into the source of their devotion to terrorist causes, and spends time in the offices of the major players shaping the U.S. strategic efforts in the region.

At a time when many are frustrated or fatigued with what has become an enduring multigenerational conflict, this book will provide an illuminating narrative that not only traces the arc of the fight but projects its likely future.

Weaving together internal documents from al-Qaeda and the U.S. offices of counterterrorism, first-person interviews with top-level jihadists and senior Washington officials, along with his own experiences on the ground in the Middle East, Bergen balances the accounts of each side, revealing how al-Qaeda has evolved since 9/11 and the specific ways the U.S. government has responded in the ongoing fight. Bergen also uncovers the strategic errors committed on both sides – including the way that al-Qaeda’s bold attack on the United States on 9/11 actually undermined its objective and caused the collapse of the Taliban and the destruction of the organizations safe haven in Afghanistan, and how al-Qaeda is actually losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world.

Author: Peter L. Bergen
Narrator: Peter Ganim
Duration: 16 hours 43 minutes
Released: 11 Nov 2001
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English

User Review:

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I very rarely write a review of anything that I purchase online but I felt like I had to for this book. I don’t think that I’ve been more disappointed by a book in my life. Based on the description of the book, I really expected to get insight into the strategy, tactics, and history of the rise of militant Islam and the ongoing war against terrorism. Instead I got a book nearly entirely dedicated to the bashing of the Bush administration. Not that I would have a problem with that except that this is not how the book is described. To top it all off, in the bashing of the Bush administration, the author often uses the same flimsy and unsubstantiated evidence to criticize the Bush administration as Bush used to make decisions on the so called “War on Terror”. I’m by no means a neo-conservative Bush apologist but this book was really poorly written and especially poorly described. Unless you really love everything related to the bashing of Bush (for nearly 17 hours of your life), I would seriously suggest that you steer clear of this book. I wonder if Audible.com gives refunds.