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New book: 'Kandahar Tour'

Garett

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This one is a couple years in the making. I've had all three authors as military history professors at UNB Fredericton and I know they have put a lot of work into it. Lee Windsor got in a few TICs riding with the 2 RCR 9er TAC while doing 'research'.

http://www.amazon.ca/Kandahar-Tour-Turning-Canadas-Mission/dp/0470157615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219626726&sr=8-1

Product Description
Kandahar Tour takes the reader into Afghanistan, into the battlegroup responsible for driving the Taliban farther into outlying areas, to establish a broad security and development zone, allowing Task Force 1-07, the UN and NATO to increase their restoration initiatives. The book details the combined work of soldiers—Canadian and their dozen allies--and their commanders, aid workers, the RCMP, and NGOs—all of the pieces that are a part of the Afghan mission, often overlooked by journalists and media. Kandahar Tour is a thorough  accounting of life and mission in Afghanistan.

Task Force 1-07, the third rotation, deployed to Afghanistan from February to August 2007. Its core was the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment from CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, backed by reservists from famous militia units from all over Atlantic Canada. The University of New Brunswick’s Gregg Centre’s close affiliation to this Army of the Atlantic gives the authors excellent access to participants. Their connections and security clearance status with Land Forces Command provided the authors with access to official war diaries and after-action reports, enabling them to write a rich and accurate account of the fight against bomb-making cells and drug gangs that occurred simultaneously with the dramatic but unsung effort to establish a stable government. The latter involves an often frustrating struggle with corruption as well as a desperate battle against crippling drought, poverty and a destructive, Taliban-driven opium economy.

The third rotation to Kandahar marked an historic turning point. Only one year earlier, Canadian soldiers were confined to Kandahar City and its outlying districts and were locked in an unexpected conventional battle against 1500 Taliban fighters and local recruits. Twelve months later, hard-core Taliban and foreign fighters were scattered in small groups to remote parts of the province while local Kandaharis returned to their farms on the promise that Canada and NATO would provide them security. During “Roto 3,” the “Royals” pushed the security and development zone far and wide out into rural Kandahar allowing UN and NATO Afghan restoration operations to function as intended and with growing momentum. One of the key rebuilding projects, a joint CIDA-Canadian forces effort, is that of the Dala Dam in northern Afghanistan, which controls the flow of the Arbadan River through Panjuwaii and provides precious irrigation. This dam was destroyed by the Soviets and its reconstruction is essential.   

Such recent progress goes largely unreported in Canada. The authors are much impressed with how life has returned to normal in Kandahar City. This book is an honest assessment of the conditions today in Afghanistan—and of the future.
 

geo

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Thank you Garett, will have to add this one to my reading list
 

noneck

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Lee is a good lad, I was on course with him in Meaford in 97. Unfortunately he suffered a knee injury and had to leave the CF. I am glad to see that he has done realy well for himself in academia.

We spent a lot of time talking about the Medak Pocket during that course and he then went on to write the best account of the incident that I have read. I'll definitly be picking up a copy of this book.

Noneck
 

Mike Bobbitt

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The book is now out, but I'm having trouble finding a copy... anyone know of a source? I also found out that the book is copyrighted to the Gregg Centre and the authors won't make a penny off the sales. So far all advances have gone to student research, proceeds in the future will go to student bursaries, battlefield staff rides, research grants etc. Truly a labour of love I guess!

It seems to be a rare find so far... I plan to nag all the local bookstores to get copies in, as I'm anticipating a good read here.
 

The Bread Guy

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Ordered mine through Amazon, and it's been back-ordered - expecting to ship in the next couple of weeks.
 

Garett

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I pre-ordered through Chapters and it will take a few weeks. I probably could of driven the 15 minutes to UNB to buy one quicker. They're supposed to do a book launch at 2 RCR sometime soon, after the guys get back from Germany I'm guessing.  I'm not surprised the book is copyrighted by The Gregg Center as the authors/professors spent a lot of time away from their day to day duties at UNB to complete the book. It probably would have been difficult to get everything they got if they were working independently.
 

