Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 26, 2012 - History - 384 pages
4 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book

The author of the acclaimed bestseller and National Book Award finalist, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, tells the startling, behind-the-scenes story of the US’s political and military misadventure in Afghanistan. In this meticulously reported and illuminating book, Rajiv Chandrasekaran focuses on southern Afghanistan in the year of President Obama’s surge, and reveals the epic tug of war that occurred between the president and a military that increasingly went its own way. The profound ramifications this political battle had on the region and the world are laid bare through a cast of fascinating characters—disillusioned and inept diplomats, frustrated soldiers, headstrong officers—who played a part in the process of pumping American money and soldiers into Afghan nation-building. What emerges in Little America is a detailed picture of unsavory compromise—warlords who were to be marginalized suddenly embraced, the Karzai family transformed from foe to friend, fighting corruption no longer a top priority—and a venture that became politically, financially, and strategically unsustainable.

Also:
Washington Post Notable Book
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Book of the Year
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stevesmits - LibraryThing

Little America analyzes the efforts of US and allied forces to combat the Taliban and “nation build” in Afghanistan. “Little America” refers to a large-scale program carried out in the 1950’s and 1960 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

Another great job of interpretive, analytical reporting bu Chandrasekaran. I wish my years in the U.S. Foreign Service did not reinforce the failures of accountability, cooperation, and strategic ... Read full review

Contents

Map of Southern Afghanistan xi
3
PART oneGRAND DREAMs
13
An Enchanting Time
15
Stop the Slide
34
Marineistan
57
The Wrong
78
The Road to Ruins
95
The Surge
110
Allies at War
205
Odd Man Out
217
A Bridge Too Far
236
The Boss of the Border
257
1s A Fresh Can of Whoopass
270
There Was No Escaping Him
286
My Heart Is Broken
301
What We Have Is Folly
317

Part twoSha TTERed PLANs z Bleeding Ulcer
133
Search and Destroy
148
Deadwood
170
Burn Rate
190
Acknowledgments
335
Index
349
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About the author (2012)

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He has been the newspaper's 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. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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