[PDF READ] (The Good War) Author Jack Fairweather
That s inevitable in as complicated a country as AfghanistanMy problems with the book Bagram Air Base is hardly mentioned just two entries in the index Anyone who s been to Afghanistan knows its importance logistically tactically but also for its prison and special ops center The
book has little discussion of the fighting in the east near the Pakistan border Too much credence is has little discussion of the fighting in the east near the Pakistan border Too much credence is to objections to the use of drones and special forces night raids that targeted known enemies Vignettes about individuals help to give us some appreciation for the difficulties and dangers but I uestion how relevant some of them were Some seemed to be included simply because the author knew or were friends with them not because of their ability to symbolize events Tom Gregg of the UN for example There s not enough for me discussion of the civil war before we invaded and the chaos and destruction it created arguably worse than in the American effort to rebuild the country The author describes corruption but does not give this critical subject enough attention No mention at all for example of the nine hundred million dollars that disappeared from the Kabul Bank in 2010 the bank then saved
Only By An Almost Eual by an almost eual of American taxpayer dollars Not nearly enough discussion of the terrorism of the Talibanin fact far too much support I thought for including the Taliban in any future government That would be rewarding terrorism not punishing it And not nearly enough about the the Taliban in any future government That would be rewarding terrorism not punishing it And not nearly enough about the in Afghanistan most visibly shown by a photo of Kabul at night in 2001 and again in 2014 The difference in the amount of electric lights is astonishing I wish I could find the photos again When I do I ll come back here and include the linkMade clear to me that I didn t know1 The British suffered than their share of combat casualties2 The British were in Afghanistan for national pride than anything else And due to their 19th century involvement probably should have never come back3 Karzai was unfortunately not the George Washington his country needed while Ghani makes one optimistic4 Biden is smarter tougher than I gave him credit forI served in AFG in 2005 while in the Army and then again in 2009 2010 as a contractor Neither time was I in a position to influence or observe much if anything My memories of the country cause me to wish it wellMy own thoughts for what they re worth are to1 Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans They ll probably always continue killing each other Which is tragic but not as tragic as them killing us If Al aeda or a similar group returns take them out again and again make the Afghan leaders who harbor them pay a price2 Never get involved in nation state building not unless the country has first been completely destroyed As were Germany Japan and South Korea Of course I know we didn t fight against South Korea And not unless the country has a strong central government in its history3 Never believe democracy is an appropriate form of government for all nations Sometimes I wonder if it s even appropriate here in America but that s another issue Indisputable is that a democracy reuires an informed educated electorate and that s not at all the case in AfghanistanThe book had good maps but its photographs were insufficient in number and inexplicably small making them of almost no useThe Good War was an easy read and I m glad I read it but I kept having the feeling we still haven t been given the answer to the book s subtitle Why We Couldn t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan Thought this was good but depressing unsurprisingly Politicians and the military really ought to read a few history books before embarking on wars of choice in countries about which they know next to nothing. Biuity of the opium trade to the country’s unsuitability for rapid Western style development can America help to restore peace in this shattered landA timely lesson in the perils of nation building and a sobering reminder of the limits of American power The Good War leads readers from the White House situation room to American military outposts from warlords’ palaces to insurgents’ dens to explain how the US and its allies might have salvaged the Afghan campaign and how we must rethink other “good” wars in the futu. Learned will end up in scholarly analysis to identify the decisions made and how they ultimately affected the outcome of initial missions The overall hope of such analysis is to go forward and not create the same mistakes of those in the past Afghanistan Pakistan and the region surrounding those areas of strife create much talk about failed decision points The book The Good War Why We Couldn t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan by Jack Fairweather delves into what went wrong on the various mission attempts by a vast variety of players in Afghanistan As a prominent war reporter specifically on Afghanistan Fairweather utilized his in depth compilation of knowledge interviews and interactions from the inside to create a visual understanding of how all the pieces of Afghanistan fell together or in reality fell apart His inside look allows a somewhat neutral view on the overall details of how and why Afghanistan has not been a successful mission for the Western nations The title of Fairweather s book helps portray his general interpretation of what manifested in the context of Afghanistan during the past decades Rather the mission was war or peace the end result still remained the same It was a loss for than just the Afghanistans all those involved have lost something in the struggle to gain success The greatest argument that Fairweather presents in this particular book is the multinational collaboration that misunderstood what was needed to bring success to Afghanistan His argument presented several layers of failures The failures were not any one specific Nation effort individual or response Overall from the viewpoint of Fairweather the failure was systemic mishaps and lack of knowledge within the region This insight and perspective view of the region and Afghanistan War brings many aha moments to the open minded reader Regardless of what lane the reader is coming from in the text of Fairweather one can honestly see a fair review of several failures on all parties involved Even with the frustrating realities as a reader one can see a broader examination into the events which shaped the here and now of Afghanistan Fairweather offers a front row seat to the intricate details in a manner that seems reasonable and impartial to all Nations He doesn t pick on any particular Nation than others but merely points out how ill knowledge decisions became bad choices Fairweather provides a comprehensive insightful overview of the Afghanistan War Highlighting the complexities of the country the contradictions in policy and politics and the devastation which ensued it s a must read for those seeking to gain a deeper appreciation of what the US UK and allied presence in Afghanistan was and is With searing narrative drive and the pace of a novelist Jack Fairweather fast becoming one of the great modern military historians writes of the folly that has led to Afghanistan becoming a graveyard for US UK military intervention Fairweather has both a cutting intelligence and a remarkable grasp of context but
