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Foxtrot In Kandahar


Book Reviewer
A new review has been created: Foxtrot In Kandahar

The author served in the Army for five years, including Special Forces and Intelligence, before joining the CIA where he served for twenty five years. He retired in 2007.

In September, 2001 he was in between postings and on leave in New York when the Twin Towers were destroyed. It was at this point that he experienced what can only be described as "an epiphany" and took it upon himself to make a meaningful contribution to the CIA's response to this act of terrorism. That he was forty five, married and had two children made not a jot of difference; he believed that his former military experience, plus his field experience with the CIA, made him a valuable asset which should be deployed in his country's defence.

In trying to achieve his goal he describes the CIA's response in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and also the varied responses of some of its employees.

What many people forget or fail to realize is that the CIA, although a civilian organisation, is the foreign intelligence service of the United States and is the only agency authorised to carry out and oversee covert action on foreign soil. It must also be remembered that in 2001 there was no military involvement in Afghanistan, that would come later.

The strategy at this time was to have combined teams of CIA and Special Forces personnel, backed up by US airpower, working with friendly Afghan groups, such as the Northern Alliance, to destroy Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. To become a member of one of these teams was Evans' goal. Following some false starts he was made leader of team Foxtrot and was duly infiltrated into southern Afghanistan to link up with Gul Aga Shirzai and his supporters.

Physically getting into the country involved many difficulties including lack of supplies, weaponry and communications equipment plus in-house challenges to his leadership. His "warts and all" description is refreshingly honest and he does not spare himself from criticism.

Having made contact with Shirzai and established that he had some 500-700 fighters, Evans' full team was deployed. At Sharzai's suggestion their first action was to cut the main road running south from Kandahar to the Pakistani border, in so doing they would deny the enemy access to their main escape route into Pakistan.

Evans vividly describes the achievement of their first objective, capturing the tension, humour and intensity of operating in a very hostile environment where they were far outnumbered by enemy forces. Their success...

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