In the decade since America engaged in the War on Terror following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the war in Afghanistan has been an ongoing campaign to hem in and eradicate the Taliban and other radical Muslim entities which have held the country hostage since the departure of Soviet forces and provided safe haven and support for the Al Queda operatives behind the 9/11 attacks.
A key element of US and NATO operations in the Afghan theater has been the employment of airpower in a multitude of roles supporting the ground operations. Tim Ripley, noted aviation journalist, thoroughly, yet concisely, chronicles the application of NATO air power in Afghanistan in this 233-page volume. Laced with color photos and maps, Mr. Ripley’s work crisply walks the reader through Afghanistan’s tumultuous history since the late 1970’s through the commencement of US and NATO operations in 2001, then outlines a decade of the evolving application of airpower in combat operations, showcases special mission applications such as covert operations, application of unmanned aerial vehicles, and airlift.
From a modeler’s perspective, the book offers a general sampling of photographs of US and NATO aircraft employed throughout the numerous Afghan campaigns, with clear context of dates and bases of operation. Some photos offer some insight into colors and unit markings, while others are fairly generic in nature. For those interested in military aviation history, the volume is a great source of reference.
For those looking for a solid historical account of the application of airpower over Afghanistan since 2001, this is a fabulous resource. The modeler looking for a wealth of reference photos of colors, markings, and details, however, may be a tad disappointed in the general nature of many of the photos.
My sincere thanks to the good folks at Pen & Sword for the review copy.