Books about Afghanistan, the Taliban and the current war.

AdmiralAwesome

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I'm looking to get hold of some books in the mentioned areas. While I like to think I know more about the whole situation than your average man in the pub, I don't know as much as I'd like to about it.

Anyone got any good suggestions? I'm pretty broadly interested in Afghanistan, so it doesen't have to be just focused on the events of the last five years. Histories of Afghanistan, the Mujahideen, the Taliban etc. I'd find interesting.

One I would suggest is:
Taliban: The Story of Afghan Warlords by Ahmed Rashid. Very indepth and impartial.
 

Iago

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3 Commando Brigade - Ewen Southby Tailyour
3Para - Patrick Bishop
A Million Bullets - James Fergusson

The above three will quite comprehensively cover the situation in Helmand for 2006/2007 and are well written and concise.

Also, recent issues of the Globe & Laurel would be useful. Hope that helps.
 

Iago

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A Million Bullets is not the best, it goes over alot of the same stuff as in 3Para but the best thing about it is that it focuses a bit more attention on the other units involved, not just the paras. Also it gives a bit more of an opinion than the other two accounts (suggesting opening of dialogue with Taliban, etc).
 

AdmiralAwesome

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I'm pretty well covered with the above on the involvement of British units.

Any suggestions on books about the political dimension of Afghanistan?

Or a history of the country?
 

Touchstone

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The only problem with those books is they are pretty much British military orientated and post invasion, so they tend to have a one sided view, which is good but limits you.

What would be more beneficial is to look at some of the other important events in Afghanistan, such as the occupation by the Soviets, their overthrow by the Taliban, some of the older history such as during the British retreat, and the ethnic and tribal culture.

There was this book, or film, I was told to look at from the viewpoint of young boy who's like is affected by the Taliban, a very different viewpoint. But can't be sure of the title, had kyte in I think...
 

AdmiralAwesome

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That's 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. It was made into a film.

I'd love to read something from the Soviet perspective. Maybe an account of the war from the eyes of a Russian soldier.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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Their overthrow by the Taliban

Sorry to nitpick, but it's a common misconception.

The Taliban had very little to do with fighting the Soviets. They didn't appear majorly on the scene untill after the Mujahideen had forced the Soviets to withdraw.

The infighting between the various warlords enabled the Taliban to come in and take the country.

The majority of the Mujahideen went on to form the Northern Alliance.
 

USMC 1802

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Books on the Soviet-Afghan War:

The Soviet-Afghan War; Grau & Gress
-If you get this book (written by the Soviet General Staff), you'll get virtually everything you need to know about the Soviet side of military operations. Dry, but loaded with facts, figures, vignettes, and critical analysis.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain; Grau
-Entirely consists of Soviet vignettes with virtually all aspects of military operations (i.e. convoy, supply, ambush, air assualt, etc). Again, dry, but full of critical analysis.

Afghan Guerilla Warfare [The Other Side of the Mountain]; Jalali & Grau
-Exactly like 'The Bear Went Over the Mountain' but from the Mujahideen point of view. This is basically the third book of Grau's 'series'.

The Hidden War; Artyom Borovik
-A somewhat surreal account of the psychological complexities of fighting a guerilla war as viewed by a Soviet journalist. One of the best books I have ever read, although I did not appreciate it's lack of action the first time around.

Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story; Tamarov
-A picture book, essentially. Photos with short vignettes by a resentful Soviet veteran.


--I definitely recommend 'The Soviet-Afghan War,' and 'Afghan Guerilla Warfare.' Again, these aren't history books, so much as critical analysis. The two memoirs I've mentioned are very, very short on action, but if you can appreciate the obtruse complexities of war in general, and guerilla war in particular, I think you'd enjoy Borovik's book especially. Be aware that I tend to enjoy dry and otherwise 'boring' books.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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Cheers weaver, exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.

I looked at most of them on Amazon, but I was a little reluctant to buy. I've bought books on the strength of the reviews on there, and been greatly disappointed.

I've just ordered 'The Hidden War.' If I like it as much as you obviously did, I'll probably be PM'ing you for more suggestions!
 

Touchstone

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Sorry to nitpick, but it's a common misconception.

The Taliban had very little to do with fighting the Soviets. They didn't appear majorly on the scene untill after the Mujahideen had forced the Soviets to withdraw.

The infighting between the various warlords enabled the Taliban to come in and take the country.

The majority of the Mujahideen went on to form the Northern Alliance.

It didn't mean from the Soviets, I just meant when the Taliban came into power (90's).
 

Ninja_Stoker

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With the greatest repect to all concerned, as the conflict in Afganistan is ongoing, it is probably prudent not to add to what is already in the public domain.
 
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Gents,
Just remember that this is an open forum and can be read by anyone in the world with internet access. You need to consider what you say on the forum and how it could be potentially used against you. I deliberately do not discuss Special Forces tactics or previous actions due to the security concerns.
Think before you type lads.
 

Pico

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Sorry, as the information has been published and easily available to the public i did not realize it was inappropriate to post it.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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There's no problem with regard what is already in the public domain, however we simply need to be careful not to add detail which may inadvertantly identify individuals or compromise future operations by disclosing which units or individuals may or may not have been involved.
 

Pico

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Ok sorry i will be more careful next time
 

Matt B

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is it therfore inappropriate to now announce in public that I am the real superman, I am currently serving with the slough TA and I am responsible for all major SAS and SBS insertions into Afghanistan?

If so, I won't mention it.
 
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