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All of Which I Saw captures the United States Marine Corps during some of the most dramatic and important moments of the Iraq War. The book takes the viewer across the Pacific aboard ship, into the Battle of Najaf and Second Battle of Fallujah-where Read took his now-iconic photograph of a wounded Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal-and beyond into the bloody streets of Ramadi and the darkness of the Haditha massacre . . . only to return to the light of homecoming. During the Iraq War, no other photojournalist spent more time with the Marines, and this is a singular, stunning, and indispensable record of the conflict and the Marine Corps at war. Throughout, the book also contains Read's own contemporaneous accounts that tell the stories behind the photos and capture the grim truths about the war in all its violence, tragedy, heroism, and sacrifice.
A whole generation has grown up in Afghanistan knowing little but the ravages of war. The dramatic overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001 was simply one event in a series of interrelated struggles which have blighted ordinary people's lives over the last three decades, and which continue to interfere with reconciliation and reconstruction. This new edition of The Afghanistan Wars provides a meticulously-documented history of these successive waves of conflict. It explores in detail: * the roots of Afghanistan's slide into disorder in the late 1970s * how the Soviet Union came to the rescue of unworthy clients and was then sucked into a quagmire * the frightening consequences of state breakdown and self-interested meddling by Afghanistan's neighbours in the period after communist rule collapsed * the rise and fall of the Taliban regime. Thoroughly revised in the light of the latest research, the second edition also features a new final chapter which examines post-Taliban Afghanistan, bringing the story up to the present day and mounting a strong case for continuing support for this troubled country.
Peace in the Mountains analyzes student activism at the University of Pittsburgh, Ohio University, and West Virginia University during the Vietnam War era. Drawing from a wide variety of sources including memoirs, periodicals, archival manuscript collections, and college newspapers such as The Pitt News, author Thomas Weyant tracks the dynamics of a student-led campus response to the war in real time and outside the purview of the national media. Along the way, he musters evidence for an emerging social and political conscience among the student bodies of northern Appalachia, citing politics on campus, visions of patriotism and dissent, campus citizenship, antiwar activism and draft resistance, campus issues, and civil rights as major sites of contention and exploration.Through this regional chronicle of student activism during the Vietnam War era, Weyant holds to one reoccurring and unifying theme: citizenship. His account shows that political activism and civic engagement were by no means reserved to students at elite colleges; on the contrary, Appalachian youth were giving voice to the most vexing questions of local and national responsibility, student and citizen identity, and the role of the university in civil society. Rich in primary source material from student op-eds to administrative documents, Peace in the Mountains draws a new map of student activism in the 1960s and early 1970s. Weyant's study is a thoughtful and engaging addition to both Appalachian studies and the historiography of the Vietnam War era and is sure to appeal not only to specialists-Appalachian scholars, political historians, political scientists, and sociologists-but to college students and general readers as well.
In summer 2006 Helmand Province erupted into violence as NATO forces struggled to crush Taliban strongholds. For six weeks the Royal Irish Regiment and the Paras defended Sangin in the face of ever-mounting attacks. At this point young officer Patrick Bury was learning the trade of the infantry in the Brecon Beacons. Paddy had always wanted to be a soldier - a desire fraught with the contradictions of a complex history overridden by a 'warrior calling'. When he arrived in Afghanistan with 1stRoyal Irish, he was surrounded by men oozing bloody combat experience. This was not Sandhurst. It was extreme violence and killing. Hades Four One was his callsign and the infantry mantra rang in his ears: 'To close and kill the enemy, in all weather conditions, in all terrain, by day or night.' For six months Paddy and his company dealt with 110 IEDs, of which 60 exploded on them, killing his comrades in the most vicious of ways and fuelling a sense of ever-growing dissatisfaction in the young captain. This powerful and thoughful first-hand account about the 'eternal truths of military life' places the reader in Paddy's boots, sharing every thought, ache, smell and taste of life on the frontline in Afghanistan. He describes modern warfare in a way that creates an understanding of the myriad complexities soldiers are faced with, the conditions in which they operate and the moral and emotional challenges they endure.
