- Hardcover: 608 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books; 1 edition (16 October 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802715540
- ISBN-13: 978-0802715548
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.3 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
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- #1884 in Books > Politics > International Relations & Globalization
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Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons Hardcover – Import, 16 Oct 2007
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“An un-putdownable and explosive account of our most recent times that reveals how while our leaders in the West claimed to be securing our future they were ultimately responsible for one of the greatest deceptions of the age.” ―Simon Reeve, author of the New York Times best-seller The New Jackals Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism.
About the Author
Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark are internationally renowned and award-winning investigative journalists who worked as staff writers and foreign correspondents for the Sunday Times of London for seven years before joining the Guardian as senior correspondents. They are the authors of two highly acclaimed books, The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure, and The Stone of Heaven: Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade. They have reported from South Asia for more than a decade, and now live in London and in France.
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At the center of this story is a remarkable scientist, A.Q. Khan, revered today in Pakistan as the "father of the bomb." It was Khan who used his considerable knowledge and expertise to establish a world wide `network' of friends, associates, and businesses that allowed Pakistan to create a nuclear weapons program. China (PRC) greatly assisted this program having `tilted' towards Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistan confrontation. Khan worked tirelessly from 1975 to his forced retirement in 2001 to provide Pakistan with a nuclear deterrent capability.
The successive governments of Pakistan over the last 30 years have differed in many things, but all supported Khan and his weapons program. And, as this book makes clear, successive U.S. Governments over the same period did not directly support Khan's work, but they did nothing to hamper it either. Indeed geo-political considerations caused the U.S. not only to ignore Pakistan's acquisition of nuclear weapon technology, but to even ignore its export of that technology to countries such as Iran and North Korea, which according to this book's. authors, continues to this day. The title of the book, "Deception" refers not to Pakistan, but to the fact that every administration from 1976 on purposely misinformed the U.S. public on Pakistan's nuclear ambitions and activities.
Rather ironically, the U.S. Intelligence Community actually produced excellent intelligence on both Khan's program and the international trade in nuclear technology. His `network' was pretty well identified by 1985 and its activities were well documented. Unfortunately, as has been often observed, intelligence is only as good as the system it serves and in this case U.S. policy makers over an almost thirty year period were just not interested in this information.
A caveat is in order, the authors of this book are journalists and very good ones at that, but as such they are heavily dependent on interviews with individuals who may have their own agendas to pursue. Therefore, many of the specific details of this book are questionable. Yet it appears that overall this book presents an pretty accurate picture of how Pakistan created a nuclear weapons program under the noses of the U.S. and Western Europe.
I would imagine that it would also complement books on the Cold War, where the US-Soviet antagonism spills into Asia, leading to a whole range of disasters that account for conditions in modern day Middle East Asia.
As an Indian, it is shocking to read about fallacious policies adopted by first, the Carter and then blatantly by the Reagan administrations that allowed Pakistan to lay the roots of what would falsely be classified three decades later as the A.Q. Khan proliferation network, all of which has had terrible ramifications for India and which also ultimately led to India's own 9/11 in 2008.
The authors have made a tremendous effort to take you through every stage of the development of Pakistan as a nuclear nation and how it was allowed to progress "under the radar", so as to sponsor "side projects" to train and arm mujahids against the Red Army, that today the whole world knows as the Taliban and more importantly, Al-Qaeda.
It also exposes CIA operations that function as "a nation within a nation"-a chilling real-life rendition of Orwell's 1984, culminating with the total dismantling of Richard Barlow for exposing the fodder of lies that successive governments were feeding Congress in order to continue funding its Cold War program in Afghanistan.
Today, Afghanistan is well on its way to Talibanisation, Pakistan, inspite of its nuclear program, is a failed state, with its economy in shambles and a joke of a democracy, also, well on its way to religious extremism and India is bracing itself everyday for more and more mujahids breaching our borders, ready to wreak havoc. All this, while scores of innocent Kashmiris are dying everyday.
All in all, after reading this book, you will come out with your thoughts in turmoil and eyes wide open!!