This book was like Afghanistan itself. I struggled mightily and picked up the book in stops and starts but, after much longer than expected, I finished it. Ghost Wars is the history of American involvement in Afghanistan from just before the 1979 Soviet invasion to September 10, 2001. It's a story of failed opportunites and general half-assing it by the U.S. government. Despite enormous resources and dedication the government never comitted to actual action agains the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Unreliable foreign govenments like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were consistantly used to acheive American objectives instead of making a serious commitment. There was always something more important to do. After giving a detailed picture of Afghan politics the focus shifts away from Afghanistan to Washington after the Taliban takes over which is pretty telling. Highly recommended.