Who are the Taliban? Are they a militant movement? Are they religious scholars? The fact that these and other questions are still raised with frequency is testimony to the way the movement has been studied, often at arm's length and with scant use of primary sources. The Taliban Reader forges a new path, bringing together an extensive range of largely unseen sources in a guide to the Afghan Islamist movement from a unique insider perspective. Ideal for students, journalists and scholars alike, this book is the result of an unprecedented, decade-long effort to encourage the emergence of participant-centred accounts of Afghan history. This ground-breaking collection, ranging from news articles and opinion pieces to online publications and poems transcribed by hand in the field, sets the stage for a recalibration of how we understand and study the Afghan Taliban. It challenges researchers to forge new norms in the documentation of conflict and provides insight into the future trajectory of political Islamism in South Asia and the Middle East.
The Sunday Times Bestseller 'Fiercely immersive. Truly heroic.' - Tom Marcus, bestselling author of Soldier Spy. Powerful, highly-charged and moving, No Way Out is Adam Jowett's tribute to the men of Easy Company who paid a heavy price for serving their country. ______________ In Helmand province in July 2006, Major Adam Jowett was given command of Easy Company, a hastily assembled and under-strength unit of Paras and Royal Irish rangers. Their mission was to hold the District Centre of Musa Qala at any cost. Easy Company found themselves in a ramshackle compound, cut off and heavily outnumbered by the Taliban in the town. In No Way Out, Adam evokes the heat and chaos of battle as the Taliban hit Easy Company with wave after wave of brutal attack. He describes what it was like to have responsibility for the lives of his men as they fought back heroically over twenty-one days and nights of relentless, nerve-shredding combat. Finally, as they came down to their last rounds and death stared Easy Company in the face, the siege took an extraordinary turn . . . ______________ 'Vivid and brilliantly written: a pulsating account of the battle for Musa Qala, the Rorke's Drift of our times.' - Martin Bell, OBE, war reporter. 'A superb account of the chaos and brutality of conflict' - Levison Wood
American military power in the War on Terror has increasingly depended on the capacity to see the enemy. The act of seeing-enhanced by electronic and digital technologies-has separated shooter from target, eliminating risk of bodily harm to the remote warrior, while YouTube videos eroticize pulling the trigger and video games blur the line between simulated play and fighting. Light It Up examines the visual culture of the early twenty-first century military. Focusing on the Marine Corps, which played a critical part in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, John Pettegrew argues that U.S. military force in the Iraq War was projected through an "optics of combat." Powerful military technology developed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has placed war in a new posthuman era. Pettegrew's interviews with marines, as well as his analysis of first-person shooter videogames and combat footage, lead to startling insights into the militarization of popular digital culture. An essential study for readers interested in modern warfare, policy makers, and historians of technology, war, and visual and military culture.
Twenty-eight years have passed since the fall of Saigon. We still seek answers to the era's pressing issues. And those who were responsible for planning the Vietnam War, those who fought in it, those who fought against it, and those who reported it have had ample time to reflect on its meaning and on their personal involvement. In "Legacy of Discord," skilled interviewer Gil Dorland discusses serious, unresolved issues with Peter Arnett, Mike Davison, Daniel Ellsberg, Gloria Emerson, Alexander Haig, David Halberstam, Tom Hayden, Le Ly Hayslip, Roger Hilsman, John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, Cau Le, Barry McCaffrey, John McCain, H. R. McMaster, Tom Polgar, Norman Schwarzkopf, Jim Webb, and William C. Westmoreland. For the many veterans, students, and others still seeking to understand this great national tragedy, "Legacy of Discord" will be a book of historic importance.
