Imperial Illusions

The War Within the War for Afghanistan

Little America
The War within the War for Afghanistan
Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95, 368 pp.

On the morning of October 9, 2009, Barack Obama learned that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That afternoon, in an irony that would probably not have amused the prize committee, the president met with his military and foreign policy advisers to decide how to win the war in Afghanistan.

As early as 2007, then Senator Obama had declared that, in contrast to the unnecessary and terminally mismanaged war in Iraq, the Afghan war had...

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About the Author

James J. Sheehan, professor emeritus of history at Stanford University, is the author of Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?: The Transformation of Modern Europe, among other books.