The incipit of Peter Jones' latest from the Spectator:

The British are about to replace the Americans in Afghanistan. Let us hope they take a good life of Alexander with them – Arrian or Quintus Curtius Rufus will do – because conditions for military campaigns have not changed much since then.

When Alexander finally defeated Darius III and his Persian army in 329 BC – the purpose of his expedition – he pushed into Bactria/Sogdia, as it was then, to pursue the leader of the Persian resistance, Bessus. Bessus was duly turned in by his treacherous Bactrian lieutenant Spitamenes. But Alexander needed to feed his army and secure his rear, and did so by plundering widely and garrisoning the main villages. Further, he refused to allow the locals to do what they had always done in relation to their war dead, i.e. leave their bodies in the field for vultures to consume. All this raised the locals to revolt, and when Alexander decided to turn to Spitamenes for suggestions about how to deal with it, found that Spitamenes was the ring-leader. The furious Alexander immediately sent 2000 troops to Samarkand to sort him out. Knowing the terrain, Spitamenes laid an ambush. It was a massacre. Alexander at once mustered 7,000 elite troops and raced 180 miles across the desert in three days (!) to take revenge. He searched up and down for him but found, precisel

... the rest is available at the Friends of Classics site ...