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eBook Cables from Kabul: The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign ePub

eBook Cables from Kabul: The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign ePub

by Sherard Cowper-Coles

  • ISBN: 0007432046
  • Subcategory: No category
  • Author: Sherard Cowper-Coles
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (February 1, 2012)
  • ePub book: 1632 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1451 kb
  • Other: txt rtf mbr lrf
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 759

Description

Sherard Cowper-Coles, once our man in Kabul, has written the definitive guide to the Afghan conflict, writes .

Sherard Cowper-Coles, once our man in Kabul, has written the definitive guide to the Afghan conflict, writes William Dalrymple. Cables From Kabul is unquestionably the most important record yet published of the diplomatic wrangling that has accompanied the slow military encirclement of western forces in Afghanistan.

Cables From Kabul book. He pays tribute to the tactical successes of our soldiers but asks whether these will be enough to secure stability. Nobody is better placed to tell this story of embassy life in one of the most dangerous places on earth.

Ah, love, let us be true. Most other books on the present conflict in Afghanistan have fallen into one of two categories. As British ambassador in Kabul from 2007 to 2009, and then as the Foreign Secretary’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from February 2009 until September 2010, I saw politicians, generals, diplomats and officials struggling with successive strategies which never seemed to deliver what we wanted, and with military tactics which – we all knew – could not, without a credible political strategy, resolve.

The West’s mission in Afghanistan has never been far from the headlines

The West’s mission in Afghanistan has never been far from the headlines. For Sherard Cowper-Coles, our former Ambassador, Britain’s role in the conflict – the vast amount of money being spent and the huge number of lives being lost – was an everyday reality.

Sherard Cowper-Coles was born in Kent and educated at New Beacon School, Tonbridge School and Hertford . This is a book about the limits of diplomacy

Sherard Cowper-Coles was born in Kent and educated at New Beacon School, Tonbridge School and Hertford College, Oxford where he read Classics. He entered the Foreign Office in 1977, where he enjoyed a 30-year career, holding a string of high-profile overseas diplomatic postings in Beirut, Alexandria and Cairo, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Washington and Paris. This is a book about the limits of diplomacy. It's not so much the inside story of the west's campaign as the inside story of the inside of an embassy somewhere on the fringes of the west's (. And the inside story of an embassy tends to boil down to one thing: parties.

The West’s mission in Afghanistan has never been far from the headlines. Cables from Kabul - Sherard Cowper-Coles. Powerful and astonishingly frank, Cables from Kabul explains how we got into the quagmire of Afghanistan, and how we can get out of it. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Ah, love, let us be true.

For three years, from 2007 until 2010, Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic frontline in Kabul as the West's mission in. .

For three years, from 2007 until 2010, Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic frontline in Kabul as the West's mission in Afghanistan sank deeper into crisis. With his unique, high-level insight into the West's policy in Afghanistan, Cowper-Coles raises fundamental questions about the viability of the whole Afghanistan project, even after the death of bin Laden.

WEST’S AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN BY SHERARD COWPER-COLES (HarperPress £25). Osama bin Laden: The West continues to make costly mistakes despite his death. An army willing to fight and die must, he writes, be optimistic and unimaginative and gripped by ‘groupthink’.

CABLES FROM KABUL: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE WEST’S AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN BY SHERARD COWPER-COLES (HarperPress £25). By Ian Birrell for The Mail on Sunday Updated: 06:20 EST, 1 July 2011. Desert Storm: Ex-ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles makes some scathing revelations. Time and again, new plans are drawn up for discussion while officers say the fight is being won, despite appearances.

Most of west Kabul, and many other areas of the country, were devastated in the fighting.

As he points out, the Soviet Union sent its forces into Afghanistan in December 1979 only reluctantly, and as a last resort, in response to repeated Afghan requests. Most of west Kabul, and many other areas of the country, were devastated in the fighting. As the last Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, has recorded in a remarkable memoir, My Life with the Taliban, the movement began in the villages of Kandahar province in reaction to the depredations and anarchy of the warlords.

