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Details of Little America: The War within the War for Afghanistan

Little America: The War within the War for Afghanistan
Exact title of book
Little America: The War within the War for Afghanistan
Book author
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
ISBN
9780307947048
Publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Published
Mar 12, 2013
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
416
File size (in PDF)
3744 kB

Some brief overview of book

From the award-winning author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a riveting, intimate account of Americas troubled war in Afghanistan. When President Barack Obama ordered the surge of troops and aid to Afghanistan, Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran followed. He found the effort sabotaged not only by Afghan and Pakistani malfeasance but by infighting and incompetence within the American government a war cabinet arrested by vicious bickering among top national security aides; diplomats and aid workers who failed to deliver on their grand promises; generals who dispatched troops to the wrong places; and headstrong military leaders who sought a far more expansive campaign than the White House wanted.

Through their bungling and quarreling, they wound up squandering the first year of the surge. Chandrasekaran explains how the United States has never understood Afghanistanand probably never will. During the Cold War, American engineers undertook a massive development project across southern Afghanistan in an attempt to woo the country from Soviet influence.

They built dams and irrigation canals, and they established a comfortable residential community known as Little America, with a Western-style school, a coed community pool, and a plush clubhouseall of which embodied American and Afghan hopes for a bright future and a close relationship. But in the late 1970safter growing Afghan resistance and a Communist coupthe Americans abandoned the region to warlords and poppy farmers. In one revelatory scene after another, Chandrasekaran follows American efforts to reclaim the very same territory from the Taliban.

Along the way, we meet an Army general whose experience as the top military officer in charge of Iraqs Green Zone couldnt prepare him for the bureaucratic knots of Afghanistan, a Marine commander whose desire to charge into remote hamlets conflicted with civilian priorities, and a war-seasoned diplomat frustrated in his push for a scaled-down but long-term American commitment. Their struggles show how Obamas hope of a good war, and the Pentagons desire for a resounding victory, shriveled on the arid plains of southern Afghanistan. Meticulously reported, hugely revealing, Little America is an unprecedented examination of a failing warand an eye-opening look at the complex relationship between America and Afghanistan.

About book author

CHANDRASEKARAN is senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He has been the newspapers bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia, and has been covering Afghanistan off and on for a decade. His first book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, won the Overseas Press Club book award.

Biography Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Posty aides; diplomats and aid workers who failed to deliver on their grand promises; generals who dispatched troops to the wrong places; and headstrong military leaders who sought a far more expansive campaign than the White House wanted. Through their bungling and quarreling, they wound up squandering the first year of the surge. Chandrasekaran explains how the United States has never understood Afghanistanand probably never will.

During the Cold War, American engineers undertook a massive development project across southern Afghanistan in an attempt to woo the country from Soviet influence. They built dams and irrigation canals, and they established a comfortable residential community known as Little America, with a Western-style school, a coed community pool, and a plush clubhouseall of which embodied American and Afghan hopes for a bright future and a close relationship. But in the late 1970safter growing Afghan resistance and a Communist coupthe Americans abandoned the region to warlords and poppy farmers.

In one revelatory scene after another, Chandrasekaran follows American efforts to reclaim the very same territory from the Taliban. Along the way, we meet an Army general whose experience as the top military officer in charge of Iraqs Green Zone couldnt prepare him for the bureaucratic knots of Afghanistan, a Marine commander whose desire to charge into remote hamlets conflicted with civilian priorities, and a war-seasoned diplomat frustrated in his push for a scaled-down but long-term American commitment. Their struggles show how Obamas hope of a good war, and the Pentagons desire for a resounding victory, shriveled on the arid plains of southern Afghanistan.

Meticulously reported, hugely revealing, Little America is an unprecedented examination of a failing warand an eye-opening look at the complex relationship between America and Afghanistan.

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