The Viney Agency


Robert Lyman

David Loyn first visited Afghanistan in 1994 as a reporter, and has travelled there almost every year since, culminating in a period of more than two years as the BBC correspondent in Kabul 2013-2015. He is the winner of many awards, including the Royal Television Society’s ‘Journalist of the Year,’ and is an adviser to the British Foreign Office on South Asian policy. Among other books, he has written In Afghanistan (St Martin’s Press, 2009) a history of foreign engagement in Afghanistan over 200 years.

Norine MacDonald QC is the President of the International Council on Security and Development and a Visiting Distinguished Fellow at the National Defense University, Washington DC. A Canadian lawyer she lived and worked in Afghanistan for seven years conducting field research on security, counter narcotics and developments issues resulting in dozens of field reports on the war. She has also conducted field research in Iraq, Somalia, Syria and other conflict/post-conflict zones.

Their Commanders - The Generals Who Fought NATO’s Longest War will be published by St Martin’s Press in 2019.

(Note The Viney Agency represents David Loyn for this title only)


Robert LymanCommanders - The Generals who Fought NATO’s Longest War  tells the story of the eight Generals (seven American, one British) who led the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. This was a high profile, increasingly complex role. Generals including David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, David McKiernan and Dan McNeill are interviewed about their command of the war. They had military experience going back to Vietnam, but were now to be tested in battle as never before. McChrystal had the reputation of a ‘warrior monk’ and considered one of the most gifted military leaders of his generation. And what was the command style of David Petraeus? Each will be interviewed by the authors of Commanders, revealing the true, inside story of command during the Afghan conflict for the first time.

Afghanistan was the only war in NATO’s seventy year history called under its founding principle: that an attack on one is considered an attack on all. Holding together this complex coalition after 9/11 was a unique leadership challenge, calling on highly developed political and military skills. The Generals had to fight the Taliban and absorb the complex politics of Washington, Brussels and Kabul; lead troops in the field, while grappling with the multi-dimensional puzzles of the most significant geopolitical event of our time. They needed all of the skills of any other modern CEO, with one big difference - the decisions that they made affected lives, including those of the young men and women under their command.

The authors make no judgement on whether the war was right or wrong. With hindsight it is too easy to judge the decisions of the Generals sent to command in Afghanistan. Commanders tells the story of the daily crises that they faced - assassinations, coup attempts, prison breaks, political betrayals, civilian casualties, political events beyond their control - while being responsible for thousands of young American and European lives.

Commanders provides an essential historical insight into the realities of field command and is compulsory reading about the key personalities in the major drama of our times.