Fighting for Afghanistan

Fighting for Afghanistan Cover

Fighting for Afghanistan

A Rogue Historian at War

By Sean M. Maloney

US Naval Institute Press, Hardcover, 9781591145097, 352pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2011

Fighting For Afghanistan is the third book in the Rogue Historian trilogy, taking Maloney's story into the conflict in 2006, when the Taliban-led insurgency threatened to overwhelm the U.S.-led coalition in southern Afghanistan. This shift to near-conventional warfare, as opposed to the small-scale guerilla attacks and urban terrorism in Kandahar, caught everybody by surprise and forced a small, under-equipped Canadian battle group, supported by a Canadian-led multinational brigade consisting of American, British, Dutch, forces, into a desperate series of battles to protect the city and to prevent the collapse of British forces in neighboring Helmand province. The author arrived on the ground just as the situation spun out of control and he was able to capture, at all levels from infantry company to battle group to brigade headquarters, exactly what happened. This book explains the difficulties in balancing security and development, the challenges of operating in an austere, alien environment, and the human cost of counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan. Fighting For Afghanistan takes the reader through all of the moving parts and planning and then depicts how it played out on the field of battle. During the course of the action, the author became the first Canadian military historian to go into combat since the Korean War. The battles around Kandahar City in 2006 were the turning point in the Afghanistan war and this book is the first to explain events in detail from all three levels. This is the only account that shows the scope of the fighting in the south in this time period. Because of his close proximity to the action, the author was nearly killed on several occasions that summer during the fighting and he brings the intensity of this experience to his writing.