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Om forfatteren

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He has been the newspaper's bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia. He is the author or co-author of Little America, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and For vis mere Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us about Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Omfatter også følgende navne: R Chandrasekeran, Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Author)

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Had to read this while at EWS in 2019. Learned a lot more about the historical context of Afghanistan and the impact opium has on the country.
SDWets | 6 andre anmeldelser | Sep 6, 2023 |
The conflict in Afghanistan is already America's longest war, and from reading any daily newspaper or watching any news show, we know that there's still much to do before the original U.S. objectives and expectations are likely to be achieved. So the fact that Chandrasekaran describes planning, organizational, civilian, military and political mistakes having been made in the Afghanistan war should surprise no one. And while we may recognize these problems in general terms, it's hard for most stateside civilians to fully understand the nature or extent of the problems faced by our people in Afghanistan. "Little America", explains these problems in painful detail. Chandrasekaran spent time in Country, and his first-hand accounts explain how and why huge nation building efforts are so complex, and so prone to failure due to changing plans, changing circumstances, not having a clear understanding of the local customs and values, and no clear vision of how to accomplish the goals. Particularly troubling are Chandrasekaran's descriptions of how conflicting programs and Government Agency policies lead to self defeating decisions in Afghanistan. Among these are how Agricultural experts, after determining that cotton would be a more benefical and easier to grow crop than poppies by Afghan farmers, were prohibited from implementing this program because U.S. laws prohibit helping non-U.S. farmers to raise competing cotton crops. So the result is that U.S. cotton growers, already subsidized, face no competition, and Afghan farmers continue to grow poppies, increasing drug supply in the U.S. and benefiting the Taliban insurgents. Not the type of story you want to read about after years of involvement in Afghanistan. In summary, despite the frustration of seeing how difficult it for an overreaching bureaucracy to succeed in rebuilding a failing nation, if you're interested in understanding why we weren't more successful in Afghanistan, this book is an excellent source of information.… (mere)
rsutto22 | 6 andre anmeldelser | Jul 15, 2021 |
Pretty good (and surprisingly unbiased/accurate) summary of a specific time in Iraq (2003-2004 occupation period under CPA). Interesting to read this and then some contemporaneous books by the people mentioned in these events (L. Paul Bremer particularly).

In general, when something goes wrong as badly as the Iraq war, I like to think of the counterfactual of "how many bullets in the right bodies would it have taken to solve this at the time, given what a reasonable person should have known at the time with privileged access". Iraq probably was bigger than the one-bullet naive solution (Chalabi), but might be a 3 body problem. Maybe a few more, but still not that many compared to what happened.… (mere)
octal | 42 andre anmeldelser | Jan 1, 2021 |
Movie has very little to do with the book; and I found the movie to be very disappointing, very simple-minded. The book, on the other hand, is extremely powerful, extremely sad. The pathetic, criminal ignorance and ineptitude of the Bush Administration, Rumsfeld's DOD, and the neo-conservatives running the show makes this a very hard read. Chandrasekaran was the bureau chief for the Washington Post before the war and went back immediately after the invasion. He talks to everybody. (I've been following Chandrasekaran's career since he was writing Wash. Post Metro stories about Old Town Alexandria! as he worked with a friend of mine. He went on to become a foreign correspondent.) Great, great job of reporting.… (mere)
tmph | 42 andre anmeldelser | Sep 13, 2020 |



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