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The Afghanistan papers : a secret history of the war / Craig Whitlock.

Whitlock, Craig, (author.).

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

4 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Detroit Lakes Public Library 958.1047 WHI (Text) 33500013455795 New On holds shelf -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781982159009
  • ISBN: 1982159006
  • Physical Description: xx, 346 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2021.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Map on liner papers.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-326) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
A Muddled Mission -- "Who Are the Bad Guys?" -- The Nation-Building Project -- Afghanistan Becomes an Afterthought -- Raising an Army from the Ashes -- Islam for Dummies -- Playing Both Sides -- Lies and Spin -- An Incoherent Strategy -- The Warlords -- A War on Opium -- Doubling Down -- "A Dark Pit of Endless Money" -- From Friend to Foe -- Consumed by Corruption -- At War with the Truth -- The Enemy Within -- The Grand Illusion -- Trump's Turn -- The Narco-State -- Talking with the Taliban.
Summary, etc.:
The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about the longest war in American history by Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives. Distracted by the war in Iraq, the US military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. But no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. Instead, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations sent more and more troops to Afghanistan and repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory. Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public's understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government's strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the US government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground. Documents unearthed by The Washington Post reveal that President Bush didn't know the name of his Afghanistan war commander and didn't want to make time to meet with him. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted he had "no visibility into who the bad guys are." His successor, Robert Gates, said: "We didn't know jack shit about al-Qaeda." The Afghanistan Papers is a shocking account that will supercharge a long overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered. - Publisher.
"The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about the longest war in American history by Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist"-- Provided by publisher.
The US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support: defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course. The US military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. Whitlock shows that no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. The Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory. With revelations from people who played a direct role in the war, and admit that the US government's strategies were a mess, Whiotlock provides a shocking account that will change the way the conflict is remembered. -- adapted from publisher info
Reviews

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 August #1
    *Starred Review* "I have no visibility into who the bad guys are in Afghanistan"—words all the more disturbing because they were penned by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a confidential memo he wrote two years after U.S. troops invaded that country. It took Washington Post national security reporter Whitlock and his employer three years and two federal lawsuits to pry loose a U.S. government report, Lessons Learned, an insider analysis of the war comprising 10,000 documents, including oral histories, interviews, and memos emanating from American military brass, diplomats, and security personnel, as well as Afghan officials and many others. In a haunting doppelgänger of the Pentagon Papers, Lessons Learned—and the narrative Whitlock weaves from it here—presents an utterly damning account of American naivete (starting, tragically, with our conflation of the indigenous Taliban with the foreign al-Qaeda), profligacy, and hubris in Afghanistan, all carried along on a river of lies by three administrations. Of particular note here are the sheer depth and extent of Afghan corruption, and America's misguided, fruitless, even ultimately corrupting side war on Afghanistan's opium industry. An important, timely account, especially in the run-up to the U.S. troop withdrawal scheduled for September. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Craig Whitlock is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post. He has covered the global war on terrorism for the Post since 2001 as a foreign correspondent, Pentagon reporter, and national security specialist. In 2019, his coverage of the war in Afghanistan won the George Polk Award for Military Reporting, the Scripps Howard Award for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Freedom of Information Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for international reporting. He has reported from more than sixty countries and is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The Washington Post has built an unparalleled reputation in its coverage of American politics and related topics. The paper&;s circulation, prominence, and influence continue to grow.

 

Subject: Afghan War, 2001-
HISTORY / Asia / General.

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