A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
Afghanistan was an unwinnable war. This definitive account explains why.
It could have been a very different story. British forces could have successfully withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2002, having done the job they set out to do: to defeat al-Qaeda. Instead, in the years that followed, Britain paid a devastating price for their presence in Helmand province.
So why did Britain enter, and remain, in an ill-fated war? Why did it fail so dramatically, and was this expedition doomed from the beginning? Drawing on unprecedented access to military reports, government documents and senior individuals, Professor Theo Farrell provides an extraordinary work of scholarship. He explains the origins of the war, details the campaigns over the subsequent years, and examines the West’s failure to understand the dynamics of local conflict and learn the lessons of history that ultimately led to devastating costs and repercussions still relevant today.
‘The best book so far on Britain's recent war in Afghanistan’ International Affairs
‘Masterful, irrefutable… Farrell records all these military encounters with the irresistible pace of a novelist’ Sunday Times
"Masterful, irrefutable… [Farrell] records all these military encounters with the irresistible pace of a novelist."
"Authoritative and provocative… For its range and breadth, it is a tour de force and a must read"
"A devastating account of the Afghan saga"
"The best book so far on Britain's recent war in Afghanistan...also beautifully written...the new material which Farrell has unearthed is remarkable"
"There have been many books written on this subject, but Farrell's stupendous research, clear vision and succinct writing are likely to outlast them all"