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No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan Hardcover – April 19, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The most intense fighting footage and the best anatomy of a battle I’ve ever seen.”
— Spike Jonze (Academy Award-winning director) on Ben Anderson’s film Taking on the Taliban

About the Author

Ben Anderson has been making documentaries and writing for over 14 years, producing over forty films for HBO, the Discovery Channel, PBS and VBS, and the BBC. He has written and presented five of his own series for BBC television in the UK. His films have been finalists for the BAFTA and he has written for Esquire, The Times of London, Guardian, London Review of Books, Mirror, and the Daily Mail. He has appeared on a variety of national TV shows in the US, including: MSNBC Morning Joe, MSNBC Jansing and Company, FOX America's Newsroom, CNN Parker/Spitzer and MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews. He lives in the UK.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (April 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851688528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851688524
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am not usually into war books , but I have often wondered what is really going on in Afghanistan today and this book summarises the shoe situation perfectly. It's a must read- it submerges you into the true reality of the conflict ! The style is original and eye opening as the brave journalist Ben Anderson who follows, for weeks and months on end, the US Marines and British soldiers as they carry out the biggest military operations. He's right there when people are getting killed around him, risking his life again and again. Because he is right there on the frontline, he sees what's really happening, from all angles. This gives you a broad insight into how difficult it has been for the fighting troops- and how terrifying it is for the innocent local people. Truly gripping, clever and compassionately written the book takes you through all the emotions. I'm reading it again already.
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Format: Hardcover
I had to think long and hard about what I was going to try and say in my review of this book; "No Worse Enemy". It's a good book written from the perspective of a British journalist and documentary filmmaker (The documentary; The Battle for Marjah is based on part of this book) who has been visiting Afghanistan off and on for the last few years.

This book covers the period 2007 to early 2011 starting off with the British forces on the ground and finishing with the Marines at Sangin in Helmand province. The author made the point of going out on patrol with the soldiers of both nations and to see the war through their eyes and also through the eyes of the Afghan civilians they were supposedly fighting the war for.

The book presents the reader with the contradiction between policy and statements offered by allied governments and what is actually occurring on the ground and in the villages throughout the provinces of Afghanistan. It reminded me of this famous incident:

"Writing about the provincial capital, B'n Tre, on 7 February 1968, Peter Arnett cited an unidentified U.S. military official as follows: "'It became necessary to destroy the town to save it', a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong." The quote became famous, eventually becoming the more familiar, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it". - This seems to be what is happening out in the villages and fields of Afghanistan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For this review, I should disclose a bias. My younger son is a wounded Warrior who was the Lieutenant infantry platoon commander of 2d Platoon, Lima Company, 3/5 Marines in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan until, during a dismounted patrol in late October 2010, an IED explosion blew off his legs and sent him on a journey to Bethesda Naval Hospital and to Walter Reed for prosthetics. While at Walter Reed, James sent me by e-mail a link to Mr. Anderson's BBC video of a dismounted patrol by 3d Platoon, Lima Company; and we both watched the video. In August 2011, I talked with Captain Matt Peterson, who is depicted in the video, about the video, and he said he still had not watched the video, that it was a tough time. Indeed, it was a tough time. At the 3/5 Memorial Service on a hilltop at Camp Pendleton in April 2011, there were 25 battlefield crosses and over 150 wounded 3/5 Marines attending. Then Lieutenant (now Captain) James Byler was in attendance, standing with his old platoon on prosthetic legs; that was progress. James's first outing from Bethesda on November 22, 2010, was to attend, in a wheelchair, the Arlington service for his friend and fellow Lieutenant infantry platoon commander Robert Kelly. After James was wounded, Rob from Afghanistan had called James in Bethesda's intensive care unit; a few weeks later, Marine casualty officers walked into James's Bethesda surgical ward room to inform him that Rob had been killed. Very, very tough times.

Because history should record what the "Darkhorse" 3/5 Marines accomplished for their losses in the Sangin District, Helmand Province, I write this review of Mr. Anderson's book to provide a corrective to the chapter on the 3/5 Marines in Sangin.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ben Anderson follows both the British Army and the American Marines through some of the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan as they attempt to bring stability to the region. Anderson seems to become a confessor for the troops - and the truths they reveal are both shocking and saddening. Many say how they feel that they have been forgotten by their home countries, and that the real war in Afghanistan is being covered up by the media and governments who are desperate to show a stabilising country instead of one falling further into war. No Worse Enemy is a stark portrayal of the Afghanistan war that leaves you with the realisation of how little you know about what is really happening out there. An excellent piece of reportage, for both soldiers and civilians alike.
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