Ah, you silver tongued devil. Iâve already said that I do not possess the skills needed to write a fair review. At my time of life, it is unwise to commence correspondence courses or tuition spread over years. If a opinion will suffice as a review, that I can do.
There seems to be a breed of human that is drawn to the cruel, barbaric or exotic. Burton and his Arabs, Sir Wilfred Thesiger and his Marsh Arabs, the woman adventurer whose name escapes me and El Laurens are all examples of this fascination. I might add a little light relief by mentioning the man who dreams of the peach-like buttocks of the boy across the river. They are drawn into the exotic. They see rampant manhood. I once worked with Baluchi police men and they were very macho and attractive in that they led the sort of male life that Wyestern civilisation had taken from me. Their kohl-rimmed eyes just added to the desperado appearance; no suspicion of butty boys there.
This is where the scales seem to have fallen from his eyes. He found the police to be corrupt bullies content to sit about in idleness. There was absolutely no support from the British departments that would lead the projects he had been told of. The Army were little better than the police. The brutality of everyday life was something that jarred. He was thrust into a world of making-do, of farce, misadventure and ignorance. The deaths of uninvolved civilians hit him hard as did the deaths of comrades during the intensive fighting that has been described as the worse since Korea.
He put his papers in and left. There were the moments of fame we are all promised but his outspoken criticism which gained international publication was not well received.
It is a slim volume â less than 200 pages. It is where he sets out his Epilogue that his work is the most valuable and it may well be that he would have achieved more as a commentator than he did â for me â as an author.
No Guards officers were injured or abused in the preparation of this post.
I've read the book and to be honest wasn't very impressed, I found it short and light weight. Docherty left Afghanistan in June 2006 and seems to be able to right the whole campaign off as lost but I didn't feel he backed it up with enough evidence. He feels that their needs to be less UK troops on the ground and those their need to be in an OMLT role with Afghan forces and they should lead the fight against the Taliban and drug barons. The UK forces present were causing the fighting well that was the jist of his argument IMHO, he felt that there needed to be more reconstruction none of which materialised whilst he was there.
However he may have made some very genuine good points to do with other agencies like the FO and their lack of envolvment.