Approximately 2.5 million men and women have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the service of the U.S. War on Terror. Marian Eide and Michael Gibler have collected and compiled personal combat accounts from some of these war veterans. In modern warfare no deployment meets the expectations laid down by stories of Appomattox, Ypres, Iwo Jima, or Tet. Stuck behind a desk or the wheel of a truck, many of today's veterans feel they haven't even been to war though they may have listened to mortars in the night or dodged improvised explosive devices during the day. When a drone is needed to verify a target's death or bullets are sprayed like grass seed, military offensives can lack the immediacy that comes with direct contact. After Combat bridges the gap between sensationalized media and reality by telling war's unvarnished stories. Participating soldiers, sailors, marines, and air force personnel (retired, on leave, or at the beginning of military careers) describe combat in the ways they believe it should be understood. In this collection of interviews, veterans speak anonymously with pride about their own strengths and accomplishments, with gratitude for friendships and adventures, and also with shame, regret, and grief, while braving controversy, misunderstanding, and sanction. In the accounts of these veterans, Eide and Gibler seek to present what Vietnam veteran and writer Tim O'Brien calls a "true war story" - one without obvious purpose or moral imputation and independent of civilian logic, propaganda goals, and even peacetime convention.
'A remarkable story of subterfuge and brainwashing that few Hollywood scriptwriters could have made up' Simon Heffer, author of The Age of Decadence
In 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, an exodus begins. A thousand American deserters and draft-resisters escape the brutal fighting for the calm shores of Stockholm. These defectors are young, radical and want to start a revolution. The Swedes treat their new guests like rock stars - but the CIA is going to put a stop to that.
It's a job for the deep-cover men of Operation Chaos and their allies - agents who know how to invade radical organizations and crush them from the inside. And within a few months, the GIs have turned on each other - and the interrogations and recriminations begin.
A gripping espionage story filled with a host of extraordinary and unbelievable plays, Operation Chaos is the incredible but true account of the men who left the war, how they betrayed each other and how they became lost in a world where anything seemed possible - even the idea that the CIA had secretly programmed them to kill their friends.
James Tollefson imparts an oral history that has the compelling drama of the best fiction. Conscientious objectors tell the stories behind the classification: the depth of their conviction, their efforts to prove sincere opposition in the face of persecution and criminal prosecution, and their feelings today about their actions during the Vietnam War.
In King of Spies, prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden, reveals one of the most astonishing - and previously untold - spy stories of the twentieth century. Donald Nichols was 'a one man war', according to his US Air Force commanding general. He won the Distinguished Service Cross, along with a chest full of medals for valor and initiative in the Korean War. His commanders described Nichols as the bravest, most resourceful and effective spymaster of that forgotten war. But there is far more to Donald Nichols' story than first meets the eye . . . Based on long-classified government records, unsealed court records, and interviews in Korea and the U.S., King of Spies tells the story of the reign of an intelligence commander who lost touch with morality, legality, and even sanity, if military psychiatrists are to be believed. Donald Nichols was America's Kurtz. A seventh-grade dropout, he created his own black-ops empire, commanding a small army of hand-selected spies, deploying his own makeshift navy, and ruling over it as a clandestine king, with absolute power over life and death. He claimed a - 'legal license to murder' - and inhabited a world of mass executions and beheadings, as previously unpublished photographs in the book document. Finally, after eleven years, the U.S. military decided to end Nichols's reign. He was secretly sacked and forced to endure months of electroshock in a military hospital in Florida. Nichols told relatives the American government was trying to destroy his memory. King of Spies looks to answer the question of how an uneducated, non-trained, non-experienced man could end up as the number-one US spymaster in South Korea and why his US commanders let him get away with it for so long . . .
Quicksilver War is a panoramic political history of the wars that coursed through Syria and Iraq in the wake of the 'Arab Spring' and eventually merged to become a regional catastrophe: a kaleidoscopic and constantly shifting conflict involving many different parties and phases. William Harris distils the highly complex dynamics behind the conflict, starting with the brutalising Baathist regimes in Damascus and Baghdad. He charts the malignant consequences of incompetent US occupation of Iraq and Bashar al-Assad's self-righteous mismanagement of Syria, through the implosion of Syria, and the emergence of eastern and western theatres of war focused respectively on future control of Syria and the challenge of ISIS. Beyond the immediate arena of conflict, geopolitical riptides have also been set in motion, including Turkey's embroilment in the war and the shifting circumstances of the Kurds. This sweeping history addresses urgent questions for our time. Will the world rubber-stamp and bankroll the Russian-led 'solution' in Syria, backed by Turkey and Iran? Is the 'Quicksilver War' about to reach an explosive finale? Or will ongoing political manoeuvring mutate into years of further violence?
