Swimming with Warlords: A Dozen-Year Journey Across the Afghan War

Swimming with Warlords: A Dozen-Year Journey Across the Afghan War

by Kevin Sites


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The veteran journalist and author of In the Hot Zone and The Things They Cannot Say explores the impact of more than a decade of war on Afghanistan, from the American invasion after 9/11 to today, and offers insights into its future and the possible consequences for the U.S.

Kevin Sites made his first trip to Afghanistan in October 2001, staying 100 days to cover the U.S. invasion for NBC News. On his fifth trip to the country in June 2013, Sites retraced that first odyssey, contemplating the significant events of his original trip to explore what, if anything, has changed. He interviewed warlords, ex-Taliban fighters, politicians, women cops and dentists, farmers, drug addicts, international aid workers, diplomats, and military personnel.

In Swimming with Warlords, Sites examines Afghanistan today through the prism of those two parallel journeys, exploring that nation’s past and considering its future in light of the drawdown of U.S. troops. As he tells the stories of the people he met—how they have been affected by this conflict that has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives—Sites provides a fresh perspective on Afghanistan and America’s role there.

Swimming with Warlords contains 30 black-and-white photos throughout.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062339416
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/14/2014
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Kevin Sites has spent more than a decade covering wars and conflicts for ABC, NBC, CNN, Yahoo! News, and Vice magazine. He is the author of In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars and The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won't Tell You About What They've Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War. He is also an associate professor of journalism at the University of Hong Kong.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Entrance xiii

Part I The North 1

1 Over the Border 3

2 Civil War 19

3 The House of Massoud 27

4 The Ghosts of Kalakata 39

5 Sticks and Stones 57

6 The Warlord and the Taliban 85

7 Kurash 103

8 Hindu Kush 109

Part II Kabul 117

9 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow 119

10 Fixers 135

11 Lions 143

12 Unintended Consequences 151

13 Under the Bridge 173

14 Wall of Bones 181

15 More than War 187

16 Women 199

17 Lawyers, Guns, and Money 211

Part III Jalalabad and Tora Bora 227

18 The Road 229

19 Addiction Affliction 247

20 Tora Bora Runaround 259

21 Dead Man's Bed and Other Mysteries 275

Part IV Wardak and Logar 283

22 Human Terrain Teams 285

23 Targets 307

24 Combat Outpost Soltan Kheyl 319

Part V The Last Embed 353

25 Suicide Vest 355

Epilogue: Exit 373

Afterword: America's Post 9/11 Legacy in Shambles 383

Acknowledgments 391

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