In this gripping, firsthand account, Daniel Green tells the story of U.S. efforts to oust the Taliban insurgency from the desolate southern Afghan province of Uruzgan. Nestled between the Hindu Kush mountains and the sprawling wasteland of the Margow and Khash Deserts, Uruzgan is a microcosm of U.S. efforts to prevent Afghanistan from falling to the Taliban insurgency and Islamic radicalism.
Green, who served in Uruzgan from 2005 to 2006 as a U.S. Department of State political adviser to a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), reveals how unrealistic expectations, a superficial understanding of the Afghans, and a lack of resources contributed to the Taliban’s resurgence in the area. He discusses the PRT’s good-governance efforts, its reconstruction and development projects, the violence of the insurgency, and the PRT’s attempts to manage its complex relationship with the local warlord cum governor of the province.
Upon returning to Afghanistan in 2009 with the U.S. military and while working at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until 2010, Green discovered that although many improvements had been made since he had last served in the country, the problems he had experienced in Uruzgan continued despite the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.