As much as he gets slagged off I've got some time for No. 4 because since his tour he has endeavoured to learn more about the conflict he was involved in. My issue is that I completely disagree with many of the conclusions he was drawn.
Ahmed Rashid made mention of a Mujaheden who used to submerge himself in road side irrigation ditches, wait for the vibration of military vehicles and then pop up with his RPG. That was why i wore my body armour on the 20 year old Afghan bus that did a lap of the perimeter fence at the same time EVERY day, passing points where the road was higher than the fence and there were irrigation ditches on the other side. I appreciate now that we weren't particularly lucky that a bus didn't get hit - they were just waiting for a bigger target, i.e. the airfield raid.
I later realised that watching "The 9th Company" a few days before boarding a flight to Helmand might not have been the best idea (Russian transport plane gets shot down as it's departing Afghanistan), but at least i was ready to kiss my arrse goodbye in a moment.