The core of this book was supplied by more than 100 people involved in the Afghanistan war and national security during the first 18 months of President Barack Obama administration. Efforts were made to preserve the language of main characters and sources as much as possible using their own words as recorded during interviews. The President himself was interviewed for one hour and 15 minutes. During his research he came across a top secret report which the administration didn’t want published but by US law they can not restrict it which is a stark contrast to us as we can not even say the name . But then again that’s why we are where we are among obviously many other things.
The book is focused on the Afghanistan war and Pakistan’s role in it. Starting from the conception of Obama govt and how he hand picked the team that led this front showing the level of commitment they had to do it right. Interestingly there is no mention of blaming the previous govt for the mess which is our only way out. During the course extensive research and reports were generated, long meeting sessions were held to discuss and dissect every decision. Obama shower full commitment asking questions, considering options in looking for the best solution. He has a strong personality as he often went into public smiling and reassuring them right after coming out of a serious meeting.
They did everything to safeguard their people and interests in the most professional way. We have our own reservations and grievances but when you look at it from their perspective they did what they thought right.
A very interesting feature of the book is at the back side where it’s printed “Reproduced for Services Book Club GHQ Rawalpindi”. While reading I was continuously wondering have ”they” actually read this book? In the book Pakistan is often labelled as the bigger problem than Afghanistan bluntly speaking, charging the military for aiding and protecting these networks and playing a double game with the US. Apparently US was very much concerned about the collateral damage but during such a meeting with Asif Ali Zardari he assured them that collateral damage doesn’t concern him much.
The book is written in a very engaging manner as mentioned earlier the author has tried to even preserve the actual words of the participants hence giving it a very real and natural effect. The sequence of events is aligned carefully and if you are a fan of war movies or documentaries you will enjoy reading it. Many things came to light which were known but hurt nonetheless when told by others.
I definitely recommend this book.