Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, Air Mail, The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, and PopMatters
"Fast-paced and vivid... chock-full of telling quotes"
— The New York Times Book Review
“Craig Whitlock has forged a searing indictment of the deceit, blunders and hubris of senior military and civilian officials, with the same tragic echoes of the Vietnam conflict. The American dead, wounded and their families deserved wiser and more honorable leaders.”
— Tom Bowman, NPR Pentagon correspondent
"The excellent new book... Bombshell revelations... [and] damning evidence of things we already intuited.”
— The Washington Post
“At once page-turning and rigorous, The Afghanistan Papers makes a lasting and revelatory contribution to the record of America's tragic management of our longest war. In transparent and nuanced detail, Whitlock chronicles how American leaders and commanders undermined their country's promises to the Afghans who counted on them and to the U.S. troops who made the ultimate sacrifice after 9/11.”
— Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ghost Wars and Directorate S
“The Afghanistan Papers is a gripping account of why the war in Afghanistan lasted so long. The missed opportunities, the outright mistakes and more than anything the first-hand accounts from senior commanders who only years later acknowledged they simply did not tell the American people what they knew about how the war was going.”
— Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon correspondent
"Whitlock is unsparing in his assessment of presidents Bush, Obama and Trump, as well as U.S. military leaders, saying all failed to level with the American public....Whitlock's book is based on hundreds of ‘lessons learned’ interviews conducted privately by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. ...The candid interviews are revealing.”
"A hallmark achievement of primary source reporting....The Afghanistan Papers reminds readers of the power of reportage built on documented evidence with names attached."
— The Daily Beast
“Craig Whitlock's new book The Afghanistan Papers is essential reading on this topic."
— Newt Gingrich, Newsweek
“A damning account of America’s longest war that reveals what top generals and government officials really knew about the cost and futility of the mission. Whitlock puts the pieces together in a way nobody has before, bringing us the most comprehensive, inside story of this conflict ever told.”
— Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan
“The Afghanistan Papers is an autopsy of America’s folly into central Asia. It chronicles years of recklessness and bad decision-making that the nation is still grappling with today. This book is one part indictment of mission creep and American hubris, and one part warning to future leaders.”
— Kevin Maurer, co-author of The New York Times bestsellers No Easy Day and American Radical
“Like the Pentagon Papers of the Vietnam War, The Afghanistan Papers expose decades of deceit and the persistence of an American brand of imperialism. Examined by the sharp eye of Craig Whitlock, this history provides ample evidence that citizens should finally reject the baseless claim that U.S. military power is a unique force for good in the world.”
— Christian G. Appy, author of American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity
"Abundant, authoritative, and utterly damning... Drawn from unimpeachable sources."— The American Conservative
"Ten, 20, 50 years hence, when a once-again ascendant America is looking to prove itself militarily in a faraway land, The Afghanistan Papers will be one of the books that that war’s hapless planners will eventually kick themselves for ignoring." — PopMatters
"An unputdownable account of imperial hubris, blundering and deception." — The Spectator
"A powerful indictment of the US war in Afghanistan and of the lack of accountability and transparency of American political institutions....A revelatory account of an aspect of the war that American officials sought to conceal from the public....At the heart of his analysis is not a story of innocent misfortune but of official deception, disinformation, strategic incoherence, and inertia....sheds much-needed light on the centrality of disinformation to the war effort....Whitlock has provided us with a comprehensive accounting of many of the costs of this war—and an invaluable road map to those seeking the restoration of accountability and trust.”
— The Middle East Journal
"A damning, gut-punch account of a misguided — and misrepresented — military debacle."
— Washington Independent Review of Books
“Impressively documented... By this authoritative account, the Afghanistan War has been a colossal failure that should have been ended years ago.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Searing... Rigorously detailed... this is a heartbreaking look at how America’s leaders 'chose to bury their mistakes and let the war drift.'”
— Publishers Weekly
"An important, timely account."
— Booklist (starred review)