Author(s): Linda Polman
From Rwanda to Afghanistan, from Sudan to Iraq, this brilliantly written and at times blackly funny work of reportage shows how the humanitarian aid industry, the media and warmongers the world over are locked in a cycle of mutual support. Drawing on her decades of first-hand experience, Linda Polman's gripping narrative introduces us to the key players in this twisted game, to the aid-workers and the warlords themselves. Among many others, there is the Bible-bashing one-man NGO who rescued two Sierra Leonean girls from life in an amputee camp - only to change his mind and try to send them back again; the director of the World Bank in Kabul who estimates that 35-40 per cent of all aid in Afghanistan is looted or lost; and the rebel soldier who explains that war does not mean fighting: 'W.A.R. means Waste All Resources. Destroy everything. Then you people will come and fix it'. War Games is a controversial expose from the front lines of the humanitarian aid industry by one of the most intrepid and brilliantly incisive journalists of our times.
War Games is a blood-boilingly good polemic that should knock a few halos off Sunday Telegraph Pacy, concise, vivid...the pages of this necessary but contentious book burn with a righteous moral anger about the contradictions and tensions of delivering humanitarian aid in conflict zones Daily Telegraph Marvellous... cool, brusque, fearless and disillusioned...carries echoes of the African writings of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene Guardian Highly topical...essential reading...she relentlessly catalogues the ways in which humanitarianism has helped prolong war and suffering...if Polman's book can serve as a rallying cry to more radical, redistributive alternatives, then it will have more than fulfilled its function The Times A disturbing account that raises profound questions not just about the palliative efficacy of aid - but whether it fuels and prolongs conflict Financial Times Linda Polman is one of the finest reporting journalists of the modern age - she is gutsy, intellectually penetrating and far from naive Evening Standard She offers no obvious solutions but calls for more debate, and for an end to the 'halo effect' that gives INGOs immunity from criticism. War Games is a decisive step in that direction Metro
Linda Polman is the author of We Did Nothing: Why the Truth Doesn't Always Come Out When the UN Goes In, which was shortlisted for the Lettre Ulysses and the Index on Censorship awards. She studied at the School of Journalism in Utrecht and for the past twenty years has been a freelance journalist for international radio, TV and newspapers; she is a contributor to The Times and the Guardian.