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Cables from Kabul : The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign - Sherard Cowper-Coles

Cables from Kabul

The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign


Published: 23rd May 2011
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For three years, from 2007 until 2010, Sherard Cowper-Coles wason the diplomatic front line in Kabul as the West's mission in Afghanistan sank deeper into crisis, first as British Ambassador and, later, as the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative.

In Cables from Kabul he provides a ringside seat in a high-octane narrative that transports the reader from the backstreets of Kabul and fly0blown villages of the Helmand Valley to the corridors of power in London and Washington. Packed with colourful portraits of major political and diplomatic players such as President Karazi and the US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, the book gives a rich flavour of embassy life in one of the most dangerous places on earth.

As Our Man in Kabul, nobody is better placed to tell this story. Powerful, witty and astonishingly frank, Cables from Kabul explains how we got into the quagmire of Afghanistan, and how we can get out of it.

About the Author

Sherard Cowper-Coles is one of the most respected authorities on foreign affairs in the country. He has held a string of high-profile diplomatic posts, both in the UK and overseas, most recently as the British Ambassador to Kabul and the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He lives in London.



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Cables from Kabul

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A different look into Afghanistan


from Sydney

About Me Bookworm


  • Deep Insight
  • Easy To Understand
  • Highly Relevant
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

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    Comments about Cables from Kabul:

    This is a special look into the war in Afganistan. Instead of being from an Intelligence officer or Special force commando this is written by the British Ambassador.

    Sherard Cowper-Coles tells his Afghan career in a easy to read but highly insightful way. He has some fantastic points and ideas on Afghanistan.

    Well worth a look for a more rounded look into the war on terror.

    Great book and Great booktopia service.

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    `The clearest, best informed, and most honest account yet of why and how Britain was drawn deeper and deeper into the Afghan war, by the man who knows more about it than just about anyone else. If you want to understand what really happened, you absolutely have to read this book.'John Simpson`Unquestionably the most important record yet of the diplomatic wrangling that has accompanied the slow military encirclement of western forces in Afghanistan. Extraordinary' William Dalrymple, Observer`Vividly portrays the plight of an envoy who really cared about his brief, and felt unable to keep silent about looming failure in a vital region where western intervention has been bungled' Max Hastings, Sunday Times`A highly readable and witty account by one of our most dynamic and impressive diplomats' Daily Telegraph`A supremely urbane, frustrated and brilliant valedictory diagnosis of the problems of Afghanistan's recent past' Sunday Telegraph

    List of Illustrations ix
    Map of Afghanistan x
    Map of Kabul xii
    Tribute to the Fallen xv
    Preface xix
    Part I: Beginnings
    1. An Offer I Couldn't Refuse p. 3
    2. First Impressions p. 12
    3. Helmandshire p. 24
    4. 'A Marathon Rather Than A Sprint' p. 30
    5. Breather Break p. 38
    Part II: Hope Over Experience
    6. A King's Funeral p. 45
    7. The Spreading Virus p. 53
    8. The Great Game - Round Four p. 68
    9. Hooked on Drugs p. 80
    10. Coping in Kabul p. 88
    11. Highland Fling: Karazi in Scotland p.103
    12. Mr Brown Comes to Town p.110
    Part III: Against An Ebbing Tide
    13. Reversal of Fortune p.125
    14. 'We Are Winning - Only It Doesn't Feel Like It' p.139
    15. The Karazi Conundrum p.154
    16. Cracking On in Helmand p.166
    17. Afghan Attitudes p.181
    18. Waiting for Obama p.195
    Part IV: Tactics Without Strategy: One Last Heave
    19. Biden and Beyond p.199
    20. Au Revoir Afghanistan p.209
    21. Richard Holbrooke's Flying Circus p.215
    22. Where's Dick? p.233
    Part V: Recessional
    23. Embassy Encore p.247
    24. Untying the Knot p.271
    25. Three Lessons Learned p.277
    26. Back to the Future p.287
    Acknowledgements p.395
    Abbreviations p.297
    Index p.299
    Table of Contents provided by HarperPress. All Rights Reserved.

    ISBN: 9780007432028
    ISBN-10: 000743202X
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 312
    Published: 23rd May 2011
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
    Country of Publication: GB
    Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.3  x 2.9
    Weight (kg): 0.542