The Wrong Enemy
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The Wrong Enemy : America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014

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Description

Carlotta Gall has reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost the entire duration of the American invasion and occupation, beginning shortly after 9/11. She knows just how much this war has cost the Afghan people, and how much damage can be traced to Pakistan and its duplicitous government and intelligence forces. Now that American troops are withdrawing, it is time to tell the full history of how we have been fighting the wrong enemy, in the wrong country. Gall combines searing personal accounts of battles and betrayals with moving portraits of the ordinary Afghanis who endured a terrible war of more than a decade. Her firsthand accounts of Taliban warlords, Pakistani intelligence thugs, American generals, Afghani politicians, and the many innocents who were caught up in this long war are riveting. Her evidence that Pakistan fueled the Taliban and protected Osama bin Laden is revelatory. This is a sweeping account of a war brought by well-intentioned American leaders against an enemy they barely understood, and could not truly engage.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 329 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 38mm | 559.99g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 0544046692
  • 9780544046696
  • 210,479

Review quote

""The Wrong Enemy" is a timely survey of a military and diplomatic undertaking that has exacted a stiff tribute from Afghans and NATO forces in lives, treasure, and national prestige. Gall is right to confront the uneasy truths involving Pakistan's double-dealing while also identifying coalition shortfalls...When it comes to informative, credible reporting from Central Asia over the past decade, Gall ranks with journalists like Dexter Filkins and David Rohde who have written about Afghanistan with authority and context. But Gall is perhaps uniquely positioned to tackle the troubling questions she raises about Pakistan's alleged support of terrorism...As the US and NATO prepare to possibly withdraw all forces from Afghanistan at the close of this year, Gall's book qualifies as a must-read." "--The Christian Science Monitor""The author offers a compelling account of the attack on bin Laden's compound, the repercussions of which are still being felt. Gall admirably never loses sight of the human element in this tragedy." "--Kirkus"show more

Flap copy

As America winds down its thirteen-year war in Afghanistan, a prize-winning New York Times reporter offers a searing history that asks: have we been fighting the wrong enemy at every step? Carlotta Gall has reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost the entire duration of the American military campaign, beginning shortly after 9/11. She knows how much this war has cost American forces and the Afghan people. She knows the source of power of our real enemy, Pakistan: its duplicitous military and intelligence forces and its numerous jihadist groups have been supporting the Taliban and fueling its insurgency throughout. Yet we have chosen not to challenge our supposed ally directly, relying instead on diplomatic engagement that has failed our troops and the Afghans. Now that American troops are withdrawing, it is time to tell the full history of how we have been fighting the wrong enemy, in the wrong country. Gall combines harrowing personal accounts of battles and betrayals with moving portraits of the ordinary Afghans who endured a terrible war of more than a decade. Her firsthand accounts of Taliban warlords, Pakistani intelligence thugs, American generals, Afghan politicians, and the many innocents who were caught up in this long war are riveting. Her evidence that Pakistan fueled the Taliban and protected Osama bin Laden is revelatory. This is the definitive account of a war brought by American leaders against an enemy they barely understood, and could not truly engage. "show more

Back cover copy

WHO IS OUR TRUE ENEMY? On our fifth and last day in Quetta, four plainclothes men detained my photographer colleague at his hotel downtown. They seized his computer and photo equipment and brought him to the parking lot of my hotel. There they made him call me and ask me to come down to talk to them. I m in trouble here, he told me. It was after dark. I did not want to go down to meet a bunch of ISI men, but I told my colleague I would get help. I alerted my editor in New York. Before I could reach any Pakistani officials, the agents raided my hotel room. I had earlier refused to admit them, but now they got the hotel staff to open the door with a key card, and then they broke through the door chain. The lintel splintered. They burst in in a rush, snatching my laptop from my hands. They were plainclothes intelligence, I realized. Among them was an English-speaking officer wearing a smart new khaki-colored fleece. The other three were the muscle, in bulky winter jackets over dark-colored shalwar kamize, loose-fitting shirt and pants. One of them had the photographer in tow. They went through my clothes and seized my computer, notebooks, and a cell phone. When one of the muscle men grabbed my handbag from me, I protested. He punched me twice, hard, in the face and temple, knocking me over. I fell back onto the coffee table, smashing the cups there, grabbing at the officer s fleece to break my fall and nearly pulling him down on top of me. For a moment it was funny. I remember thinking it was just like a hotel-room bust-up in the movies . . . I was later told by a diplomat that the rough treatment was ordered by the head of the ISPR, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the press department of the Pakistani military, in order to discourage me in my reporting. From The Wrong Enemy "show more

Rating details

586 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 31% (184)
4 43% (250)
3 20% (118)
2 4% (26)
1 1% (8)
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