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Little America: The War within the War for Afghanistan Paperback – 4 Jul 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408831201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408831205
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Vital reading ... comprehensive, perceptive and detailed work ... Little America is powerful and important and should be read by anyone interested in this on-going and deeply depressing war (Jason Burke, Observer)

A handbook on how not to run a foreign war ... the book tells its story extremely well (Max Hastings, Sunday Times)

An enthralling examination of the failures of American decision-making in Afghanistan ... engrossing and sharply reported ... Chandrasekaran has a fine eye for the absurd parallel universe of the cosseted control centres of modern American warfare ... as an examination of the failings of American decision-making it is second to none (Alex Spillius, Daily Telegraph)

A detailed account of Obama's efforts to cope with the blunders made before he took power and to create the conditions for a sustainable US withdrawal ... Chandrasekaran is at his observant best when chronicling the absurdities of the State Department bureaucracy as it went to war in Kabul ... the book is effectively a critique of US policy and performance, and he makes a nuanced and convincing case (Julian Borger, Guardian)

Little America should be required reading for anyone with an interest in foreign interventions, especially Western politicians, soldiers and diplomats, if only to relieve them of the dangerous idea that we are any good at them. There is no arguing with Chandrasekaran's pithy conclusion: "For years, we dwelled on the limitations of the Afghans. We should have focused on ours" (Justin Marozzi, Mail on Sunday)

Rajiv Chandrasekaran ... has impressive access to high-powered sources, but his outstanding ability is to place violence in its strategic context. His book catches the chaos and bloodshed of a firefight in Sangin (Andro Linklater, Spectator)

Book Description

The author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City (winner of the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize) now gives us the startling, behind-the-scenes story of the struggle between President Obama and the US military to remake Afghanistan.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book written incisively about the largely American efforts to rebuild and stabilise Afghanistan post Taliban rule. If like me you thought you had some ideas as to what was happening politically in this region then I strongly suggest you read this book. It offers analysis and insight from key personnel alongside the authors viewpoints. I would reccomend five stars but was a little frustrated from the small and tantalising British / American relationship and it's alluded conflicts - I would have liked the author to have sought out and expressed the obviously different approaches carried out by Americas principle ally - I felt he did a "saving private Ryan " perspective, fascinating but somewhat biased.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read book for anyone who wants to understand the war in Afghanistan and why the surge will only have short term effects. Written with incredible access to key decision makers, and with front line exposure, this book more than any other goes to the heart of the matter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a really interesting book about recent events in Afghanistan - very readable (not at all dry, as some of the books on this topic can be) but also rather sad - do we not learn anything from history? I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in the region, and the West's military intervention.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a sound book but it needs to be read in conjunction with a detailed study of US politics since 1945. Also the reader needs to have a good working knowledge of US and UK counter-insurgency doctrine, particularly how it has had to be learned by senior officers who were raised and trained in a time of Cold War. Furthermore, one cannot begin to appreciate the varied political and military policies implemented in Afghanistan since 2001 unless one is familiar with the trauma suffered by America as a result of the Vietnam war experience.

That said,the book confirms everything we know about the arguments, conflicts and errors that have pervaded the Afghanistan venture at every level. The conflict between US and UK military is certainly not exaggerated. One of the main reasons for this is the American poor opinion of the performance of UK soldiers in Iraq in the post-war period, some of which is completely justified.

The book amply confirms that the US and its NATO allies are losing and will lose this war-not that the word 'win' has any real meaning in irregular warfare.

I would have liked much more focus on Pakistan for it is that 'failed' state that holds the key to attaining any kind of stability in the region. A very worrying feature of Pakistan's many problems is whether she can be trusted to guard and secure her growing nuclear arsenal from those elements who wish to obtain access to them.

This book is a welcome addition to the growing number of excellent books and articles by academics, diplomats and journalists on the war in Afghanistan.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this book while engaged in stability operations in Helmand was surreal and provided me with greater clarity of thought in why and what we are here to accomplish. I emailed Wes Harris when I read about his dealings with USAID to let him know that I now feel his pain.
CM
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book gives the reader an amazingly detailed insight into the conflicting interests of all the protagonists in the Afghanistan War. Not only that but also for me at least, an enlightening view of the long history of American involvement there. It definitely gives you a new perspective on both past and current news reports. A good 'page turning' read.
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