Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Examining the nuts and bolts of the Afghanistan war, investigative journalist Wissing (Pioneer in Tibet: The Life and Perils of Dr. Albert Shelton) reviews the conflict in terms of a “toxic system” of links between diplomats, private military organizations, aid workers, the Kabul government, and jihadists that has led to the squandering of billions of American dollars, an increase in the opium trade, and rampant corruption leading to funding the Taliban opposition. He effectively outlines how the Bush administration dropped the ball by outsourcing military battles to inept Afghan militants, making bogus deals with drug lords and insincere Pakistani officials, and permitting Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaeda officials to escape into Pakistan. Carefully documenting the hapless capability of the U.S. Agency for International Development, a vital tool of American foreign policy, in the war, Wissing looks into the high life of Kabul diplomats in their booze-filled nights of sex and hijinks, while soldiers risk their necks in the dangerous terrain. One of the most candid behind-the-scenes examples of Afghan War reportage, this book contains a host of voices that spell out the chaos and mayhem of America’s longest war. Agent: Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Mar.)