"The Hardest Place" - A Discussion with Wesley Morgan
Time & Location
About the Event
The Army Strategist Association is excited to host Wes Morgan - journalist whose work has appeared in Politico, The Washington Post, and The New York Times - as he discusses his recent best-seller, The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley. This event is open to the public, so please invite friends and colleagues to this virtual event. Zoom dial-in info will be shared 24 hours prior to the event.
Except from the book jacket:
When we think of the war in Afghanistan, chances are we’re thinking of a small, remote corner of the country where American military action has been concentrated: the Pech and its tributary valleys in Kunar and Nuristan provinces. The rugged, steep terrain and thick forests made the region a natural hiding spot for targets in the American war on terror, from Osama bin Laden to the Islamic State, and it has been the site of constant U.S. military activity for nearly two decades. Even as the U.S. presence in Afghanistan transitioned to a drone war, the Pech remained at the center of it, a testbed for a new method of remote warfare. Wesley Morgan first visited the Pech in 2010, while he was still a college student embedding with military units as a freelancer. By then, the Pech and its infamous tributary the Korengal had become emblematic of the war, but Morgan found that few of the troops fighting there could explain why their remote outposts had been built. In The Hardest Place, he unravels the history those troops didn’t know, captures the culture and reality of the war through both American and Afghan eyes, and reports on the snowballing American missteps that made each unit’s job harder than the last as storied outfits like Marines, paratroopers, Rangers, Green Berets, and SEALs all took their turn.
Through reporting trips, hundreds of interviews with Americans and Afghans, and documentary research, Morgan writes vividly of large-scale missions gone awry, years-long hunts for single individuals, and the soldiers, Marines, commandos, and intelligence operatives who cycle through, along with several who return again and again to the same slowly evolving fight. Wesley Morgan is a journalist who has covered the U.S. military and its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2007. His reporting has appeared in Politico, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other outlets. He is a graduate of Princeton University. Follow him on Twitter at @wesleysmorgan.
“Deeply researched, spectacularly executed, and urgent…The Hardest Placewill stand out as one of the most important books to come out of the Afghanistan war.”—Foreign Policy
“Demands your attention, even when you would rather look away.”—The Washington Post "The Hardest Place is already being recognized as one of the essential books for understanding the war. But as a portrait of an army slowly stumbling toward defeat, it belongs in broader company with anatomies of military failure like A Bright Shining Lie."—War on the Rocks
"The Hardest Place is well-written and well-paced...Judicious and wide-ranging."—Studies in Intelligence “If one book should be studied by the U.S. military for an unvarnished look at both their successes and failures, it should be this one.”—Sebastian Junger, author of War and Tribe
“An extraordinarily well researched book on an incredibly interesting and important part of our experience in Afghanistan.”—Gen. (Ret.) Joseph Votel
“In many ways the story of the entire war...Extraordinarily well written, extraordinarily well researched, absolutely fascinating, a page turner...but also very sobering.”—Michael Morell, former CIA deputy director and author of The Great War of Our Time
“A great book...I cannot recommend it enough, especially for those who served [in Afghanistan]...I learned more about that area from reading the book than I did in my time spent over there.”—Andy Stumpf, former SEAL Team 6 member and host of “Cleared Hot” podcast