The war in Afghanistan has been of interest to me for a long time for a couple of reasons. First, my late best friend’s son served as a platoon leader and the executive officer of Viper Company, 1-26 INF, 3 BCT, 1st Infantry Division when they were in the Korengal Valley. Second, a friend from graduate school, Dr. Larry Goodson, wrote one of the only books examining Afghanistan from the time of the Soviet invasion until just prior to our intervention. That book, Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban, is still available on Amazon (commission earned).
The U.S. Army Center of Military History has now released a two-volume set on the war in Afghanistan entitled, Modern War in an Ancient Land: The United States Army in Afghanistan 2001–2014.
These volumes were prepared by the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Operation Enduring Freedom Study Group led by Col. Edmund Degen (USA-Ret). The Study Group was formed by the late Gen. Raymond Odierno when he was Chief of Staff to research and write an operational history of the U.S. Army’s involvement in Afghanistan from October 2001 until December 2014. I would imagine a third volume covering the years from 2015 until our disastrous withdrawal earlier this year will eventually be forthcoming.
The narrative is focused at the operational level of war and will discuss policy and strategy only as needed to illuminate the operational story. At the same time, it will delve into the tactical realm only when such insights amplify the implications of the operational decisions or occurrences.
Copies of both volumes are available for download free of charge. If you want print copies, they can be ordered from the Government Printing Office. That order number is GPO S/N: 008-029-00656-1.