With a 30-year experience of reporting in Afghanistan, no-one has studied this extraordinary country more closely than Jonathan Steele, nor charted so meticulously how outside intervention has worsened internal discord. His is a sobering essay on the empire of folly.
Jonathan Steele has covered the sweep of 30 years of history in Afghanistan and chronicled the lessons of first the Russian, and then the American-led occupations. They are lessons President Obama and his allies have still not fully grasped. This excellent book is a painfully honest account of successive unwinnable wars. It is the book Mr Obama and others will need if Afghanistan is ever to be left to find its own peace and prosperity.
Jon Snow, C4 News
Drawing on more than three decades of reporting from and on Afghanistan, Jonathan Steele offers the best account yet of why, in ignoring the lessons of the Soviet intervention, the Americans are condemned to make many of the same mistakes. A brilliant and disturbing book by one of the most acute and best informed contemporary observers of Afghanistan.