peteg's blog

Carlotta Gall: The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014.

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I got suckered by a review in the New York Times; here's another one. Suffice it to say that she was very brave to report from that region, and many of her accounts are vivid and valuable. Unfortunately I was expecting perhaps a second cut at history, and thought she would spend more time on her central contention that the U.S. needed to curb the I.S.I. and/or Pakistani Taliban. I also had trouble tracking all the actors, which is complicated by her often mentioning people only once or twice, and using a few too many dangling pronouns. She tries to be fair, often. Her account of bin Laden's residence in Abbottabad is the best part of this book.

Ahmed Rashid ably summarises the situation in the way I wanted to read about it. He casts doubt on many of Gall's inferences.