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Camp Pendleton Marines are fighting hard, but Afghan strategy is futile, author says

March 4, 2011 |  8:03 am

Bingwest For a detailed, ground-level account of Marines from Camp Pendleton in combat in Afghanistan, Bing West's latest book is hard to beat, "The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy and the Way Out of Afghanistan."

West, a former Marine infantry officer and Assistant Secretary of Defense, takes the reader to Marjah and Garmsir and obscure outposts like Man-Bear-Pig to report on Marines fighting an entrenched, shadowy enemy. The Marines get little support from the Afghan civilians they are trying to protect, West writes.

From top generals to grunts on patrol, the Marines speak candidly to West about the challenges and frustrations. His admiration is high for the Marines in Helmand province in the south -- and U.S. soldiers in Kunar province in the east.

But his view of the strategy devised by the White House and the Pentagon brass is withering.

The time has come, West says, to cut back on "unsuccessful missions of population protection and democratic nation-building" and instead give the Afghan forces the responsibility of taking the lead in fighting the Taliban.

Read the full story.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Bing West. Credit: File photo

 

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