the mirror test america at war in iraq and afghanistan

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The Mirror Test

Author : J. Kael Weston
ISBN : 9780385351133
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 4 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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A New York Times Editors' Choice A Military Times Best Book of the Year A powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict. J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, while traveling the country to pay respect to the dead and wounded, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered and memorialized? What lessons can we learn from them? These are questions with no quick answers, but perhaps ones that might lead to a shared reckoning worthy of the sacrifices of those—troops and civilians alike—whose lives have been changed by more than a decade and a half of war. Weston takes us from Twentynine Palms in California to Fallujah in Iraq, Khost and Helmand in Afghanistan, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City, as well as to out-of-the-way places in Iowa and Texas. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-Guantánamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines. The overall frame for the book, from which the title is taken, centers on soldiers who have received a grievous wound to the face. There is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as “the mirror test.” From an intricate tapestry of voices and stories—Iraqi, Afghan, and American—Weston delivers a larger mirror test for our nation in its global role. An unflinching and deep examination of the interplay between warfare and diplomacy, this is an essential book—a crucial look at America now, how it is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself.

The Mirror Test

Author : J. Kael Weston
ISBN : 9780345806949
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 23 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
Download : 199
Read : 1070

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A New York Times Editors' Choice A Military Times Best Book of the Year J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department. Upon returning home, traveling throughout the United States to pay his respects to the dead and wounded, he wondered what lessons, if any, could be learned from these wars. In this essential book, Weston questions, interprets, and explains our wars in the Middle East through a tapestry of voices--Iraqi, Afghan, and American--taking readers across California and Fallujah, Khost and Colorado. Along the way we meet generals, corporals, and captains, former Taliban fighters, Afghan schoolteachers, SEAL teams, imams, and many Marines. When will these wars end? How will they be remembered? Perhaps no one is better suited to tackle these important questions than Weston. The Mirror Test is an unflinching look at warfare and diplomacy, and a necessary reckoning with America's actions abroad.

The Mirror Test

Author : J. Kael Weston
ISBN : 9780385351126
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 7 MB
Format : PDF
Download : 166
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A powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict. J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, while traveling the country to pay respect to the dead and wounded, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered and memorialized? What lessons can we learn from them? These are questions with no quick answers, but perhaps ones that might lead to a shared reckoning worthy of the sacrifices of those--troops and civilians alike--whose lives have been changed by more than a decade and a half of war. Weston takes us from Twentynine Palms in California to Fallujah in Iraq, Khost and Helmand in Afghanistan, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City, as well as to out-of-the-way places in Iowa and Texas. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-Guantánamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines. The overall frame for the book, from which the title is taken, centers on soldiers who have received a grievous wound to the face. There is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as "the mirror test." From an intricate tapestry of voices and stories--Iraqi, Afghan, and American--Weston delivers a larger mirror test for our nation in its global role. An unflinching and deep examination of the interplay between warfare and diplomacy, this is an essential book--a crucial look at America now, how it is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself. From the Hardcover edition.

The Terror Years

Author : Lawrence Wright
ISBN : 9780385352055
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25. 58 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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"Eleven powerful pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from a more peaceful time in 1990s Israel to the recent beheadings of reporters by ISIS. With the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright became generally acknowledged as one of our major journalists writing on terrorism in the Middle East. This collection draws on several articles he wrote while researching that book as well as many that he's written since, following where and how Al Qaeda and its core cult-like beliefs have morphed and spread. They include: a picture of Saudi Arabia under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; Israel and Hamas waging war over Gaza. Others continue to look into Al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world. The American response is covered in profiles of two FBI agents and a head of the CIA. It ends with the recent devastating capture and beheadings by ISIS of four American journalists and how our government handled the situation"--

