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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty reality and jet black humour
Sandy Gall is a veteran news reporter and accomplished author with an entirely deserved reputation for letting the main actors in any political situation speak for themselves.

He repeats this knack in his new book, stitching together the opinions of people "on the ground" in Afghanistan to create a picture of high blown sentimental ideals on the part of...
Published on 21 Feb. 2012 by Daniel Park

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3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Fascinating, but it jumps around a bit. I have found it difficult to sort the events into any sort of timeline. I will probely need to read it a few times which will be no problem as I think will I will get something different from it each time I read it.
Published 7 months ago by stewart


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty reality and jet black humour, 21 Feb. 2012
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Daniel Park "danielpark99" (West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Sandy Gall is a veteran news reporter and accomplished author with an entirely deserved reputation for letting the main actors in any political situation speak for themselves.

He repeats this knack in his new book, stitching together the opinions of people "on the ground" in Afghanistan to create a picture of high blown sentimental ideals on the part of "reforming" Western powers who completely failed to learn the lessons of previous Imperial and Soviet disasters in the country, or grasp the geographical and political realities of a system based on opiates and commonplace corruption.

Gall combines the gritty reality of the chaotic situations he observes with the often jet black humour of the people he speaks to. For example, when ex-finance Minister Dr Ashraf Ghani revealed that Afghanistan's rating on international transparency had dropped from 114th to 179th out of 180 countries between 2005 and 2010, one local wit observed "Oh, poor Afghanistan, even on corruption you cannot be Number One."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brillant book, 24 Jun. 2013
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This is a very informative book for those interested in Afghanistan. If anyone with sense in power had this book before entering Afghanistan in 2001, them we may not be in the situation we face now, with thousands dead and only now realising that talking the opposition is the way to peace . Possibly given Mr Galls intimate knowledge of the Afghan people he should have been consulted prior to entering Afghanistan!

One criticism would be more detail on how much Pakistan has helped the Taliban and kept a war continuing with Western Governments own money!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afghanistan, 10 Nov. 2012
An excellent analysis of the conflict in Afghanistan from someone whose experience spans over 3 decades in the country. This is a thoroughly readable account of the complex issues that faced British and American forces and government departments trying to to create a stable country in the far east.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The war against the Taliban, 8 Nov. 2012
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Well I'm ashamed to say that I had assumed Sandy Gall had retired to a quiet life some where!
Not a bit of it.
I had no idea that he and his family were so devoted and active in the support of Afghanistan and it's people.
His knowledge of the country, it's customs and it's history is astounding.
I found this book hard to put down and that it exposed my ignorance of the details of the troubled times this country has been through.
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4.0 out of 5 stars War Against the Taliban, 23 Sept. 2013
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Having read this I fail to understand how we ever got into this quagmire. What a waste of life. We and NATO keep piling money into Pakistan only for them to pass it on to the Taliban. This book should be read by all politicians,
Aid to Pakistan should stop immediately until they mend their ways. What a waste of tax payers money and loss of life. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown how do you sleep at night?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 11 Nov. 2014
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Fascinating, but it jumps around a bit. I have found it difficult to sort the events into any sort of timeline. I will probely need to read it a few times which will be no problem as I think will I will get something different from it each time I read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on the subject, 23 Sept. 2014
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One of the best books on the subject,pity the Prime Minister did not read it before he sent troops there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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James R. Parker "jasparker" (PlaŁen - Germany today) - See all my reviews
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Very pleased with all these items. Many thanks J.P.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful record, 1 May 2012
Most useful for its many detailed interviews of senior British, Afghan, Pakistani, American and other officials involved in Afghanistan in recent years. Ranges widely, discussing both low-level military tactics and national and international politics. Ends with a thoughtful delineation of the deeply connected problems of Pakistan, India and Kashmir.

Major lessons stand out including the need for a single and clear military chain of command combined with integrated direction of the political-diplomatic effort. Both are much resisted by bureaucracies and nations even when acting alone, still more when in multinational efforts. They pay the price. And the civilian population pays a much higher one.

Afghanistan has had a terrible time: can it emerge into peace any time soon? In his book Gall keeps hope alive. Just.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 25 Dec. 2013
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Insightful account of the first 10 years of the Afghanistan campaign to date, exceptionally well researched and written with excellent source material
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War Against the Taliban: Why It All Went Wrong in Afghanistan
War Against the Taliban: Why It All Went Wrong in Afghanistan by Sandy Gall (Paperback - 17 Jan. 2013)
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