Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden,… Themes

Steve Coll
This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ghost Wars.
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Hatred and Rivalry

In reference to Afghanistan, the most obvious theme is rivalry. The various factions are the cause of the civil war once the Soviets depart. They cannot agree with one another long enough to hold together a coalition government that will last for long. The tribes align with one faction or another. The Taliban, which begins as a small militia group, eventually takes Kabul and establishes strict social rules and regulations and shelters bin Laden and the al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance of Massoud is eventually forced into the northern part of the country. It is the rivalry between the factions that fuels the civil war in the country and keeps the fighting going.

In reference to the terrorists, hatred is more of a theme than rivalry is. This is particularly evident in bin Laden who criticizes the Saudis for allowing American in troops during the Gulf War...

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This section contains 679 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, Study Guide
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