Investment in Blood The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War Frank Ledwidge

Publication date:
14 Jun 2013
Yale University Press
288 pages: 235 x 156mm
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In this follow-up to the extremely successful Losing Small Wars, Frank Ledwidge analyses the cost - both financial and human - of Britain's involvement in the Afghanistan war. With the aid of interviews, on-the-ground research and countless Freedom of Information requests, he pieces together the enormous burden the Afghan intervention has placed on the shoulders of British soldiers and their families, UK taxpayers and - by far the greatest sufferers - Afghan civilians. Amongst other issues, he highlights the soldiers left horribly maimed, UK funds poured into the corrupt black hole that is the Afghan government, refugees driven out of Helmand province into disease-ridden camps, and the long-term damage to the international reputation of the UK military.
Ledwidge argues that the only true beneficiaries of the conflict are development consultants, Afghan drugs kingpins and international arms companies. This is both an extraordinary piece of investigative journalism and a heart-breaking account of military adventurism gone horribly wrong. 

A former Naval reserve military intelligence officer, Frank Ledwidge served on front-line operations in the Balkan wars and Iraq. In civilian life he practised as a criminal barrister for eight years before specialising in international development and human rights law. He has since worked as a civilian advisor all over the world, including in Afghanistan and Libya.

'The book makes the case for a full inquiry into Britain’s fourth Afghan war with economy and real punch. In itself it has made a pretty good start on the job'. Robert Fox, Evening Standard

'This book is a masterpiece in miniature'. Sherard Cowper-Coles, New Statesman