Academic journal article Military Review

The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability

Academic journal article Military Review

The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability

Article excerpt

THE PAKISTAN CAULDRON: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability

James P. Farwell, Potomac Books, Washington, DC, 2011, 304 pages, $29.95

THE PAKISTAN CAULDRON revolves around Benazir Bhutto's rise, her assassination, and the actions and reactions of the Musharaf administration in dealing with her. Pakistan's politics are tough to comprehend until one understands the role of the military (the corps commanders), the ethnic and class divides of the society, and the cultures of those divides and how they influence government and politics. Throw in relations with neighbors and allies, the Sunni-Shi'a split, the long history of government noninterference in the Western frontier regions, and the plunging economy, and the reader faces a very complex array. All of these factors are apparent to the author, although not to the average reader, who needs a better introduction to Pakistan and its environs. Once author James P. Farwell hits his stride, the book travels a smoother road and turns into a textbook on "strategic communications."

The military professional should read this book for three reasons. …

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