The Wrong War enhanced eBook takes you inside the front lines with exclusive video shot by the author while embedded with U.S., British, and Afghan troops over the course of two years. You will witness the firefights as they happened and see the problems soldiers faced on the ground in Afghanistan. Included in the eight videos are:
• Never-before-seen footage from firefights in key hot spots such as Ganjigal in Konar Province and Marja in Helmand Province
• A bare-faced look at counterinsurgency tactics (COIN) and the positive and negative outcomes from U.S. efforts
• Actual video of the threats faced by troops in Afghanistan including IEDs, Taliban snipers, and suicide bombers
• The struggles of U.S. and British forces to effectively work with Afghan troops to counter the insurgency
• In their own words, the experiences of the U.S. soldiers in battle
America cannot afford to lose the war in Afghanistan, and yet Americans cannot win it. In this definitive account of the conflict, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Bing West provides a practical way out. Drawing on his expertise as both a combat-hardened Marine and a former assistant secretary of defense, West has written a tour de force narrative that shows the consequences when strategic theory meets tactical reality.
Having embedded with dozens of frontline units over the past two years, he takes the reader on a battlefield journey from the mountains in the north to the opium fields in the south. West—dubbed “the grunt’s Homer”—shows why the Taliban fear the ferocity of our soldiers. Each chapter, rich with vivid characters and gritty combat, illustrates a key component of dogged campaigns that go on for years.
These never-ending battles show why idealistic theories about counterinsurgency have bogged us down for a decade. The official rhetoric denies reality. Instead of turning the population against the Taliban, our lavish aid has created a culture of entitlement and selfishness. Our senior commanders are risk-averse, while our troops know the enemy respects only the brave.
A fighter who understands strategy, West builds the case for changing course. As long as we do most of the fighting, the Afghans will hold back. Yet the Afghan military will crumble without our combat troops. His conclusion is sure to provoke debate: remove most of the troops from Afghanistan, stop spending billions on the dream of a modern democracy, transition to a tough adviser corps, and insist the Afghans fight their own battles. Amid debate about this maddening war, Bing West’s book is a page-turner about brave men and cunning enemies that examines our realistic choices as a nation.
West (The Strongest Tribe), a former Marine combat veteran and assistant secretary of defense under Reagan, boldly assesses the prospects for U.S. success in Afghanistan in this provocative analysis. The author made eight trips to Afghanistan to witness the Obama administration's counterinsurgency strategy that emphasizes "winning over the population" ("Thus our military became a gigantic Peace Corps... drinking billions of cups of tea, and handing out billions of dollars"). Embedded with frontline troops in Afghanistan's most violent provinces, West eloquently captures their tireless efforts to carry out an "amorphous" mission. The lack of "understandable policy" confused the soldiers, encouraged risk avoidance among commanders, and "created a culture of entitlement" instead of cooperation among the Afghans who are content to accept aid and remain neutral as they wait to see whether the Americans or the insurgents will take ultimate control. Concluding that we can't win with this strategy but that withdrawal would be "disastrous," the author proposes that the U.S. immediately "transition to an adviser corps" whose primary task would be to continue training Afghan forces to defeat the Taliban. West's vivid reporting and incisive analysis provides a sober assessment of the present situation and prescribes a way for the Afghans to "win their own war."
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Telling it the way it is
The author provides a raw front line visual to a complex war run by people far away. Hopefully someone in Washington will take the time to read this terrific book. Heard his interview on the adam carolla podcast and loved bings no nonsense delivery. I felt the same way about the book. Loved it.