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Afghanistan: The Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower
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Afghanistan: The Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
How did the horrendous situation in Afghanistan, with all its implications for recent events and the present time, come to pass? What was the role of the CIA and Pakistani intelligence in the creation of what became the Taliban? What are the implications for the future and lessons from the past for American forces today?

This highly controversial book reveals one of the gre
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Casemate (first published 1992)
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Jul 02, 2008 Naeem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this some years ago, so my review will be a bit impressionistic. The author is very high up in the Pakistani intelligence (ISI) and was in charge of executing the Pakistani logistics in the campaign against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

There is a bit too much about military strategy and tactical maneuvers here. But there is also plenty about the finances, the transportation of the nuts, bolts, and guns, the relationship between the CIA, ISI, the Mujhideen, and the Saudis, and the
Tariq Mahmood
The author himself sums up the war( Russia's Vietnam) against the Russians in Afghanistan quite succulently at the end of chapter 5.

'The balance of CIA's contributions have played a vital role in the conduct of the Afghan Jehad. Without the backing of the US and Saudi Arabia the Soviets would still be entrenched in that country. Without the intelligence provided by the CIA many battles would have been lost, and without the CIA's training of our Pakistani instructors the Mujahideen would have be
Craig Childs
Feb 02, 2011 Craig Childs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: afghanistan
Story of the soviet defeat at the hands of the mujahadin, ISI,with backing from CIA, from the man who coordinated the efforts. Great insight into the historical dynamic between the mujahadin and the PAK ISI. Useful for understanding the mentality of the Afghan warlord and how difficult it is to organize and hold together such a group.
Neeraj Bali
Aug 08, 2011 Neeraj Bali rated it really liked it
The author, then a Brigadier of the Pakistan Army, handled the Afghan bureau of Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, during the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. Coming from an ex-spy who worked with an organisation known for secrecy, his account is surprisingly detailed. Does it also tell us how the ISI might have attempted to handle its incursions into Kashmir?

The account is straightforward, a planner-trainer-soldier's version of a momentous effort lasting a decade. But one does detect attempts to g
ahmad  afridi
As evident from title , if you agree with "defeat of a superpower by mujahideen" then this is certainly the book you are looking for
even if you don't agree with this , like me ,there is still too much to gain this is the First hand experience of a soldier (brig M, yousaf )from the war front ,commanding afghan bureau of ISI. He wrote up the very details of different operations with maps and other strategic information .

Entrance of soviet forces to Afghanistan opened doors of opportunities to man
Mar 26, 2013 Misha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Speaking of the bear trap. I am on page 67 or so. Just finished a
chapter called "The Infidels". Naturally, it describes the Soviet
strategy, troop location and supply lines. Yousaf goes by a standard
military playbook: his troops strengths and weaknesses, enemy's
strengths and weaknesses (supply lines), and then the plan of
battle. Everything is assessed from the military standpoint, no shades
of gray or compunctions: a village is a source of recruits and food, a
city is a target communists are the en
Feb 21, 2015 Yati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides a reliable insider account of the war that bled USSR, but as far as structure of the book and manner of narration go I find it lacking. Unlike good military histories, it is highly repetitive and the author fails to provide a structured account of the progress of the war. The author's biases are often visible, which is normal with a personal account.Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding Afghan history and the present imbroglio.
Jawad Usman
Feb 20, 2015 Jawad Usman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book from someone who saw it all first hand. Its amazing how all the arguments in Pakistan being made today are exactly the same (against the refugees) that were planted by the KGB and KHAAD. A must read to understand why that Soviet evil had to be rooted out. Its the only book for understanding that since there are only small spinets about what the Soviets did there. This book is mainly about how the guerilla war was conducted both tactically and strategically.
Waseem Arain
May 25, 2013 Waseem Arain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book from no less than a brigadier of Pakistan Army who served in ISI during Afghan-Soviet war. Primarily it is a first hand account of Pakistan Army's and CIA's involvement in the war. It is also a testament that CIA and ISI help build the Jihadist in the region for their ends. CIA brings all the resources (human and material) and ISI executes impeccably. The writer divulges operational details in a subtle manner.
Sep 10, 2016 WR rated it really liked it
Not a book that I would normally pick, but it was loaned to me by my former boss, so I figured it had to be useful reading. A lil technical (in the military sense) for me, but very illuminating about the evolution of the (political) situation in Afghanistan which started the long tail that we are still seeing.
Jul 13, 2012 Mahesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military people
Recommended to Mahesh by: the bookseller at palika bazar
Shelves: non-fiction
was astonished to read that how much money and effort US put into afghan war, i have true sympathy for the russians who inspite of being the overlords in afghanistan provided gas and electricity to villages.
Apr 19, 2007 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My random trips to the book store scored me this one. Usually I'll check the bargin section at the Barnes & Noble to see what history books they in Hardback. Afghanistan the Bear Trap covers the involvemnet of the Pakistani and American intelligence agencies involvemnet with the Mujahideen.
Jul 25, 2015 BAZ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Afghan warlords are introduced the way they really were/are respectively. How they were created and then played against one another.
May 10, 2011 Intikhab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a good account of events that led to the disintegration of USSR. A good read.
Zahid Ramzan
Oct 01, 2016 Zahid Ramzan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story in our backyard you always wanted to know, I liked this book because of the influence of the events that are mentioned in the book have had on Southeast Asian countries.
Hotterthanapileofcurry rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2010
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