Pakistan, it seems, is a country not only of internal and external strife, but of acronyms. Making sense of Pakistan means making sense of FATAs, the ISI, the NWFP, PATAs and the PPP, to name but a few. So at a time when the media is awash with news of the country’s conflicts and damning of the likely outcome, Hilary Synnott’s book is a useful introduction to Pakistan’s past, present and possible future. Avoiding histrionics, the author considers the true impact of US-led military interventions in and around Pakistan, and argues that the West must shoulder a lot of the blame for the situation in which Pakistan now finds itself. In fewer than 200 pages it may not be possible to give an exhaustive history or a full prognosis, but Transforming Pakistan covers a lot of ground in a concise and accessible way.