Investment in Blood: The true cost of Britain’s disastrous Afghan Adventure
Frank Ledwidge

Investment in Blood: The true cost of Britain’s disastrous Afghan Adventure

The end of the Afghan War, at least for the UK is very much in sight.  By the end of 2013 most British soldiers will have been withdrawn from combat roles.    The time has come for an audit.  Building on the success and impact of Losing Small Wars,Investment in Blood will provide that audit.  Like Losing Small Wars, Investment in Blood will not shy from drawing intensely uncomfortable but well-evidenced conclusions.

This book will look at the huge human and financial costs of the war for the UK.  It will argue that the war in Afghanistan was far bloodier and more expensive than we have been told.  Drawing on interviews with key players and academic experts, Investment in Blood will go beyond the usual government ‘estimates’ and look at how both British servicemen and Afghan civilians have really suffered and what the  final bill will be.

While the number of dead British soldiers is well-documented, the huge numbers of soldiers seriously wounded is not publicly known.  The UK has never made a count of the civilian dead, injured and disabled of Helmand. Investment in Blood will do so, and show that none of the help rightly available to British blind, paralysed and amputee veterans is available to the people amongst whose homes the British and the Taliban fought their war.

Investment in Blood will show the vast cost of  transporting tens of thousands of soldiers to a faraway desert and sustaining them there, and how we will bear the true price of the war long into the future.   It will examine what the war has cost us in less quantifiable but vital ways.    It will ensure that the UK’s involvement in the Afghan War will join the Boer War as an example both of dishonesty and wilful ignorance on the part of government and the commanders who serve it. 

  • The public view towards the Afghan war is changing.  This book will both catch that zeitgeist and contribute to it.
  • This book, like its predecessor ‘Losing Small Wars’ will lead and inform public dialogue as British forces withdraw from combat operations.
  • It will be the first book in the UK to look at the ruinous costs of Britain’s fourth Afghan War.
  • It will do for the Afghan War what Stiglitz’s bestselling  Three Trillion Dollar War did for the Iraq War.
  • It will show that Afghanistan is, apart from the two World Wars the most expensive  in British history.

Book Details:

  • Author: Frank Ledwidge
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • US: Yale University Press
    • UK: Yale University Press

Frank Ledwidge

In fifteen years as a military intelligence officer, Frank Ledwidge served front line operational tours in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq - the latter as head of one of the joint-service multinational teams failing to find WMD. He was subsequently selected to head his service specialisation for two years. He is a graduate of the Joint Service Command and Staff College and has worked closely with US and other NATO forces including taking and passing the US Marine Counter-intelligence Course. He retired from the service in early 2009. In his civilian life he is a...
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Book Reviews

  • "...makes the case for a full inquiry into Britain’s fourth Afghan war with economy and real punch ."
    Robert Fox, Evening Standard
  • "...a devastating indictment of the utter, unanswerable folly of Britain’s military intervention in southern Afghanistan...This book is a masterpiece in miniature...All of us responsible for the west’s eye-wateringly expensive exercise in military futility should read this book.... "
    Sherard Cowper-Coles, Evening Standard
  • "The first, book-length attempt to evaluate British expenditure of blood and treasure, by former frontline military intelligence officer Frank Ledwidge, should become a Defence Academy set text – if, that is, the generals can bear it, because it makes for very grim reading indeed... "
    James Fergusson, The Independent