The Bread Guy

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Just got my copy yesterday (29 Sept 08)
 

Mike Bobbitt

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Chapters in Kanata had 8 copies listed yesterday, but only 3 on the shelves that I could find. Picked one up and hope to get to it soon. I'll post a short review when I'm done.

Cheers
Mike
 

infamous_p

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Wow, I didn't know there was so much demand for this book and seemingly so little supply. I was in Chapters in Yorkdale (Toronto) the other day and saw Kandahar Tour on the shelf, shrink-wrapped, which I thought was... unique? Anyway, I bought it that day not really knowing many details about it nor having even heard of it prior to seeing it on the shelf (couldn't read the inside flap due to the shrink wrap)... but now I must say I'm even more pumped to read it, haha.
 

Mike Bobbitt

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It's shrink-wrapped so the included map of southern Afghanistan doesn't grow legs. :)
 

klambie

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Heard Lee present on the book in Calgary last night, very worthwhile.  Current tour is a series of UNB alumni events (see details at link for Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto).  Had no problem just showing up at the door in Calgary, but RSVP might be wise.

http://unbalumni.isetevents.com/
 

Mike Bobbitt

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1730 at the War Museum here in Ottawa on the 27th. I plan to be there!
 

PMedMoe

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Mike Bobbitt said:
1730 at the War Museum here in Ottawa on the 27th. I plan to be there!

27th of October?  Might be a plan for me too..... :)
 

dwalter

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I just picked up a copy from my university's bookstore the other day. They had a whole bunch on display and so people will notice it when they go by. I'm very impressed with it so far, though I'm only 1/4 of the way through. I laugh a bit once in a while because the professors who wrote the book do have a bit of pro-Canada bias, which is usually absent from academic writing. None the less, I am going to be using the book as a basis for my term paper in International Relations this semester.
 

Lil_T

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Mike Bobbitt said:
1730 at the War Museum here in Ottawa on the 27th. I plan to be there!

I would love to go, alas the young one wouldn't stand for it, or sit for it for that matter.  So, unless I can get a sitter, I'll be sitting this one out.  Hope to hear how it went though.  I just stumbled across the book today in Coles at Place d'Orleans.  I like how they put all the acronyms in for people who don't speak military.  :)  Plus the map is good for the kids - we have a world map, and now we have something so I can point out where dad is a little more specifically.
 

NL_engineer

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I picked up a copy on Thursday, hopefully I will be able to start it by the weekend.
 

dwalter

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I am now using the book as a main source for my final paper in International Politics to back up a thesis that goes something like "International aid is only effective when the problems are addressed at the local level to start, not at the state level."

I am then going into details as to how various aid missions have functioned around the world, looking at what works, and what doesn't. From the looks of things, Afghanistan's recent progress is an exception to the rule, with most countries receiving aid still doing poorly, and making no progress. They tend to rely on the aid rather than using it to become self reliant.
 

gate_guard

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I was initially interested in picking up this book however have decided to wait. I've been told by a few guys (who were with C Coy, 3 PPCLI on that tour) that certain parts of the book are...lacking with regards to accuracy. Anyone who was there and has read the book care to comment? I know a few guys on the forums were there so interested to hear from them before I spend the cash.

Just to emphasize, I haven't read the book and wasn't there, just going off the advice of those that were.
 

Old Sweat

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As someone who has written more than one book, let me tell you most authors, and by their credentials I include these gentlemen, check and recheck facts and always look for the missing links. Having said that, we get things wrong, or misread material, or don't turn over the next page or read the next folder because we run out of time, or we just plain screw up. I would be worried about any author who claims to get everything right.

Writing history, especially this soon after the events, is like playing football grinding out yard after yard against a big, tough defensive twelve. You gain a few, you lose a few, but eventually you move the yardsticks. Scoring is another matter.
 
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