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Lost in Kandahar (Kindle Single) by [Berenson, Alex]
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Lost in Kandahar (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Kandahar, Afghanistan, February, 2011--Spy novelist and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson arrives to embed with the 101st Airborne Division, as American forces find their mission of liberating small towns and villages from the Taliban threat increasingly difficult. At Kandahar Air Field, he spends three days, wandering its enormity, meeting collegial soldiers, browsing through shops selling goods emblazoned with the "Enduring Freedom" logo. "At KAF the war feels like nothing so much as a giant and profitable machine," Berenson writes, "paid for by the Chinese and greased with just enough American, British, and Canadian blood to keep it running." But don't mistake this author for glib. The suite of stories he goes on to tell--of combat, of corruption, of "hearts and minds"--depict a lost war, feeding on itself in a land with a history of swallowing invaders whole. But it's the immediacy of Berenson's writing that insists, right now, that "it is worth asking what all this blood and treasure is buying." --Jason Kirk

About the Author

Alex Berenson is a former New York Times reporter whose work led to federal indictments and billions of dollars in corporate fines. His bestselling, Edgar Award-winning John Wells spy novels have sold more than a million copies.

Product Details

  • File Size: 180 KB
  • Print Length: 21 pages
  • Publication Date: March 14, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S41OLI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,979 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first Kindle "Single" download, I guess I should have expected it to be article length, not a short book. But it's worth $1.99 to get an up close look at the hard work our soldiers are doing.

Cut to the chase: I'm a conservative, the author is a liberal. That being said, I found this short book to be very descriptive and informative. The author is a talented writer and paints vivid pictures with lasting imagery. The more I read about our deployments, the more I support our troops and question our government.

Part of this book describes an aid station. This station that Berenson visited has dealt with over 100 trauma cases (military and civilians), and they have had to put lots of our solders (or parts of our soldiers) into body bags. I know this because I am good friends with the Captain interviewed in Chapter IV. I would like to note that the author failed to include any of the positive things we have done to help the locals, my guess is that this is due to his personal bias. But he does not claim this book to be a documentary, it is an opinion piece, and it is a well-written one at that.

Yes, Afghanistan is a mess, and it happens to be the one war that President Obama supported, but our troops are doing the best they can given the rules of engagement they are forced to live by, and given the lack of will of the people they are trying to help. Afghanistan is a horribly corrupt and backwards society (in my opinion), at some point we have to ask ourselves, "why are we there?"
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A cynical journalist (Alex Berenson) spends an uneventful time embedded with US soldiers in Senjaray in Kandahar Province. He talks to the soldiers there about dealing with a baffling local culture, narrowly avoiding IEDs, and surviving an ambush which killed several of their company. Along the way, Berenson explains Army organization (from the fire team up to Gen. Petraeus) and details the costs of the war, finally concluding that the US effort is a quagmire with little or no positive lasting impact. My favorite part of the work was his description of Kandahar Airfield, an oasis of Western civilization and a babel of coalition forces.

The author did a good job mixing big picture facts with the granular experience of those on the ground, but the style was too flippant at times and his pronouncements on difficult issues were too facile. Ultimately, it came across as a somewhat glib recasting of potentially compelling source material.
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Most of us who read these "war" books just want a realistic view of what is going on over there. I felt this book did just that. My only regret is that it was so short. I have no regrets spending the 1.99, and recomend it to anyone who is interested in what the soldiers are enduring. My husband is currently in Afghanistan and since he can't tell me much about his day to day activities, it's given me good insight. I've read a number of these books.

shannah
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As someone who has deployed to Afghanistan, parts of this short book really got the memories flowing. Whether or not you agree with how the author portrays the war, he truly captures the mood of a deployment to Kandahar province. He also does it by focusing on the average Soldiers, not like some obscure and overly strategic General's telling of it might be.

Even the details of moving around the country were captured perfectly. Most readers might think nothing of the inclusion of the bit about Kandahar Airfield (KAF) and its TGI Friday's, and expect the story to begin at the combat outpost. However by including it, he mirrors what the Soldiers go through. He covers it just enough to see the absurdities and make it stick in your head, and gets you wondering what to expect. The Soldiers go through the same thing- they deploy to KAF, get stuck there seeing the excess and the cushy life, then move on to a base in the middle of nowhere.

In the end, the book was very short, but presented the setting and Soldiers' attitudes extremely well.
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It takes guts to embed with an actual fighting unit on the front lines in Afghanistan, and it takes talent to write with the clarity and honesty of Alex Berenson as he shares his experiences in this report from the battle zone. The reader can draw his own conclusions as to the relative merits of our continued involvement in Afghanistan, but those opinions can now be based upon the unadorned facts of what our young troops are doing, day in and day out over there. At $1.99, this is not only a buy but a must buy.
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Currently Im at KAF. His description of this area and the province is spot on. The description of our weight of effort is accurate. Some say this is a liberal view of things on the ground. Well, I'm on the ground, and this is spot on. I saw no sling at either political party. This is just the reality of what's happening here. My biggest critique is that its so short. Well done.
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A good descriptive essay on our work in Afghanistan, and perhaps the best reasons why we should not be there. In the
beginning I thought the move was correct. It appears that we have fallen into the same crevase that the Russians did there
only we do not know when to say ENOUGH. Their culture will continue if and when we leave and I belive that Alex has
clarified that as the case. Interesting reading that updates my past 22 years in the green uniform. History will prevail.
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