88 Days to Kandahar

88 Days to Kandahar

A CIA Diary

eBook - 2015
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The First American-Afghan War, a CIA war, was approved by President George W. Bush and directed by the author, Robert Grenier, the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Forging separate alliances with warlords, Taliban dissidents, and Pakistani intelligence, Grenier launched the "southern campaign, "orchestrating the final defeat of the Taliban and Hamid Karzai's rise to power in eighty-eight chaotic days. In his gripping narrative, we meet: General Tommy Franks, who bridled at CIA control of "his "war; General "Jafar Amin, "a gruff Pakistani intelligence officer who saved Grenier from committing career suicide; Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's brilliant ambassador to the US, who tried to warn her government of the al-Qa'ida threat; "Mark, "the CIA operator who guided Gul Agha Shirzai to bloody victory over the Taliban; General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, a cautious man who became the most powerful man in Pakistan, struggling with Grenier's demands while trying to protect his country; and Hamid Karzai, the puzzling anti-Taliban insurgent, a man of courage, petulance, and vacillating moods. Grenier's enemies out in front prove only slightly more lethal than the ones behind his own lines. This first war is won despite Washington bureaucrats who divert resources, deny military support, and try to undermine the only Afghan allies capable of winning. Later, as he directed the CIA's role in the Iraq War, Grenier watched the initial victory squandered. His last command was of CIA's CounterTerrorism Center (CTC), as Bush-era terrorism policies were being repudiated, as the Taliban re-emerged in Afghanistan, and as Pakistan descended into fratricidal violence.
Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2015
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476712093
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xix, 443 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates) : illustrations, maps


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May 05, 2015

Working as he did for the CIA, a secretive and clandestine organization I find a tell-all by him as being rather incredible. The book is generally well written and cohesive, lacking in the discontinuities of redactions that I would expect from severe zealous editing by the agency. But the real story is that when Kandahar was a side show there was some kind of plan; later with the attention of higher-ups Kandahar came to be part of a DC power struggle with petty rivalries making any kind of plan irrelevant. Of course we're back beyond where we started. The Afghans know it's just a game. Too bad about all those dead bodies.

ChristchurchLib Mar 31, 2015

Immediately after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., President George W. Bush approved a CIA-led campaign in Afghanistan with the aim of defeating the Taliban and dismantling Al-Qa'ida. Author Robert Grenier, then the CIA's station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, was asked to develop American policy in Afghanistan and direct the war there. His memoir of these experiences provides vivid depictions of the people involved and of the effects of Washington's political and bureaucratic interference. Grenier's detailed chronology of the war, leadership missteps, and subsequent failures concludes with sobering implications for continued American engagement in the region. History and Current Events April 2015 newsletter.


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