War Against the Taliban: Why It All Went Wrong in Afghanistan

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A&C Black, Jan 2, 2012 - History - 385 pages
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Since the days of Alexander the Great, Afghanistan’s strategically significant lands have been fought over by foreign invaders. Today, as yet another generation risks life and limb in this inhospitable territory, an ever-rising death toll puts back under the spotlight almost daily the way the modern war in Afghanistan is being run, and demands answers.

Drawing on over a hundred interviews with Afghan politicians, businessmen and ordinary people, and British, American and European diplomats and soldiers, Sandy Gall shines fresh light on the failure to capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora and - equally disastrous - American and British gullibility in the face of Pakistan’s continued tolerance of the Taliban. He asks why the reconstruction of Afghanistan has withered on the vine; and how we have allowed a Presidential style of government to concentrate power in one man’s hands, under whom - amid cronyism and corruption - the Taliban insurgency only grows ever stronger.

But is it too late? Examining the emotive issue of equipment shortages, exposing the extent to which the drug trade has corrupted the country, and assessing the accusation of endemic, systemic failure within the MOD, Sandy Gall addresses the challenges - political, religious, military - that face those now fighting on the most dangerous frontier in the world.
 

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Contents

Zia and the ISI 19701984
3
e Coming of the Taliban 19952001
24
Tora Bora 1 19822001
32
Tora Bora 2 20012011
46
e British in Kabul 20012002
61
e Great Game in the South 2005
82
Ed Butler and Musa Qala 2006
96
CORRUPTION AND BAD GOVERNANCE
117
A Coalition Government 2010
194
WHY WE FAILED IN HELMAND POLITICIANS OR GENERALS?
205
Double Nemesis 20062009
207
General Richards Takes Over 20062011
220
e Battles of Panjwai and Musa Qala 20062007
236
McChrystal Brought Down by Rolling Stone
253
e Afghan Maa 2009
268
e Beginning of the End? Summer 2010
282

Patronage or Corruption
119
e Narco State
127
Sherard and the French
147
e Girl Who Ran Away from Her Husband 2010
153
e State of the Insurgency 2008
165
e ProtectionMoney Racket
181
e Sun in the Sky
302
Turning the Tide
331
Notes
351
Select Bibliography
367
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Sandy Gall CBE, is a British journalist, author, and former ITN news presenter. His career as a journalist spans over fifty years. Sandy Gall has written several books about Afghanistan and made three documentaries about the country during the Soviet War (two of which were nominated for BAFTA awards).

Sandy Gall and his wife also set up the Sandy Gall Afghanistan Appeal charity, which provides support to people who have lost limbs in combat. Gall was awarded the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal in 1987, and the CBE in 1987. In 2003 he became the World Affairs Expert on LBC Radio. In 2010 he was awarded the Order of St Michael and St George for services to the people of Afghanistan. He lives in Kent with his wife, Eleanor Gall.

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