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Authors: Ben Anderson

No Worse Enemy

BOOK: No Worse Enemy
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“As well as being the best book from the front lines so far, it is the first which shows the real down and dirty story behind the headlines and upbeat assessments. A
superbly written, considered piece of war reportage, it will stand comparison with the very best of the last half-century. Unlike any book before it, this one asks us to see the British and
American soldiers through the eyes of the bewildered and all-too-often bereaved eyes of Afghans.
No Worse Enemy
will do for Afghanistan what Michael Herr’s
Dispatches
did for
Vietnam.”

Frank Ledwidge – author of
Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan

“Ben Anderson has written an account of his time in Helmand that is both extremely readable and useful, in that he presents lots of the detail that usually gets lost.
No Worse Enemy
has the benefit of the author having spent his time in the country on the ground, on patrol, taking risks and always patiently listening to what was going on around him. If
you want to understand how the war in Helmand is really being fought, buy this book.”

Alex Strick van Linschoten – author of
An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban

“Compelling and brilliant ... Ben Anderson presents the reader with an extraordinary account of the tragedies in the Afghanistan war. This is a first-hand look behind the
headlines at the reality of the difficult challenges British and American infantry face in modern, bloody counterinsurgency warfare operations.”

Regulo Zapata – Green Beret Special Forces (Ret) and author of
Desperate Lands: The War on Terror Through the Eyes of a Special Forces Soldier


No Worse Enemy
provides the very rare first-hand account of the realities of the war in Afghanistan, a gripping narrative derived not from just one or two trips
to large forward operating bases, but from multiple embeds with a variety of different units in the most austere reaches of Afghanistan’s restive Helmand Province. The book provides a candid
and honest insight into what is really happening on the ground, an invaluable perspective for both military practitioners, as well as those who have never set foot on a battlefield but who want to
know the real story. A great addition to the books out there on Afghanistan.”

Ed Darack – author of
Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers

 

A Oneworld Book

Published by Oneworld Publications 2011
This ebook edition published in 2012

Copyright © Ben Anderson 2011

The moral right of Ben Anderson to be identified as the Author of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

All rights reserved
Copyright under Berne Convention
A CIP record for this title is available from the British Library

ISBN 978–1–85168–852–4 (Hardback)
ISBN 978–1–85168–857–9 (Paperback Travel Edition)
ISBN 978–1–85168–863–0 (Ebook)

Typeset by Jayvee, Trivandrum, India
Cover design by BoldandNoble.com

Oneworld Publications
185 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 7AR
England

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For Nanny Butch, who endured more bombs than I ever will, and despite weighing less than a jockey, even helped the anti-aircraft guns shoot back. She was the toughest, but
most humble, person I’ve ever known. I’ll remember her, and the example she quietly set, forever.

Vi Anderson 1924–2011

 

Maps

Prologue

Introduction

A note on translations

PART I: THE BRITISH ARMY, JUNE TO OCTOBER, 2007 QUEEN’S COMPANY, THE GRENADIER GUARDS

PART II: US MARINE CORPS, JULY TO AUGUST, 2009 2ND BATTALION, 8TH MARINES

PART III: US MARINE CORPS, FEBRUARY TO MARCH, 2010 1ST BATTALION, 6TH MARINES

PART IV: US MARINE CORPS, JUNE 2010 1ST BATTALION, 6TH MARINES

PART V: US MARINE CORPS, DECEMBER 2010 TO JANUARY 2011, 3RD BATTALION, 5TH MARINES

Afterword

Recommended further reading

Acknowledgements

Index

 

ABV

Assault Breacher Vehicle

ACOG

Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight

ALP

Afghan Local Police

ANA

Afghan National Army

ANCOP    

Afghan National Civil Order Police

ANP

Afghan National Police

A-POB

Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System

ASF

American Special Forces

CAO

Civil Affairs Officer

COC

Combat Operation Centre

COIN

Counter Insurgency

DC

District Centre

DFC

Directional Fragment Charge

DFID

Department For International Development

EOD

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

FOB

Forward Operating Base

GIROA

Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

GPMG

General Purpose Machine Gun

IED

Improvised Explosive Device

ISAF

International Security Assistance Force

KIA

Killed in Action

LAW

Light Anti-tank Weapon

LTTs

Lines To Take

MEDEVAC    

Medical Evacuation

MIC-LIC

Mine Clearing Line Charge

MRAP

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected

MREs

Meals Ready To Eat

NAAFI

The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

NCO

Non-Commissioned Officer

NDS

National Directorate of Security (Afghan Intelligence Service)

OMLT

(pronounced ‘omelette’) Operational Mentor and Liaison Team

PAX

Passengers

PB

Patrol Base

PID

Positive Identification

PRT

Provincial Reconstruction Team

Psy-Op

Psychological Operation

QRF

Quick Reaction Force

RC

Regional Command

ROC

Rehearsal of Concept

ROE

Rules of Engagement

RPG

Rocket-Propelled Grenade

R&R

Rest and Recuperation

SAW

Squad Automatic Weapon

Semper Fi

Semper Fidelis
(‘Always faithful’ – the motto of the US Marines)

WMIK

Weapons Mount Installation Kit (mounted on a roofless Land Rover)

 

Helmand Province

Operation Mushtaraq (Marjah)

The Sniper Hole (Marjah)

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