also a lucid that essays one of the most stunning accounts of the Afghan war and a lucid style that essays one of the most stunning accounts of the Afghan war and mistakes that led to the impasse we are now at Fairweather stands as a uniue voice both understanding war he is a war correspondent but also making clear his stance that war itself in this instance is folly This joins other legendary war chronicles on my shelf like Michael Herr s Dispatches and Black Hawk Down I ve just finished reading The Good War and still don t think we know where the war went wrong With as many sources as the author had I wonder if he still didn t have enough or if the story we re given is not the whole story just one version of it the Rashomon effect Maybe. Narrative history of the war in Afghanistan from its inception after 911 to the drawdown in 2014 Drawing on hundreds of interviews previously unpublished archives and months of reporting in Afghanistan Fairweather explores the righteous intentions and astounding hubris that caused the American strategy in Afghanistan to flounder refuting the long held notion that the war could have been won with troops and cash Fairweather argues that only by accepting the limitations in Afghanistan from the presence of the Taliban to the Another absorbing account of the West s self
morass in Afghanistan A very eye opening about the motivations personalities successes and failures of the people countries and private enterprises involved in the Afghanistan war Overall this is a very informative history of the war from the perspective of the West When the war started I thought how can we hope to impose a western government on an Islamic nation I had the same thoughts about Ira Fairweather reveals how very little the war architects Rumsfeld Bush etc knew or wanted to know about Afghan society and the degree to which the war was seen not as a chance to help an improvised nation but rather as a chance to build personal resumes US military leaders seemed interested in playing soldier than trying to work out strategies that would work in Afghan society the British were interested only in showing that they had a military to be reckoned with and political figures in Western countries were interested on only doing the bare minimum to be seen as contributing to the war effort All in all a pretty damning assessment of the minds and decision makers behind the war effortWhile I felt that Fairweather did a nice job of addressing the Western people effort and motivations I did not feel that I learned much about the Afghan point of view There was s good deal about Karzai but very little about the thoughts and motivations of the Taliban Afghan war lords and the Afghan people Fairweather wrote about the anti American and anti British feelings of the people but very little about what they wanted or needed at least initially from the westAfter finishing the book I was still asking the uestion Could this war have been a success with a different approach from the West or does the Afghan tribal society and the role of Islam make this a problem that cannot be effectively addressed by the West The Good War is easily read like a tragic novel A brilliant description of the different factors that led to the failure in Afghanistan The appalling lack of sensitivity and knowledge of most Western actors coupled with a lack of leadership and US aggressiveness are showcased as the ingredients for disaster Not very promising for future challenges As the author points out in the content of his book there was a whole series of reasons for not winning the war or the peace in AfghanistanStarting with poor leadership from the White House POTUS never gave firm strategic guidance or direction for the prosecution of the war which left the Joint Chiefs of Staff the Combatant Commanders and the in country *Commanders In A Fix *in a fix the introduction of a NATO Headuarters and forces for the first time in history all leading to a goat rope of command relationshipsTo top it all off the British were trying to prove their military relevance in the 21st century Not a good time and place All of the above happening without the proper troop strengths at NATO or the US Corrupt Afghan government corrupt
created morass in afghanistan a very eye opening
police force inexperienced and untrained Afghan army senseless rules of engagement and to top it off inexperienced civilians trying force inexperienced and untrained Afghan army senseless rules of engagement and to top it off inexperienced civilians trying figure out do we conduct nation building or not Examples of fixing a problem with a hammer instead using a screwdriver see US Marines in Helmand Numerous politicians both western and Afghani working their own agendas Not understanding Afghan societal structure and finally and most importantly NOT LISTENING to the people who had the answers and solutions to the military and political problemsAll this and within the cover of this excellent book A concise et comprehensive history of America s war in Afghanistan War will always be examined and critiued for the causalities failures and lost missions Lessons. In its earliest days the American led war in Afghanistan appeared to be a triumph a “good war” in comparison to the debacle in Ira It has since turned into one of the longest and most costly wars in US history The story of howthis good war went so bad may well turn out to be a defining tragedy of the 21st century et as acclaimed war correspondent Jack Fairweather explains it should also give us reason to hope for an outcome grounded in Afghan reality rather than our ownIn The Good War Fairweather provides the first full. .