Ghost Wars

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Ghost Wars
Ghost wars cover.jpg
Author Steve Coll
Country United States
Language English
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher The Penguin Press
Publication date
December 28, 2004
Media type Print (hardback and paperback)
Pages 720
ISBN 1-59420-007-6

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, written by Steve Coll, published in 2004 by Penguin Press,[1] won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.[2]

The book provides an in-depth account of Central Intelligence Agency activity in Afghanistan from the time of the Soviet Invasion to the aftermath of attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Particularly taken note of by Coll is the interplay between the CIA and its counterpart in Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence, which utilized CIA and Saudi Arabian funding to build militant Mujahideen training camps along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in an effort to create radicalized, militant fighters sourced from many Arab countries to attack the Soviet occupation. Invariably, as Coll shows, this decision would have long lasting effects on the region.

A slightly expanded edition, taking into account the work of the 9/11 Commission, was published by Penguin in 2005.


Steve Coll won the 2004 Lionel Gelber Prize for Ghost Wars.[3] The work also received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.[4]

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