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Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War

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In this follow-up to his much-praised book Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Frank Ledwidge argues that Britain has paid a heavy cost – both financially and in human terms – for its involvement in the Afghanistan war. Ledwidge calculates the high price paid by British soldiers and their families, taxpayers in the United Kingdom, and, most In this follow-up to his much-praised book Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Frank Ledwidge argues that Britain has paid a heavy cost – both financially and in human terms – for its involvement in the Afghanistan war. Ledwidge calculates the high price paid by British soldiers and their families, taxpayers in the United Kingdom, and, most importantly, Afghan citizens, highlighting the thousands of deaths and injuries, the enormous amount of money spent bolstering a corrupt Afghan government, and the long-term damage done to the British military’s international reputation.   In this hard-hitting exposé, based on interviews, rigorous on-the-ground research, and official information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Ledwidge demonstrates the folly of Britain’s extended participation in an unwinnable war. Arguing that the only true beneficiaries of the conflict are development consultants, international arms dealers, and Afghan drug kingpins, he provides a powerful, eye-opening, and often heartbreaking account of military adventurism gone horribly wrong.


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In this follow-up to his much-praised book Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Frank Ledwidge argues that Britain has paid a heavy cost – both financially and in human terms – for its involvement in the Afghanistan war. Ledwidge calculates the high price paid by British soldiers and their families, taxpayers in the United Kingdom, and, most In this follow-up to his much-praised book Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Frank Ledwidge argues that Britain has paid a heavy cost – both financially and in human terms – for its involvement in the Afghanistan war. Ledwidge calculates the high price paid by British soldiers and their families, taxpayers in the United Kingdom, and, most importantly, Afghan citizens, highlighting the thousands of deaths and injuries, the enormous amount of money spent bolstering a corrupt Afghan government, and the long-term damage done to the British military’s international reputation.   In this hard-hitting exposé, based on interviews, rigorous on-the-ground research, and official information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Ledwidge demonstrates the folly of Britain’s extended participation in an unwinnable war. Arguing that the only true beneficiaries of the conflict are development consultants, international arms dealers, and Afghan drug kingpins, he provides a powerful, eye-opening, and often heartbreaking account of military adventurism gone horribly wrong.

42 review for Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fred Dameron

    A really good read. If you care about the actual cost of our, the U.S., involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria this is a must read. Ledwidge is British and focuses on the British experience but, from the British experience the U.S. reader can draw real answers as to how much the continual state of war the U.S. is in is costing us. The cost is not just in money, we've spent billions the British smaller billions. But also the ongoing cost in human lives that these three wars will cost the A really good read. If you care about the actual cost of our, the U.S., involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria this is a must read. Ledwidge is British and focuses on the British experience but, from the British experience the U.S. reader can draw real answers as to how much the continual state of war the U.S. is in is costing us. The cost is not just in money, we've spent billions the British smaller billions. But also the ongoing cost in human lives that these three wars will cost the U.S. taxpayer going forward. There is a cautionary tale of how British causalities are treated in the UK. In 2012 the UK closed all there service hospitals and placed ALL vets on the National Health. The result has been catastrophic for Veterans. Civilian hospitals and staff don't understand the difference that loosing a leg in Helmund Province is different from loosing a leg on the local highway. In some cases people who have come to visit civilian patients have verbally abused and physically threatened veterans. With the privatization of VA health care is the U.S. heading in the same direction? Will it be acceptable to listen to abuse laid out on vets recovering from a heart attack brought on by the stress of serving? These are questions that we the people need to ask as the Government looks to place vets in the civilian health care system and not in VA Hospitals. AS the U.S. heads into a deeper commitment in both Syria and Afghanistan this book needs to be read by every one with a stake in future operations. The newest recruit to the most senior general and staff, our hawk politicians who think that war in Syria or Afghanistan is like playing Mobil Strike, to parents and wives of those currently serving, to my Comrades who have done their time and retired, we all need to ask the questions. Will the U.S. be less likely to suffer a terrorist attack after we leave Syria or Afghanistan? Are our politicians leaving a failed state? Are we creating more terrorists than we are killing? On this point Ledwig does not state yes or no but, his talks with native Afghani's and those who are being honest, the answer is yes, we are creating more terrorists than we are killing. Are the people we are going thousand of miles to protect from the terrorists better off after allied forces leave than before we arrived? In Afghanistan the answer is no the people are worse off. These and many more must be asked by all of us and this work will help any one phrase the questions we all need answers to.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Waleed

    Justifiably angry, this is an important initial estimate of the costs of the Helmand fiasco.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark Thuell

    Hammers home the pointlessness of our last imperial adventure.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James Carter

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

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    Emely

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    Jolyon

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aj

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kay-cee

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  11. 5 out of 5

    Blend Mulliqi

  12. 5 out of 5

    RETA

  13. 4 out of 5

    JOANN

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rickhl

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steven Bakewell

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    Veronica

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben Anderson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Olaf

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    Samira

  20. 5 out of 5

    OlafG

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tom Blackburn

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mag

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Giles

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sues57 Schroeder

  26. 5 out of 5

    R.f.k

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alice

  28. 5 out of 5

    Redcatfish4

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tom Callaghan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zaini

  31. 5 out of 5

    Nasser Alenezi

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    Henry Cowan

  33. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  34. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Robertson

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    Winston Legthigh

  36. 4 out of 5

    Amar Baines

  37. 4 out of 5

    James

  38. 4 out of 5

    David

  39. 4 out of 5

    Gerry Gogarty

  40. 5 out of 5

    Srdjan

  41. 4 out of 5

    MTN343-Wishlist

  42. 4 out of 5

    Fred Steele

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