With American withdrawal set to begin in July 2011, President Obama might narrowly prevent the war in Afghanistan from eclipsing Vietnam as the longest military conflict in U.S. history. But given Afghan President Hamid Karzai's unhinged threats to join the Taliban as well as the Pentagon's muted skepticism of the administration's timetable, the war sometimes looks as endless as ever.
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A new book by Sebastian Junger, titled simply War, avoids any kind of political prognostication because, as the author pointed out in a recent interview with the Daily Beast, soldiers aren't concerned with Washington power games. Instead, Junger's firsthand account deals with the frontline reality of a 30-man platoon battling through eastern Afghanistan's notorious Korengal Valley. And, as an embedded reporter throughout 2007 and 2008, the 43-year-old not only captured the combat experience in words but also collaborated with British photojournalist Tim Hetherington to shoot and produce the Sundance-winning battlefield documentary Restrepo. This Thursday, Junger will read from War at Books & Books. The film chapter will be released June 25.
Thu., June 17, 8 p.m., 2010