Experienced reporter gives grounded picture of Afghanistan reality
From actually living in Kandahar, Sarah Chayes provides a disturbing but realistic account of the missteps of U.S. AID and military efforts in Afghanistan. She also provides the context of history to explain the importance of tribal loyalties and why Kandahar has been a nexus for centuries as occupiers have come and gone.
Required reading for everyone - Especially policy makers!
The Punishment of Virtue is one of the best books on Afghanistan. Sarah Chayes loves the people, understands their politics and takes no prisoners. Everyone who wants to truly understand the past and present of Afghanistan should read this book. Anyone who is making decisions about our policy in Afghanistan should be required to read this book! Sarah Chayes is honest, direct, and knows her subject.
Should be required reading for any American officer and soldier sent to Afghanistan
A terrific story, painful to read because of the many wasted opportunities. I wish this book were on any commander's reading list. Especially the Special Forces guys: an exercise in modesty and realpolitics.
Having re-read this book, I can heartily recommend it to anyone and everyone, especially Americans, to better understand the Afgan & Pakistani cultures. It is important to know that even though we are all humans, extreme cultural differences make it mandatory that we strive to understand one another. Once we have a better idea about a different culture, I think, as a nation, we will be less likely to intervene unnecessarily. Schools should use this as a text for showing we are all the same....we just think differently, have different religions, but all in all, want to survive in a peaceful atmosphere.
As a former star reporter for NPR, Sarah Chayes developed a devoted listenership for her on-site reports on conflicts around the world. In The Punishment of Virtue, she reveals the misguided U.S. policy in Afghanistan in the wake of the defeat of the Taliban, which has severely undermined the effort to build democracy and allowed corrupt tribal warlords back into positions of power and the Taliban to re-infiltrate the country. This is an eyeopening chronicle that highlights the often infuriating realities of a vital front in the war on terror, exposing deeper, fundamental problems with current U.S. strategy.