Investment in Blood


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The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War

Frank Ledwidge

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In this follow-up to his much-praised book Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Frank Ledwidge argues that Britain has paid a heavy cost – both financially and in human terms – for its involvement in the Afghanistan war. Ledwidge calculates the high price paid by British soldiers and their families, taxpayers in the United Kingdom, and, most importantly, Afghan citizens, highlighting the thousands of deaths and injuries, the enormous amount of money spent bolstering a corrupt Afghan government, and the long-term damage done to the British military’s international reputation.


In this hard-hitting exposé, based on interviews, rigorous on-the-ground research, and official information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Ledwidge demonstrates the folly of Britain’s extended participation in an unwinnable war. Arguing that the only true beneficiaries of the conflict are development consultants, international arms dealers, and Afghan drug kingpins, he provides a powerful, eye-opening, and often heartbreaking account of military adventurism gone horribly wrong.
Frank Ledwidge served as a naval intelligence officer in the Balkan wars and Iraq, and as a civilian justice advisor in Afghanistan.

"Investment in Blood is a damning account of the conflict. For those who criticised the operation as a political mistake and strategic disaster, it will reaffirm their greatest fears. For those who have indeed invested blood, sweat and tears, it will prove a deeply depressing read."Terri Judd, The Independent.

“Incredibly well researched, it is a short but depressing read, particularly so after a recap of Mackay & Tathams ‘Behavioural conflicts’, many of the lessons and points will be immediately apparent to anyone who has served in the country, even in the relative safety of Bastion or Kabul.”

“As I stated at the outset a relatively short read, but superbly well researched and lacking the ‘shock and awe’ of statistics that other authors may have chosen to use. Definitely recommended reading, particularly for those seeking a single concise book that captures the essence of the Afghanistan conflict from a UK perspective.”—Army Rumour Service

“Frank Ledwidge has written a thoughtful book about the British experience in Iraq and Afghanistan – Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, after months of research and in-depth interviews with participants, he has written a sober follow-up, Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War.” —Keith Simpson, Total Politics

"This book is a masterpiece in miniature."—Sherard Cowper-Coles, New Statesman

"The book makes the case for a full inquiry into Britain’s fourth Afghan war with economy and real punch. In itself it has made a pretty good start on the job."—Robert Fox, Evening Standard

"As a former naval reserve intelligence officer, who went on to work as a civilian adviser in Afghanistan, Ledwidge has impressive credentials. His 25 pages of references bear testament to his meticulous research, and copious Freedom of Information requests. The breadth of interviews is also admirable"—Terri Judd, Belfast Telegraph

“This is an important book that deserves to be read by anyone who has an interest in world affairs and their impact on Britain. It is not simply an anti-war treatise, although those who adopt such a position will find much ammunition here. It will raise strong emotions about wasted lives and money frittered away on useless causes and hopefully it will move people to ask questions of those who have been responsible.”—Rev Dr Peter Howson, Methodist Recorder

 “These figures presented in Frank Ledwidge’s hard-hitting analysis of British involvement, demonstrate the asymmetric nature of warfare in Afghanistan.”—The Good Book Guide

ISBN: 9780300190625
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Losing Small Wars

British Military Failure in the 9/11 Wars
Second Edition

Frank Ledwidge

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