Absolutely! Rajiv is able to convey a story of a people engaged in a struggle to survive.
Rajiv created a vision for me of what life is like in Helmand Province for the locals as well as for the Coalition forces. He made me look at Afghanistan through new lenses and drove me to dig deep into the details of many, many maps. I listened to the book in my car and as soon as I'd get home I was on my computer looking at maps. Great job.
Rajiv recognizes the complexity of Afghanistan. This book conveys how difficult it is at the local level to build a lasting relationship with the Afghanis and transfer their trust to the coalition and ultimately, to a national government. The effort goes both ways but at the local level, it is a challenge village to village, town to town and city to city. The resources required to achieve this are incredibly large and not currently being used.
Yes. In The Graveyard of Empires provides some thought provoking analysis on why the war the Afghanistan is so difficult and provides some solutions.
With Seth Jones' understanding of Afghanistan, I thought his analysis was excellent but his solution was weak. He is right about the lack of forces to take, hold and build infrastructure throughout Afghanistan. He is right about the US's distraction in Iraq which impacted Afghanistan. His solution is to put more pressure on Pakistan, create local defense forces using Afghani citizens and provide heavy assistance from the Afghan army and/or coalition forces when necessary. Security is vital to establishing a nation. I find his solution intriguing but incomplete. He also spent some time comparing different policies for defeating insurgent forces. Most insurgent forces in history have been defeated by law enforcement action as he states but the insurgents have grievances against their own government. Insurgents against an occupying army is more complex. Law enforcement actions would not work against the Taliban because the Afghanis are not loyal to the national government. They are loyal to whoever provides them with security.
An enlightning look into the day-to-day events leading up to the Isreal's War of Independence with insights into both sides of the war. There are many fascinating personal accounts as well as the strategies that both sides attempted to execute.
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