Since the days of Alexander the Great, Afghanistan's strategically significant lands have been fought over by foreign invaders. Today, as yet another generation risks life and limb in this inhospitable territory, an ever-rising death toll puts back under the spotlight almost daily the way the modern war in Afghanistan is being run, and demands answers.
Drawing on over a hundred interviews with Afghan politicians, businessmen and ordinary people, and British, American and European diplomats and soldiers, Sandy Gall shines fresh light on the failure to capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora and - equally disastrous - American and British gullibility in the face of Pakistan's continued tolerance of the Taliban. He asks why the reconstruction of Afghanistan has withered on the vine; and how we have allowed a Presidential style of government to concentrate power in one man's hands, under whom - amid cronyism and corruption - the Taliban insurgency only grows ever stronger.
But is it too late? Examining the emotive issue of equipment shortages, exposing the extent to which the drug trade has corrupted the country, and assessing the accusation of endemic, systemic failure within the MOD, Sandy Gall addresses the challenges - political, religious, military - that face those now fighting on the most dangerous frontier in the world.