Bombardier Books

The Last Commander: The Once and Future Battle for Afghanistan


The compelling inside story of how America abandoned Afghanistan.

When America retreated from Kabul amid chaos in 2021, Lieutenant General Sami Sadat, the last commander of the army of the Afghan republic, was still fighting to the end. In this firsthand account, he reveals how his troops were starved of ammunition for two years before the final pullout, while America was glad-handing the Taliban. Although Sadat spent his early career fighting alongside the CIA to track down al-Qaeda in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, it was in conventional combat—leading from the front—that he made his name. In The Last Commander, he contends that Afghanistan could have won the war if support had continued. President Biden may have ended America’s longest war, but the story does not end there. Now Sadat’s birth country is plunged into barbarism, where women are beaten for showing their face and his former comrades are hunted down and killed. But Sadat is planning to fight back. It will not be easy, but this riveting personal account of combat shows that if anyone can do it, he can.

Sadat’s story was told in the Emmy Award–winning documentary Retrograde. Now he tells it for himself.