Summary of Unholy Wars

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Unholy Wars book summary


8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


In this impressively detailed and exhaustively documented book, John K. Cooley gets to the roots of the international terrorist organizations that are striking fear and violence into the world’s populations. Beginning with surprising revelations about U.S. and Soviet actions in Afghanistan during the Cold War, Cooley traces the origins of today’s terror back to the West’s strategy of creating an army of fanatical Muslim warriors to mire the USSR in its own Vietnam. While that plan was successful, it gave birth to the terrorist violence we face today, and Cooley deftly explains how. strongly recommends this book to all readers for the historic context lacking in mainstream media coverage of the war on terrorism.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the U.S. and its allies set out to create a volunteer army of Muslim warriors to resist the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 80s;
  • How Osama bin Laden found his way to Afghanistan and gained power; and
  • How globalization has affected terrorism.

About the Author

John Cooley is a long-time author and journalist whose other books include Payback: America’s Long War in the Middle East, Green March, Black September: The Story of the Palestinian Arabs , and Libyan Sandstorm.



Russia’s Vietnam
Sometime in 1979, the U.S. began providing support to warriors, or moujahidin, who were resisting the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan. In December of that year, as developing opposition in Afghanistan sparked fears in Moscow that American influence was growing ...

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