Why has the Taliban been so much more effective in presenting messages that resonate with the Afghan population than the United States, the Afghan Government and their allies? This book, based on years of field research and the assessment of hundreds of original source materials, examines the information operations and related narratives of Afghan insurgents, especially the Afghan Taliban, and investigates how the Taliban has won the information war. Taliban messaging, wrapped in the narrative of jihad, is both to the point and in tune with the target audiences it wishes to influence. On the other hand, the United States and its Kabul allies committed a basic messaging blunder, failing to present narratives that spoke to or, often, were even understood by their target audiences. Thomas Johnson systematically explains why the United States lost this "battle of the story" in Afghanistan, and argues that this defeat may have lost the U.S. the entire war, despite its conventional and technological superiority.
In this biography of Edward Lansdale (1908-1987), the man said to be the model for Greene's The Quiet American, Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a 'hearts and minds' diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America's giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals who favoured napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to never-before-seen documents, Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of Lansdale from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evaculation in 1975. Boot rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to resonate, this is a biography of profound historical consequence.
'An Intimate War' tells the story of the last thirty-four years of conflict in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of the Helmandis. In the West, this period is often defined through different lenses -- the Soviet intervention, the civil war, the Taliban, and the post-2001 nation-building era. Yet, as experienced by local inhabitants, the Helmand conflict is a perennial one, involving the same individuals, families and groups, and driven by the same arguments over land, water and power. This book -- based on both military and research experience in Helmand and 150 interviews in Pashto -- offers a very different view of Helmand from those in the media. It demonstrates how outsiders have most often misunderstood the ongoing struggle in Helmand and how, in doing so, they have exacerbated the conflict, perpetuated it and made it more violent -- precisely the opposite of what was intended when their interventions were launched. Mike Martin's oral history of Helmand underscores the absolute imperative of understanding the highly local, personal, and non-ideological nature of internal conflict in much of the 'third' world.
Widely heralded on publication as a "must-read" (Military Review) and "important window on America's battle with al-Qaeda" (Washington Post), Ali Soufan's revelatory account of the war on terror as seen from its front lines changed the way we understand al-Qaeda and how the United States prosecuted the war-and led to hard questions being asked of our leaders. When The Black Banners was published in 2011, significant portions of the text were redacted. After subsequent review by the Central Intelligence Agency, those redactions have been lifted. Their removal corrects the record on how vital intelligence was obtained from al-Qaeda suspects and brings forth important new details on the controversial use of enhanced interrogation techniques (torture) to extract information from terror suspects. For many years, proponents of the use of these techniques have argued that they produced actionable intelligence in the war on terror. This edition of The Black Banners explodes this myth; it shows Soufan at work using guile and intelligent questioning-not force or violence-to extract some of the most important confessions in the war, and it vividly recounts the failures of the government's torture program. Drawing on Soufan's experiences as a lead operative for the FBI and declassified government records, The Black Banners (Declassified) documents the intelligence failures that lead to the tragic attacks on New York and Washington, DC, and subsequently how torture derailed the fight against al-Qaeda. With this edition, eighteen years on from the first sanctioned enhanced interrogation technique, the public can finally read the complete story of what happened in their name after the events of 9/11. The Black Banners (Declassified) includes a new foreword from Ali Soufan that addresses the significance of the CIA's decision to lift the redactions.
As a 26-year old Marine radar intercept officer (RIO), Fleet Lentz flew 131 combat missions in the back seat of the supersonic F-4 B Phantom II during the wind-down of the Vietnam War. Overcoming military regulations, he and his fellow Marines at The Rose Garden (Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong) kept sorely needed supplies moving in while moving combat troops out of Southeast Asia. His personal and accessible memoir describes how pilots and RIOs executed dangerous air-to-ground bombing missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos--quite different from the air-to-air warfare for which they had trained--and kept themselves mission-capable (and human) while surviving harsh circumstances.
