This is one of those rare books that I couldn't put down. It was as if they'd declassified everything before 2001. A must read to understand this troubled region, and how we got involved. Granted, if anything it petered out a bit at the end, as it was largely a reiteration of Richard Clarke's contention that the Bush administration had zero interest in dealing with al Qaeda. But every now and then it's good to remind oneself of just that.