Consequence

Author : Eric Fair
ISBN : 9781627795142
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 52. 14 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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A man questions everything--his faith, his morality, his country--as he recounts his experience as an interrogator in Iraq; an unprecedented memoir and "an act of incredible bravery" (Phil Klay) "Remarkable... Both an agonized confession and a chilling expose of one of the darkest interludes of the War on Terror. Only this kind of courage and honesty can bring America back to the democratic values that we are so rightfully proud of." --Sebastian Junger Consequence is the story of Eric Fair, a kid who grew up in the shadows of crumbling Bethlehem Steel plants nurturing a strong faith and a belief that he was called to serve his country. It is a story of a man who chases his own demons from Egypt, where he served as an Army translator, to a detention center in Iraq, to seminary at Princeton, and eventually, to a heart transplant ward at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, after several months as an interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq, Eric Fair's nightmares take new forms: first, there had been the shrinking dreams; now the liquid dreams begin. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment (he will return), Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as "enhanced interrogation," it is Fair's desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Eric Fair's memoir is both a brave, unrelenting confession and a book that questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.

Why We Lost

Author : Daniel Bolger
ISBN : 9780544438347
Genre : History
File Size : 31. 27 MB
Format : PDF
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“Why We Lost is neither a memoir nor a window into private meetings and secret discussions. It is a 500-page history . . . filled with heartfelt stories of soldiers and Marines in firefights and close combat. It weighs in mightily to the ongoing debate over how the United States should wage war.” — Washington Post Over his thirty-five year career, Daniel Bolger rose through the ranks of the army infantry to become a three-star general, commanding in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps more than anyone else, he was witness to the full extent of the wars, from 9/11 to withdrawal from the region. Not only did Bolger participate in top-level planning and strategy meetings, but he also regularly carried a rifle alongside soldiers in combat actions. Writing with hard-won experience and unflinching honesty, he argues that while we lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, we did not have to. Intelligence was garbled. Key decision makers were blinded by spreadsheets or theories. And we never really understood our enemy. Why We Lost is a timely, forceful, and compulsively readable account of these wars from a fresh and authoritative perspective. “Compelling.” — Wall Street Journal “Bolger is a superb writer, and the book’s most riveting passages are those describing what it’s like to be an infantryman at the sharp end of battle.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer

Hopeless But Optimistic

Author : Douglas A. Wissing
ISBN : 0253022851
Genre :
File Size : 34. 68 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
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Award-winning journalist Douglas A. Wissing s poignant and eye-opening journey across insurgency-wracked Afghanistan casts an unyielding spotlight on greed, dysfunction, and predictable disaster while celebrating the everyday courage and wisdom of frontline soldiers, idealistic humanitarians, and resilient Afghans. As Wissing hauls a hundred pounds of body armor and pack across the Afghan warzone in search of the ground truth, US officials frantically spin a spurious victory narrative, American soldiers try to keep their body parts together, and Afghans try to stay positive and strain to figure out their next move after the US eventually leaves. As one technocrat confided to Wissing, "I am hopeless but optimistic." Wissing is everywhere in Afghanistan, sharing an impressionistic view from little white taxis coursing across one of the world s most mine-ridden places; a perilous view from outside the great walls surrounding America s largest base, sequestered Bagram Air Field; and compelling inside views from within embattled frontline combat outposts, lumbering armored gun trucks and flitting helicopters, brain trauma clinics, and Kabul s Oz-like American embassy. It s Afghan life on the streets; the culture and institutions that anneal them; the poetry that enriches them. It includes the perspectives of cynical military lifers and frightened short-timers; true believers and amoral grabbers; Americans and Afghans trying to make sense of two countries surreally contorted by war-birthed extractive commerce. Along with a deep inquiry into the 21st-century American way of war and an unforgettable glimpse of the enduring culture and legacy of Afghanistan, Hopeless but Optimistic includes the real stuff of life: the austere grandeur of Afghanistan and its remarkable people; warzone dining, defecation, and sex; as well as the remarkable shopping opportunities for men whose job is to kill."

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