Rajiv Chandrasekaran on 'Little America'

'Little America' by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
'Little America' by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Book cover courtesy of publisher

The United States has been in Afghanistan for more than a decade and has lost nearly two thousand soldiers, yet the goals of the war remain unclear and elusive. In his new book, 'Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan,' Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran looks at what went wrong.

From The Guardian review:

Chandrasekaran suggests - and some military historians might disagree - that Afghanistan is "by far the most complicated war the USA has ever prosecuted". The superlative here might be challenged by many historians but that the conflict was a tough challenge is without doubt.

America, however, could not meet it, he argues. Chandrasekaran's indictment is savage. "Too few generals recognized that surging forces could be counterproductive... Too few soldiers were ordered to leave their air-conditioned bases and live among the people in fly-infested villages. Too few diplomats invested the effort to understand the languages and cultures of the places in which they were stationed. Too few development experts were interested in anything other than making a buck. Too few officials in Washington were willing to assume the risks necessary to forge a lasting peace... Generals and diplomats were too ambitious and arrogant. Uniformed and civilian bureaucracies were rife with internal rivalries. Our development experts were inept. Our leaders were distracted." The result, inevitably, was that "the good war... turned bad."

Chandrasekan joined The Daily Circuit July 23, 2012 to talk about America's war in Afghanistan.

Head over to the Public Insight Network page to check out Jeff Severns-Guntzel's recent article - and query - prompted by 'Little America.'

BLOG: Where do Romney and Obama stand on Afghanistan?

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