The Wrong War by Bing West
Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan

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In this definitive account of the conflict, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Bing West provides a practical way out of Afghanistan. Drawing on his expertise as both a combat-hardened Marine and a former assistant secretary of defense, West has written a tour de force narrative, rich with vivid characters and gritty combat, which shows the consequences when strategic theory meets tactical reality. Having embedded with dozens of frontline units over the past three years, he takes the reader on a battlefield journey from the mountains in the north to the opium fields in the south. A fighter who understands strategy, West builds the case for changing course. His conclusion is sure to provoke debate: remove most of the troops from Afghanistan, stop spending billions on the dream of a modern democracy, and insist the Afghans fight their own battles. Bing West’s book is a page-turner about brave men and cunning enemies that examines our realistic choices as a nation.

With a new Afterword by the author.

About Bing West

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Bing West was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under President Ronald Reagan. He served in the Marine infantry in Vietnam. Later, as an analyst at the RAND Corporation, he wrote the Vietnam classic The Village, that war colleges use as a primer in counterinsurgency. As a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, West has covered the war for five years. His books on Iraq - No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah and The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines (co-authored with MajGen Ray Smith)-have won the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award for nonfiction, the Colby Award for military nonfiction, and the Veteran of Foreign Wars Media Award. West is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; his articles appear in The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, and other major newspapers. He appears on National Public Radio and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.From the Hardcover edition.
Published February 22, 2011 by Random House. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Mar 20 2011
Weeks as Bestseller

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Kirkus Reviews

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Marine veteran, Atlantic correspondent and assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, West (The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq, 2008, etc.) offers a bleak view of the war in Afghanistan.

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The New York Times

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That the townspeople in A-Bad who profited from American protection and projects would believe the worst of O’Donnell’s soldiers — whom they knew personally — suggested that the Americans were tolerated but not supported, regardless of their good works and money.” West’s book is coming o...

Feb 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy...

The Wall Street Journal

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Bing West's "The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan" is one of the best books yet written on the war in Afghanistan.

Feb 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy...

Los Angeles Times

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West's solution to the U.S. problem in Afghanistan is a kind of hybrid of the military's strategy in the Vietnam War: Drop the military's involvement in Peace Corps-style projects, assign U.S. advisory groups to work with the Afghan military.

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Lincoln Journal Star

Thank you for reading and relying on for your news and information.

Mar 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy...

Bookmarks Magazine

Long Critical Summary Reviewers tended to regard Bing West's negative appraisal of the Afghanistan War as newsworthy in itself–considering that he is the author of The Village (1972), a classic book about counterinsurgency in Vietnam that is currently assigned to soldiers shipping out to Afg...

Feb 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy...

Marine Corps Gazette

Through his experience patrolling alongside soldiers and Marines, Marine combat veteran and war correspondent Bing West highlights the pitfalls and dangers posed by the current strategy in Afghanistan through combat stories and case studies in “The Wrong War.” West’s numerous tours as a corresp...

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Marine Corps Gazette

He then asks the very important question, “Since it would be disastrous to pull out and we can’t win with the current strategy, is there an alternative?” West sets out to answer that question by describing “the fighting, the objectives, the interaction with the tribes, and the different tactics ...

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