Salisbury Military Historical Society welcomes author of controversial book

A RECENT investigation into the management of the campaign in Afghanistan clearly showed that there were systemic failures in planning, preparation and diplomacy.

A controversial book that examines in depth the financial and human costs of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan has been published, but not without difficulties.

Simon Akam is an author and investigative journalist and after his military service in 2003-2004 he began to wonder if the British military had changed since his time there.

He studied the financial and human costs of campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and interviewed politicians, hundreds of soldiers and officers, and the families of those who had served.

The book sparked a five-way bidding war and now Simon Akam is coming to the Salisbury Military History Society to reveal his findings.

Dave Simons is the Marketing Manager for the Salisbury Military History Society and said: “When the MOD wanted to review the book before publication, Simon Akam refused.

“It caused him to lose his publishing contract with Penguin Random House and he was asked to repay the advance.”

The Changing of the Guard was eventually published, but by independent publisher Scribe in 2021. It often criticizes military leadership and raises important questions about war.

The Salisbury Military History Society was founded in early 2019 and is a community meeting place for anyone interested in military history.

Simon Akam’s talk will take place on Wednesday, June 22 at St. John’s Hall in Lower Bemerton and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Additional information is available on the website.

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Lola R. McClure