Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran

From the award-winning writer of Imperial existence within the Emerald City, a riveting, intimate account of America’s bothered battle in Afghanistan.

while President Barack Obama ordered the surge of troops and relief to Afghanistan, Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran undefined. He chanced on the hassle sabotaged not just via Afghan and Pakistani malfeasance yet through infighting and incompetence in the American executive: a warfare cupboard arrested via vicious bickering between best nationwide safeguard aides; diplomats and relief staff who didn't carry on their grand supplies; generals who dispatched troops to the inaccurate locations; and headstrong army leaders who sought a much more expansive crusade than the White residence sought after. via their bungling and quarreling, they wound up squandering the 1st 12 months of the surge.

Chandrasekaran explains how the us hasn't ever understood Afghanistan—and most likely by no means will. through the chilly struggle, American engineers undertook a huge improvement undertaking throughout southern Afghanistan in an try to woo the rustic from Soviet impact. They outfitted dams and irrigation canals, and so they confirmed a comfortable residential group often called Little the USA, with a Western-style college, a coed neighborhood pool, and an opulent clubhouse—all of which embodied American and Afghan hopes for a shiny destiny and an in depth dating. yet within the overdue 1970s—after transforming into Afghan resistance and a Communist coup—the american citizens deserted the quarter to warlords and poppy farmers.

in a single revelatory scene after one other, Chandrasekaran follows American efforts to reclaim the exact same territory from the Taliban. alongside the best way, we meet a military basic whose adventure because the most sensible army officer in command of Iraq’s eco-friendly region couldn’t organize him for the bureaucratic knots of Afghanistan, a Marine commander whose wish to cost into distant hamlets conflicted with civilian priorities, and a war-seasoned diplomat annoyed in his push for a scaled-down yet long term American dedication. Their struggles convey how Obama’s desire of a great conflict, and the Pentagon’s wish for a powerful victory, contracted at the arid plains of southern Afghanistan.

Meticulously suggested, highly revealing, Little the USA is an exceptional exam of a failing war—and an eye-opening examine the complicated courting among the United States and Afghanistan.

Review

“Fascinating and clean . . . Chandrasekaran is an excellent reporter and swish author whose person vignettes, concerned with army and civilian misfires, are on-target and infrequently mortifying.”
-Max Boot, The Wall highway Journal

“Brilliant . . . just a journalist with Chandrasekaran’s adventure and talent may inform this terribly complex tale with such clarity.”
-June Thomas, Newsday

“Sharp and refined . . . significantly informative . . . Little the United States doesn't disappoint.”
-Bill O’Leary, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Chandrasekaran’s apt portrayal of the Afghan viewpoint and on-the-ground tensions makes the publication a needs to for coverage shapers and citizens alike.”
-Hamed Aleaziz, mom Jones

“A must-read account . . . Little the US is the simplest paintings but in addressing our military-diplomatic crusade in Afghanistan and the disorder that stymies it.”
-Peter J. Munson, Small Wars Journal

“Searing . . . strong and well timed reporting, crackling prose, and greater than a bit controversy will make this one of many summer’s scorching reads.”
-Starred assessment, Publishers Weekly

“Clearheaded . . . Well-researched and compelling . . . Chandrasekaran captures the absurdity of a bumbling forms trying to reengineer in its personal photo a society that's part a global away . . . A well timed, convincing portrait of an profession in crisis.”
-Kirkus

“Drawing on interviews with key contributors and 3 years of first-hand reportage, Chandrasekaran can provide a bracing analysis of the problem.”
-Booklist

About the Author
Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and affiliate editor on the Washington publish, the place he has labored in view that 1994. He has stated from greater than 3 dozen international locations and has served because the newspaper’s bureau leader in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia. he's the writer of Imperial lifestyles within the Emerald urban: within Iraq’s eco-friendly sector, a finalist for the nationwide e-book Award and one of many big apple Times’s 10 most sensible Books of 2007. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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No letters yet. January 10. Been to the docks to work again to-day, unloading timber from trucks. Rode down and back this time. They are saying tonight that we are going away tomorrow. Can’t tell. Got letters tonight, very glad. 5 City in Normandy, France, on the River Seine that was used as a depot during the war. A number of Allied hospitals were located in the city’s outskirts. 6 company 7 Janet S. K. Watson, Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory, and the First World War in Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), argues that individuals were disposed to view their contribution to the war effort, frequently but not exclusively, according to their own social class, either in terms of work (especially manual laborers) or of service (members of the middle class).

Went into trenches last night at mid-night. It was dark as pitch, raining in torrents and blowing a gale. Up to knees in water in some parts of trenches. Pretty rotten for the infantry, but they seem cheerful enough. March 28. Rain again. Fairly quiet up the line. We kept in our huts all day. Not much pleasure in going out walking. March 29. Weather a little better. The enemy were rather quiet tonight although they sent over a few trench-mortars. Our party peppered them well with rifle grenades early this morning.

Snow and very cold again today. Did not hear much of the Germans in the sap today, but we are taking the same precautions. Saw several observation balloons up today, but they soon came down again when it started snowing. Aeroplanes too ( 28 ) Commitment and Sacrifice are flying very low owing to the bad weather conditions. Had some fine views of our planes flying low over-head. March 7. Still snowing and very frosty. Things very quiet in the trenches with the exception of some trench mortars and rifle grenade work on both sides.

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