The Good War: Why We Couldn't Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan

The Good War: Why We Couldn't Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan

by Jack Fairweather
The Good War: Why We Couldn't Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan

The Good War: Why We Couldn't Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan

by Jack Fairweather


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In its earliest days, the American-led war in Afghanistan appeared to be a triumph—a “good war”—in comparison to the debacle in Iraq. It has since turned into one of the longest and most costly wars in U.S. history. The story of how
this good war went so bad may well turn out to be a defining tragedy of the 21st century—yet 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 own.

In The Good War, Fairweather provides the first full narrative history of the war in Afghanistan, from its inception after 9/11 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 Drawing on hundreds of interviews, previously unpublished archives, and months of reporting in Afghanistan, Fairweather explores the righteous intentions and astounding hubris that caused the American strategy in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 more troops and cash. Fairweather argues that only by accepting the limitations in Afghanistan—from the presence of the Taliban to the ubiquity of the opium trade to the country’s unsuitability for rapid, Western-style development—can America help to restore peace in this shattered land.

A 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 U.S. and its allies might have salvaged the Afghan campaign—and how we must rethink other “good” wars in the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465044955
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/11/2014
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

A former foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and the Washington Post, Jack Fairweather won the British Press Award for his reporting on the Iraq invasion and is the author of A War of Choice. Fairweather is currently a Middle East editor and correspondent for Bloomberg News, and he lives in Istanbul with his wife and two daughters.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Mask of Anarchy

Part I
The Missing Peace 2001–2003

Chapter 1. The Wrong Kind of War
Chapter 2. Bloody Hell
Chapter 3. Good Taliban
Chapter 4. The Man Who Would Be King
Chapter 5. At the Gates
Chapter 6. Warlords
Chapter 7. National Solidarity
Chapter 8. A Convenient Drug
Chapter 9. Homecoming

Part II
A Dangerous Alliance 2004–2007

Chapter 10. Imperial Vision
Chapter 11. PRTs
Chapter 12. A Special Relationship
Chapter 13. Eradication
Chapter 14. Friendly Advice
Chapter 15. Fly-Fishing in the Hindu Kush
Chapter 16. A New War
Chapter 17. Medusa
Chapter 18. Bad Guests
Chapter 19. All the Way
Chapter 20. Salam

Part III
The Blood Price 2009–2014

Chapter 21. An Education
Chapter 22. The Switch
Chapter 23. Ghosts
Chapter 24. A Cruel Summer
Chapter 25. Elections
Chapter 26. Political Expediency
Chapter 27. A Reckoning
Chapter 28. The Futility of Force
Chapter 29. Endgame

Epilogue Containment

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