This image is the cover for the book Wrong Turn

Wrong Turn

A searing indictment of US strategy in Afghanistan from a distinguished military leader and West Point military historian—“A remarkable book” (National Review).

In 2008, Col. Gian Gentile exposed a growing rift among military intellectuals with an article titled “Misreading the Surge Threatens U.S. Army’s Conventional Capabilities,” that appeared in World Politics Review. While the years of US strategy in Afghanistan had been dominated by the doctrine of counterinsurgency (COIN), Gentile and a small group of dissident officers and defense analysts began to question the necessity and efficacy of COIN—essentially armed nation-building—in achieving the United States’ limited core policy objective in Afghanistan: the destruction of Al Qaeda.

Drawing both on the author’s experiences as a combat battalion commander in the Iraq War and his research into the application of counterinsurgency in a variety of historical contexts, Wrong Turn is a brilliant summation of Gentile’s views of the failures of COIN, as well as a trenchant reevaluation of US operations in Afghanistan.

“Gentile is convinced that Obama’s ‘surge’ in Afghanistan can’t work. . . . And, if Afghanistan doesn’t turn around soon, the Democrats . . . who have come to embrace the Petraeus-Nagl view of modern warfare . . . may find themselves wondering whether it’s time to go back to the drawing board.” —The New Republic

Gian Gentile

Colonel Gian Gentile is an army colonel, a former Iraq War commander, and a professor of history at West Point; he was also a 2010 Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Gentile is a contributor to the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Small Wars Journal, and the World Politics Review. He lives in West Point, New York.

The New Press