OVERRIDE

Seeds of Terror

How Drugs, Thugs, and Crime Are Reshaping the Afghan War

Gretchen Peters

Picador

Seeds of Terror is a groundbreaking triumph of reporting, a book that changed U.S. policy toward the Afghan heroin trade and the fight against terror. In it, Gretchen Peters exposes the deepening relationship between the Taliban and drug traffickers, and traces decades of America's failure to disrupt the opium production that helps fund extremism. The Taliban earns as much as half a billion dollars annually from drugs and crime, and Peters argues that disrupting this flow of dirty money will be critical to stabilizing Afghanistan. Based on hundreds of interviews with fighters, smugglers, and government officials, Seeds of Terror is the essential story of the narco-terror nexus behind America's widening war in Afghanistan.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One

The New Axis of Evil

 

Our battle group was a ragtag crew of scruffy Afgan  and stony- faced American mercenaries. Our target was opium fields profiting the Taliban.

 

As the first light of day cast a pink glow across the desert, the Afghans rewound their turbans to cover noses and mouths, clicked ammunition clips into Kalashnikovs, and piled onto tractors and Bedford trucks. Wearing flak jackets, baseball caps, and dark sunglasses, the men from DynCorp silently checked their M4 rifles, and peered out across the bleak horizon.

 
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  • Gretchen Peters discusses Seeds of Terror on Al Jazeera

    Watch this video to see Gretchen Peters talking about her book Seeds of Terror on Al Jazeera English. She discusses the relationship between the drug trade and terrorism in Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 per cent of the world's opium. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that, according to the US military, funnels an estimated 100-500m dollars to the Taliban each year.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Seeds of Terror

"Stunning . . . A must-read for all western policy makers and President Obama."--Ahmed Rashid, New York Times Bestselling author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos

"Seeds of Terror offers layer after layer of fascinating information about the deadly consequences of decades of disastrous policy decisions. This is a well-written, well-documented, and exemplary work of journalism."--Lewis Perdue, Barron's

"Meticulously researched."--The Sunday Times (London)

"Excellent … Gretchen Peters's disturbing book plainly states that unless the opium-smuggling industry is put out of business, the nation-building exercise in Afghanistan is destined for failure. We should heed her warnings."--Emran Qureshi, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Clear and persuasive."--Booklist

"An important examination of ‘the nexus of [drug] smugglers and extremists’ in the global war against terrorists. Peters builds a solid case [and] has exhaustively framed one of the thorniest problems facing policy makers in this long war."--Publishers Weekly

"A vitally important book. Until the United States admits what Peters knows, and changes course, the virulent narco-terrorism spreading across South Asia will cause us to lose not only Afghanistan but Pakistan as well."--Robert Baer, New York Times bestselling author of Sleeping with the Devil and The Devil We Know

"Required reading for anyone interested in public-policy issues concerning drugs, defense, and diplomacy . . . Buy it."--National Post (Canada)

"Peters has done a superlative job with Seeds of Terror. It is a primer for the new administration--a blueprint for what must be done in Afghanistan to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat."--Jack Lawn, DEA chief under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush

"The linkage between fighting drugs and fighting terrorism is, with Seeds of Terror, now firmly established. Gretchen Peters, combining personal experience and in-depth research, paints a frightening picture and tells us how to surmont the problem. A critically important book."--Raymond W. Baker, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of Capitalism's Achilles Heel

"Detailed and highly readable . . . masterfully traces the enormous success of the illegal heroin trade in Afghanistan."--Frederick P. Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA and author of Why Spy?

"Stunning . . . A must-read for all western policy makers and President Obama."--Ahmed Rashid, New York Times Bestselling author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos

"Seeds of Terror offers layer after layer of fascinating information about the deadly consequences of decades of disastrous policy decisions. This is a well-written, well-documented, and exemplary work of journalism."--Lewis Perdue, Barron's

"Meticulously researched."--The Sunday Times (London)

"Excellent … Gretchen Peters's disturbing book plainly states that unless the opium-smuggling industry is put out of business, the nation-building exercise in Afghanistan is destined for failure. We should heed her warnings."--Emran Qureshi, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Clear and persuasive."--Booklist

"An important examination of ‘the nexus of [drug] smugglers and extremists’ in the global war against terrorists. Peters builds a solid case [and] has exhaustively framed one of the thorniest problems facing policy makers in this long war."--Publishers Weekly

"A vitally important book. Until the United States admits what Peters knows, and changes course, the virulent narco-terrorism spreading across South Asia will cause us to lose not only Afghanistan but Pakistan as well."--Robert Baer, New York Times bestselling author of Sleeping with the Devil and The Devil We Know

"Required reading for anyone interested in public-policy issues concerning drugs, defense, and diplomacy . . . Buy it."--National Post (Canada)

"Peters has done a superlative job with Seeds of Terror. It is a primer for the new administration--a blueprint for what must be done in Afghanistan to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat."--Jack Lawn, DEA chief under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush

"The linkage between fighting drugs and fighting terrorism is, with Seeds of Terror, now firmly established. Gretchen Peters, combining personal experience and in-depth research, paints a frightening picture and tells us how to surmont the problem. A critically important book."--Raymond W. Baker, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of Capitalism's Achilles Heel

"Detailed and highly readable . . . masterfully traces the enormous success of the illegal heroin trade in Afghanistan."--Frederick P. Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA and author of Why Spy?

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Gretchen Peters

  • Gretchen Peters has covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a decade, first for the Associated Press and later for ABC News. A Harvard graduate, Peters was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto and won the SAJA Journalism Award for a Nightline segment on Pervez Musharraf. She lives in the United States with her husband, the Robert Capa Gold Medal-winning photojournalist John Moore, and their two daughters.

  • Gretchen Peters
    Gretchen Peters

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    Seeds of Terror

    How Drugs, Thugs, and Crime Are Reshaping the Afghan War

    Gretchen Peters

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    Picador

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