War

War - Sebastian Junger An excellent first-hand account of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Junger spent five months embedded with soldiers deployed in the Korengal Valley, the most dangerous place in the current wars with Afghanistan and Iraq. He maintains a neutral journalistic viewpoint, implying no opinion on the validity of the war, however his depiction of what the soldiers endure on a day to day basis as well as the losses suffered both in lives and mental health do much to raise questions about the cost-benefit for America's ongoing presence there.

The only problems I had with this book: Other than a simple map in the front of the book, there are no pictures and/or illustrations. I would have loved to have photos of the area since Junger references them constantly. Too, I always appreciate having faces to put to the names of the men in the stories.

Also, Junger sometimes goes into a level of detail about various missions and firefights that cause my eyes to glaze over. While fascinating, it becomes very hard to follow since it is a highly physical thing that is better seen and virtually impossible to describe. By the end, I tended to skim over details about specific action-heavy events.

And lastly, I would have loved a final, follow-up chapter that documented where these soldiers are today as well as acknowledge that the US decided to pull out of the Korengal Valley early in 2010, adding further questions to why we were ever there in the first place.

Overall, an excellent read that really helps bring the things these men have to endure to light.