This book is the first comprehensive study of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).
The rise of Pakistan-backed religious extremist groups in Afghanistan, India, and Central Asia has focused international attention on Pakistan’s premier intelligence organization and covert action advocate, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate or ISI. While ISI is regarded as one of the most powerful government agencies in Pakistan today, surprisingly little has been written about it from an academic perspective. This book addresses critical gaps in our understanding of this agency, including its domestic security mission, covert backing of the Afghan Taliban, and its links to al-Qa’ida. Using primary source materials, including declassified intelligence and diplomatic reporting, press reports and memoirs, this book explores how ISI was transformed from a small, negligible counter intelligence outfit of the late-1940s into the national security behemoth of today with extensive responsibilities in domestic security, political interference and covert action. This study concludes that reforming or even eliminating ISI will be fundamental if Pakistan is to successfully transition from an army-run, national security state to a stable, democratic society that enjoys peaceful relations with its neighbours.
This book will be of interest to students of intelligence studies, South Asian politics, foreign policy and international security in general.
Table of Contents
PART I: ISI’s Early Days
1. ISI’s origins
2. ISI and Anglo-American intelligence
3. Covert action in northeast India
4. Intelligence and the 1965 War
PART II: ISI at War
5. ISI’s domestic missions under Ayub
6. Intelligence failures in East Pakistan
7. Intelligence and the 1971 war
8. ISI under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Part III: Overreach
9. Zia ul-Haq, Afghanistan, and ISI
10. ISI’s Afghanistan war
Part IV: Adrift
11. Intelligence and democracy: 1988-1999
12. Insurgency in Kashmir and Punjab
13. Escalating tensions with India
14. Pakistan’s Afghan quagmire
15. ISI and Osama bin Laden
PART V: Confrontation
16. Intelligence and nuclear weapons in South Asia
17. ISI-CIA liaison after 9/11
18. Friction in ISI-CIA relations
19. ISI’s internal security missions
20. US operations in Pakistan
21. ISI and the demise of bin Laden
Owen L. Sirrs is Adjunct Professor at the University of Montana, USA, and the author of two previous books, including, most recently, The Egyptian Intelligence Service (Routledge 2011).
"The book has some interesting material... By pulling together the main features of the story, this book represents a useful resource for scholars"
Teresita C. Schaffer, Survival