Enduring the Freedom


Enduring the Freedom

A Rogue Historian in Afghanistan

Sean M. Maloney

320 pages


February 2007


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eBook (PDF)

July 2011


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November 2005


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About the Book

Within hours of the September 11 attacks, Sean M. Maloney deciphered that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were the aggressors behind the despicable act. A war in Afghanistan then was inevitable. As a military historian, Maloney was determined to go there to study and record the events for posterity, if for no other reason than the education of his future students at Canada's Royal Military College. What resulted is an in-depth and up-close look at the planning stages, deployment, and aftermath of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

In Enduring the Freedom, Maloney presents a rare on-the-spot view from such important locations as Kabul, Bagram, and Kandahar. He describes the American-led intervention in Afghanistan and the conduct of the war through early 2003, then discusses the events of 2003 from the three locales in detail. Some critics contend that the war in Afghanistan is another Vietnam. Maloney rebuts that appraisal, pointing out that as opposed to the vague language of the Vietnam era, American objectives were clearly stated for Afghanistan. Those objectives were: to destroy al Qaeda's networks, training camps, resources, and communication systems; to destroy any governmental entity providing support or sanctuary to al Qaeda; and to undertake reconstruction efforts to ensure international terrorists can never again use the country as a base. The first objective has more or less been achieved. How to accomplish the last two is still widely debated, and Maloney offers some insightful thoughts and opinions. Finally, he offers educated advice going forward in the hopeful completion of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Author Bio

Sean M. Maloney is a professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada and served as the Canadian Army’s historian for the war in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2014. He is the author of Enduring the Freedom: A Rogue Historian in Afghanistan (Potomac Books, 2005) and Learning to Love the Bomb: Canada’s Nuclear Weapons during the Cold War (Potomac Books, 2007).


"Those who are following the progress of the war on terrorism should find his insights and conclusions interesting and valuable."—militarytrader.com

"Dr. Maloney's book Enduring the Freedom: A Rogue Historian in Afghanistan, is a valuable snapshot of this theatre in early 2003....This book is a worthy and recommended read."—Canadian Army Journal

"Drawing upon his skills as a trained soldier and accomplished historian, Maloney provides a perceptive, firsthand account of NATO and American military operations at the cutting edge in Afghanistan. His is a cautionary tale--much has been accomplished in the war on terrorism, but serious obstacles to long-term regional stability remain. Anyone involved in the war on terror--and who isn’t?--will profit from Maloney’s insights and observations."—Peter S. Kindsvatter, command historian at the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools and author of American Soldiers: Ground Combat in the World Wars, Korea and Vietnam

"A vivid yet insightful view of what the Global War on Terror really means in Afghanistan’s unforgiving mountains and churning cities. Sean Maloney’s combination of on-the-ground experience in Afghanistan and his background as an experienced military historian and analyst bring real insight to a fascinating and strategically vital situation. It has been a new world since 9/11, and Sean Maloney has expertly chronicled a part of it. This is history written from the front line, not the academic desk, by a Canadian with much experience of the emerging nature of conflict worldwide."—David C. Isby, consultant on national security issues and author of War in a Distant Country: Afghanistan--Invasion and Resistance

"Sean Maloney is one of my favorite observers of the contemporary geopolitical scene. He is that rarest of academic creatures--a fun read. He is direct, uncompromising, brilliant, and takes no prisoners. Enduring the Freedom. . . is a super book."—Lester Grau, author of The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost

"The subtitle [of this book] tells readers what to expect, but it hardly prepares them for the level of detail and insight Maloney provides."—Parameters

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