The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan

Graeme Smith. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61902-479-3
Smith, a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group and former Globe and Mail reporter, sojourns in the strife-torn city of Kandahar to offer gripping and disheartening testimonies to the hell of war and the resilience of foreign correspondents. In 2005, one year before the American-led “surge,” the impressionable Smith arrived in Afghanistan’s war-ravaged south, smitten by the romance of war reporting. His naïveté is quickly shattered by the complexities of the clan-riven country, which is tethered to its ancient culture and hostile to the American-led mission to eradicate the Taliban. It’s a timely story of the perils of reporting from a region deeply inhospitable to Westerners. Kidnapping is an ever-present threat, and Smith adopts a dizzying menu of defenses after his office is raided by unknown gunmen. These obstacles make his stories about prisoner abuse, the Canadian role in the surge, and meetings with Taliban fighters all the more remarkable. Yet it’s the stir created by Smith’s reporting on the opium trade’s “toxic triangle”—of drug dealers, Afghan government officials, and the Taliban—that finally forces him out of the country. “Troop surges didn’t work; the mission was a debacle,” Smith writes, but he champions further investment in the region. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/2014
Release date: 12/01/2014
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-61902-512-7
Open Ebook - 978-1-322-64251-2
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-61902-619-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-307-39781-2
Ebook - 179 pages - 978-0-307-36689-4
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-307-39780-5
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