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Bina Shah has written an excellent review of Akbar Ahmed’s important new bookThe Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam (Brookings, March 2013). I urge you to read it carefully, because I think it accurately sums up much of Ahmed’s tour de force, at least insofar as I understand it.

Shah’s review appeared in the 7 April 2013 issue of the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. It stands in sharp contrast to Michael O’Hanlon’s petulant review that appeared in the Brookings own blog, which I also urge you to read carefully.  (I also must note that I am a newfound friend of Ahmed, so please keep that in mind.)

O’Hanlon, a typical inside-the-Beltway, thinky-tanky self-proclaimed defense scholar, a defender of the Afghan surge and the drone war, cherry-picks a few quotes (out of 369 pages!) in a pique of critique. In…

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