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Comments

Inerrace Inerrace
This is a book about the limits of diplomacy. It's not so much the inside story of the west's campaign as the inside story of the inside of an embassy somewhere on the fringes of the west's (i.e. America's) campaign. And the inside story of an embassy tends to boil down to one thing: parties. There are parties, conferences, dinners, and social gatherings galore here, all underpinned with the constant refrain 'But why is nothing getting done?' At the outset, Coles admits the possibility that keeping the whole social whirl going may indeed be end in itself and one suspects that he might well be having his cake and eating it here - both indulging in the merry-go-round and complaining about its ineffectiveness in actually changing much. Being a good diplomat, Coles tends not to go too far in any direction opinion-wise, and so the whole narrative tends to drag with boredom. It is only in the final chapter that he redeems things somewhat, engaging in a relatively convincing polemic about the need for proper political control in Afghanistan.
Nalmergas Nalmergas
This is a great book for anyone interested in the current Afghanistan war. It's an insider's account from the UK Ambassador in Kabul. I found the book well written, mixing strategic thoughts about the conflict, the situation and the possible solutions with anecdotes from the Ambassador's life in Kabul. It is also a frustrating tale, showing how the US is dictating terms, without (always) listening to its coalition partners. For someone who hasn't read a lot about this topic, this book is highly recommended together with The 9/11 Wars by Jason Burke, which is a broader account of the same story and puts Cables from Kabul in a perspective.
Ceroelyu Ceroelyu
It clearly sheds pertinent light on an otherwise murky situation. Also it is easy to read.
BlackHaze BlackHaze
Well written in a style only a good civil servant can use, I found the book fascinating. Although I visited Kabul about the time the writer was finishing, we didn't meet. I have found the book one of a small number of books of value to people interested in this country and region.

Recommended
Gathris Gathris
Cables from Kabul contains the account by the man who was first Britain's Ambassador to Afghanistan and then its Special Representative to the same place. The book covers half a decade of activity in which the author must have covered hundreds of thousands of miles in the air and attended countless meetings. It's all very honest and very earnest, but also rather other-worldly. Always, at the margin, one senses the author is uncomfortably aware at the periphery of his consciousness of the fact that his entire professional life - and particularly his association with Afghanistan - has been a complete and utter waste of time, money and effort. I couldn't help, as I read through this book, but be reminded again and again of the butler in Ishiguro's novel Remains of the Day. In that book the story is told through the butler's eyes: he imagines he has played an important supporting role in shaping world events. The crisply starched collar, the place-settings perfectly arranged, the wine served attentively, the guests provided with suitable bedrooms and, when necessary, formal evening wear. But at the end of the book we understand that in fact everything was pointless, a complete waste of a life and irrelevant to what was happening in reality on the world stage.

I don't say this to denigrate Mr Cowper-Coles. He is to be applauded for providing such an honest and frank account of the utter futility of his activities, and for providing glimpses into the characters who stride across the stage with such self-importance. The book is endlessly horrifying in its stark portrayal of the powerful and clueless who make a complete mess of everything because they are driven by internal agendas rather than by adequate understanding of what's really going on in the benighted country they are supposed to be "helping." It's all much more of a total shambles than we'd believe if we stuck to more traditional narratives. But in the end the reader is left with a feeling that it would all be more or less the same if thousands of people and hundreds of millions of pounds, dollars, and euros had been left undisturbed or put to better use elsewhere. For all the self-aggrandizement of the international community and its designated representatives, for all the pomp and ceremony, for all the endless conferences and expensive dinners, nothing of any value is ever actually achieved. It's all hollow form without substance. The entire diplomatic community is a pointless charade. In the end the reader is left feeling that Mr Cowper-Coles, like Ishiguro's butler, has used up his life to no meaningful end whatsoever.
DrayLOVE DrayLOVE
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written and given the subject matter surprisingly readable, maintaining a decent pace throughout and finishing with some interesting thoughts. It is a depressing subject and the author does not try and hide his disappointment at the way things have gone and are going. But, as a book which follows a key player through some very interesting times in Afghanistan, it is a very good read. The author makes his points, backs them up with examples and a few anecdotes and then stops.
Gavidor Gavidor
This book is a very interesting account of the conflict in Afghanistan. It makes it even more interesting that is from the experience of a high ranking British diplomat. I think that he offers several ideas and solutions that are interesting, but this account sort of glazes over several problems and happenings in Afghanistan. Regardless, an interesting account of his time in Afghanistan.