A groundbreaking look at how the interrogation rooms of the Korean War set the stage for a new kind of battle-not over land but over human subjects Traditional histories of the Korean War have long focused on violations of the thirty-eighth parallel, the line drawn by American and Soviet officials in 1945 dividing the Korean peninsula. But The Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War presents an entirely new narrative, shifting the perspective from the boundaries of the battlefield to inside the interrogation room. Upending conventional notions of what we think of as geographies of military conflict, Monica Kim demonstrates how the Korean War evolved from a fight over territory to one over human interiority and the individual human subject, forging the template for the US wars of intervention that would predominate during the latter half of the twentieth century and beyond. Kim looks at how, during the armistice negotiations, the United States and their allies proposed a new kind of interrogation room: one in which POWs could exercise their "free will" and choose which country they would go to after the ceasefire. The global controversy that erupted exposed how interrogation rooms had become a flashpoint for the struggles between the ambitions of empire and the demands for decolonization, as the aim of interrogation was to produce subjects who attested to a nation's right to govern. The complex web of interrogators and prisoners-Japanese-American interrogators, Indian military personnel, Korean POWs and interrogators, and American POWs-that Kim uncovers contradicts the simple story in US popular memory of "brainwashing" during the Korean War. Bringing together a vast range of sources that track two generations of people moving between three continents, The Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War delves into an essential yet overlooked aspect of modern warfare in the twentieth century.
** Includes a New Postcript 'The Chilcot Report-Early Thoughts on Military Matters'** From 2001 Britain supported the United States in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 'Victory' in such conflicts is always hard to gauge and domestic political backing for them was never robust. For this, the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were held responsible, and paid the price, but the role played by the High Command in the Ministry of Defence also bears examination. Critics have noted that the armed services were riven by internal rivalry and their leadership was dysfunctional, but the truth is more complicated. In his book Elliott explores the circumstances that led to these wars and how the Ministry of Defence coped with the challenges presented. He reveals how the Service Chiefs were set at odds by the system, almost as rivals in the making, with responsibility diffuse and authority ambiguous. The MoD concentrated on making things work, rather than questioning whether what they were being asked to do was practicable.
Doug Beattie was due to retire from the British Army in 2007, until his CO made a desperate plea: stay on for just one more tour. In March 2008 he returned to Afghanistan.But if 2006 had been hellish, then 2008 was off the scale. For six months Beattie led Afghan and British troops into repeated, exhausting battles with the Taliban. He took part in 50 major contacts and describes in detail the action-packed reality of life and death on the frontline, bringing the chaos and ferocity of the war to lfe with the utmost honesty and humanity. Gripping and moving in equal measure, this searing and personal account from the author of An Ordinary Soldier is a war memoir of the highest possible calibre.
The combat history of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines--or One Five (1/5)--is long and illustrious, but there are many periods of their combat operations during the Vietnam War about which there is little in print. This history is drawn from many years of research, from the author's personal memories, and from careful study of the battalion's Command Chronologies and Combat After-action Reports and other historical records. Most importantly it includes a collection of true stories told to the author by dozens of U.S. Marines who served in and fought with 1/5 during the Vietnam War, at all levels of the Chain of Command. This book hunkers down with the Mud Marines of Charlie One Five, a small but determined band of American fighting men, and their very human and often painful stories of combat cover a wide range of scenarios and situations. Follow the Marines of 1/5 as they are lulled by the exotic and beautiful countryside, trudge through swamps, jungles, mountains, and rice paddies for seemingly endless days, and struggle to stay alert during their cautious passage through the extreme terrain and weather conditions of this incredibly scenic but deceptive land, only to be shattered by sudden and deadly attacks from Viet Cong snipers, ambushes, and command-detonated bombs. Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the Marines of Charlie One Five always emerge victorious in every battle they fight.
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