Wednesday, February, 05, 2014

Churchill’s First War, New America, Washington

Churchill’s First War

Young Winston at War with the Afghans
Cover Image
For more than a decade, the United States has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan, fighting the forces of terrorism. Over a century ago a similar story played out there as British troops fought a vicious frontier war against Pashtun tribesmen. These tribesmen were in essence the forefathers of today’s Taliban and tribal insurgents. Young Winston Churchill, then a cavalry lieutenant, wrote a vivid account of his experiences serving in Afghanistan. That book — The Story of the Malakand Field Force — written more than a hundred years ago, is required reading for military commanders on the ground, both American and British.

Churchill’s campaign in Afghanistan is the subject of acclaimed author and foreign correspondent Con Coughlin’s new book, Churchill’s First War: Young Winston at War with the Afghans. Combining historical narrative, interviews with contemporary key players, and the journalist’s eye for great color and analysis, Churchill’s First War provides a rare insight into both the nineteenth-century “Great Game” and the twenty-first century conflict that has raged longer than World War II.

The New America Foundation is pleased to welcome Mr. Coughlin for a discussion about the findings in his book and the lessons and warnings Churchill’s experience can teach us today.

Copies of Coughlin’s book will be available for purchase by cash, check, or credit card.

Join the conversation online using #winstonatwar and following @NatSecNAF. 

If you are unable to join us in person, please tune in to our live webcast of the event. No signup is required to view the streaming video.


Con Coughlin
Author, Churchill’s First War: Young Winston at War with the Afghans
Executive Foreign Editor, Daily Telegraph

Peter Bergen
Director, National Security Program, New America Foundation