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A Rogue Historian at War

by Sean M. Maloney

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59114-509-7
Publisher: Naval Institute Press

A personal but technical account of Canada's Task Force AEGIS and TF Orion during the battles in Afghanistan's Helmand province in 2005–06.

Maloney (History/Royal Military College of Canada; Confronting the Chaos: A Rogue Military Historian Returns to Afghanistan, 2009, etc.), who has extensive field experience from the Balkan wars of the 1990s and from repeated visits to Afghanistan, examines the difficulties in coordinating all the different pieces that go into making the deployment of brigade and battalion forces successful. As part of the NATO deployment, his Canadian elements were involved in assisting the Dutch, rescuing the poorly equipped British, working with Americans, who had their own deployment methods and procedures, and liaising with Afghan military, police and civil authorities. In combat, these many moving parts are required to maintain electronic surveillance, reserve artillery capability, coordinate airborne assistance and provide support in the gathering of intelligence. Each function involves matters of life and death, as well as conflict within the lines of command over priorities, resource allocation and cultural comprehension of the mission—e.g., how to work with the local population on development and funding for medical and education services, how to deal with opium production without compromising the war effort.

A book by a specialist that will be best appreciated by other specialists, but Maloney also provides general readers with a bird's-eye view of how the war in Afghanistan has been fought.