Akbar Ahmed’s The Thistle and the Drone makes a clear argument that the president and his advisers are putting the al-Qaeda cart before the tribal horse. Rather than exploiting the denizens of “remote tribal regions” as President Obama has proclaimed, the terrorist activities associated with al-Qaeda and its affiliates are actively engaging the responses of tribal peoples whose cultures are facing destruction from the forces of modern society—including national governments—currently led by the United States.
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