Redstone's Reviews > The Watch
Aug 02, 2012
What an astonishing and thought provoking book! For this Australian, an uncanny insight into the American conduct of war, the war in Afghanistan, and American views of themselves and others in this war in which Australia was among the very early participants. As with other readers, I was taken with the author's determination to balance perspectives, a rare but essential quality of the best war fiction. Aspects of the writing brought back memories of the disaster in Vietnam, another quagmire in which we were mired. Why are politicians ever so ready to sacrifice the best blood of nations? This immensely disturbing book squarely confronts the question usually avoided in most non-fiction: why the American strategy of war fighting, of bringing societies into the "family of nations" has failed so profoundly. The cultural misunderstandings, military miscalculations, and political mismanagements represented in the story of one American company's actions in Kandahar will provoke all readers of serious fiction. Personally, I'm also left questioning why I initially agreed with the Captain's perspective. I'll think about this for a long time.
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