Title: Frontline Afghanistan – The Devil’s Playground
Author: Ryan, Mike
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2010
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 224 pages
Comments: In the nine years since the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan has rarely been out of the news. Over a thousand coalition military fatalities have been reported, and many times that number of Afghan civilians. The country is in the process of rebuilding, and yet the fighting continues.
Following the success of his previous book, Battlefield Afghanistan, Mike Ryan looks at the state of this war-ravaged nation as Barack Obama finally decides to escalate America’s military presence. He considers the current role of coalition troops and the progress being made, or not being made – more than 100 British troops died in Afghanistan in 2009, the highest death toll for any year since the mission began in October 2001 – things are getting worse, not better. The author has unrivalled access not only to commanding officers, but also to the ‘boots on the ground’.
With more than 200 colour photographs and analysis of the situation from those actually doing the fighting, Frontline Afghanistan may help the reader to make up his or her mind about the legitimacy of the conflict and the possible way forward.
‘This is a different kind of fight. We must conduct classic counterinsurgency operations in an environment that is uniquely complex. Our strategy cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent forces; our objective must be the population … Resources will not win this war but under-resourcing could lose it.’
General Stanley McChrystal
‘Our backing of the Afghan government in its current form continues to distance the government from the people.’
Matthew P. Hoh, former US Marine officer, resigning as senior American civilian representative in Zabul province, November 2009.
As the death toll rises, who is right? Frontline Afghanistan provides a visual record of what is happening now plus the analysis of commanders in the field. It might help you to make up your mind.