31 photographs, 17 maps
Grappling with centuries-old feuds, defeating a shrewd insurgency, and navigating the sometimes paralyzing bureaucracy of the U.S. military are issues that prompt sleepless nights for both policy makers in Washington DC and soldiers at war, albeit for different reasons. Few, however, have dealt with these issues in the White House situation room and on the front line. Michael G. Waltz has done just that, working as a policy advisor to Vice President Richard B. Cheney and also serving in the mountains of Afghanistan as a Green Beret, directly implementing strategy in the field that he helped devise in Washington.
In Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret’s Battles from Washington to Afghanistan, Waltz shares his unique firsthand experiences, revealing the sights, sounds, emotions, and complexities involved in the war in Afghanistan. Waltz also highlights the policy issues that have plagued the war effort throughout the past decade, from the drug trade, to civilian casualties, to a lack of resources in comparison to Iraq, to the overall coalition strategy. At the same time, he points out that stabilizing Afghanistan and the region remains crucial to national security and that a long-term commitment along the lines of South Korea or Germany is imperative if America is to remain secure.
MICHAEL G. WALTZ is a lieutenant colonel in the Special Forces (reserve component), president of Metis Solutions, and senior national security fellow at the New America Foundation. Formerly, he was commander of a Special Forces company, counterterrorism advisor to the vice president, and director for Afghanistan policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense–Policy. PETER BERGEN is the author of four books about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, including, most recently, Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad.
List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Foreword by Peter Bergen
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: A Little Girl in Ghazni
1. State of the War: Office of the Secretary of Defense
2. Arabs, Afghans, and Americans: The War of Ideas
3. The Tagab Valley: Patrolling to Ambush
4. The Clinic in Achin: Development Dilemmas
5. The Road to Musa Qala: The Taliban Are Back
6. The French in Maruf: A Pawn in a Diplomatic Game
7. Operation Perth: War by Consensus
8. Back to Washington: The Pentagon and the White House
9. The Mangal Tribe: Protecting People We Can’t Access
10. The Elder in Khost: Risk Aversion and the Cost of Inaction
11. Night Raid: The Catch-and-Release Detention System
12. Blackbeard Rising: The Afghan National Army Commandos
13. On the Border with Pakistan: The Rocket’s Red Glare
14. The Tribes of Chamkani: The Community Defense Initiative
15. Washington Again: Wishing the Problem Away