The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan
Bing West. New York: Random House, 2011. 336 pp. Intro. Maps. Illus. $28.
Reviewed by Lieutenant General David W. Barno, U.S. Army (Retired)
Bing West has written a superb new account of the platoon and company war in Afghanistan during 2009 and 2010. Beyond being a rousing good war story, his book paints a disturbing portrait of the internal discontinuities of our application of counterinsurgency doctrine. He forcefully conveys the collision of theory with reality that our young troops and junior officers face in carrying out their orders at the “sharp end.” This unvarnished outlook alone makes the book a “must read” for every American senior officer and policy maker involved in this ten-year war.