Wiser in Battle
Author: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Donald T. Phillips
Publisher: Harper Collins
The former commander of coalition forces in Iraq reports back from the front lines of the global war on terror to provide a comprehensive and chilling exploration of America's historic military and foreign-policy blunder. With unflinching candor, Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez describes the chaos on the Iraqi battlefield caused by the Bush administration's misguided command of the military, as well as his own struggle to set the coalition on the path toward victory. Sanchez shows how minor insurgent attacks grew into synchronized operations that finally ignited into a major insurgency and all-out civil war. He provides an insider's account of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, explaining the circumstances that led to the abuses, who perpetrated them, and what the formal investigations revealed. Sanchez also details the cynical use of the Iraq War for political gain in Washington and shows how the pressure of an around-the-clock news cycle drove and distorted critical battle decisions. The first book written by a former on-site commander in Iraq, Wiser in Battle is essential reading for all who wish to understand the Iraqi incursion and the role of America's military in the new century.
Lions of Kandahar
Author: Rusty Bradley, Kevin Maurer
Includes a new Afterword by the authors One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account from the unique perspective of an active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces commander, an unparalled warrior with multiple deployments to the theater who has only recently returned from combat there. Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers, lush orchards, and towering marijuana stands, all laced with treacherous irrigation ditches. A mass exodus of civilians heralded the carnage to come. Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley’s Special Forces A-team and two others, along with their longtime Afghan Army allies, watched from across the valley as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it and calling in effective air strikes was possession of a modest patch of high ground called Sperwan Ghar. Bradley’s small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters—from whom they seized an impossible victory. Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened. The blistering trek across Afghanistan’s infamous Red Desert. The eerie traces of the elusive Taliban. The close relations with the Afghan people and army, a primary mission focus. Sperwan Ghar itself: unremitting waves of fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; a targeted truck turned into an inferno; the death trap of a cut-off compound. Most important: the men, Americans and Afghans alike—the “shaky” medic with nerves of steel and a surgeon’s hands in battle; the tireless sergeant who seems to be everywhere at once; the soft-spoken intelligence officer with laser-sharp insight; the diminutive Afghan commander with a Goliath-sized heart; the cool maverick who risks all to rescue a grievously wounded comrade—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism. Praise for Lions of Kandahar “A raw and authentic war story about untamed Green Berets in action.”—Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden “A powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan . . . With crisp writing and page-turning action, Lions of Kandahar is one of the best books written about the conflict.”—Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist and co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War “One of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.”—The Seattle Times “Powerful . . . a riveting account of a strategic battle that doesn’t glorify war or focus on heroic deeds . . . Make room on your military bookshelf for Lions of Kandahar.”—San Antonio Express-News “Bradley takes the reader into battle.”—Time From the Trade Paperback edition.
A professor of strategy at the National War College in Washington, D.C., describes the people and culture of Afghanistan and discusses the forces at work, including the Taliban and September 11, that lead up to the decade-long conflict there. Original.
No Front Line
Author: Chris Masters
Australia's foremost investigative journalist goes deep into the heart of our Special Forces long war in Afghanistan.
No True Glory
Author: Bing West
"This is the face of war as only those who have fought it can describe it."–Senator John McCain Fallujah: Iraq’s most dangerous city unexpectedly emerged as the major battleground of the Iraqi insurgency. For twenty months, one American battalion after another tried to quell the violence, culminating in a bloody, full-scale assault. Victory came at a terrible price: 151 Americans and thousands of Iraqis were left dead. The epic battle for Fallujah revealed the startling connections between policy and combat that are a part of the new reality of war. The Marines had planned to slip into Fallujah “as soft as fog.” But after four American contractors were brutally murdered, President Bush ordered an attack on the city–against the advice of the Marines. The assault sparked a political firestorm, and the Marines were forced to withdraw amid controversy and confusion–only to be ordered a second time to take a city that had become an inferno of hate and the lair of the archterrorist al-Zarqawi. Based on months spent with the battalions in Fallujah and hundreds of interviews at every level–senior policymakers, negotiators, generals, and soldiers and Marines on the front lines–No True Glory is a testament to the bravery of the American soldier and a cautionary tale about the complex–and often costly–interconnected roles of policy, politics, and battle in the twenty-first century. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Michael R. Gordon, Bernard E. Trainor
Draws on interviews with General Tommy Franks, Condoleezza Rice, and other officials and military personnel to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the decision-making process that determined the nature of American involvement in Iraq.
I Lost My Love in Baghdad
Author: Michael Hastings
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The “wrenching” (Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show) first book by acclaimed journalist Michael Hastings (1980-2013), whose unflinching Rolling Stone article “Runaway General” ended the military career of General Stanley A. McChrystal. At age twenty-five, Michael Hastings arrived in Baghdad to cover the war in Iraq for Newsweek. He had at his disposal a little Hemingway romanticism and all the apparatus of a twenty-first-century reporter -- cell phones, high-speed Internet access, digital video cameras, fixers, drivers, guards, translators. In startling detail, he describes the chaos, the violence, the never-ending threats of bomb and mortar attacks, the front lines that can be a half mile from the Green Zone, that can be anywhere. This is a new kind of war: private security companies follow their own rules or lack thereof; soldiers in combat get instant messages from their girlfriends and families; members of the Louisiana National Guard watch Katrina's decimation of their city on a TV in the barracks. Back in New York, Hastings had fallen in love with Andi Parhamovich, a young idealist who worked for Air America. A year into their courtship, Andi followed Michael to Iraq, taking a job with the National Democratic Institute. Their war-zone romance is another window into life in Baghdad. They call each other pet names; they make plans for the future; they fight, usually because each is fearful for the other's safety; and they try to figure out how to get together, when it means putting bodyguards and drivers in jeopardy.Then Andi goes on a dangerous mission for her new employer -- a meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters that ends in catastrophe. Searing, unflinching, and revelatory, I Lost My Love in Baghdad is both a raw, brave, brilliantly observed account of the war and a heartbreaking story of one life lost to it.
The Afghan Solution
Author: Lucy Morgan Edwards
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
"In 2001, in the weeks around the World Trade Centre attacks, a group of Afghan tribal leaders, commanders and senior Taliban regime figures met in Rome and Peshawar and agreed to work together under the banner of the ex King of Afghanistan with the objective of toppling the Taliban regime. They would be led by the famed Resistance leader of the anti-Soviet war period, Abdul Haq. The plan would be financed by two American Republican brothers who had made their fortune on the Chicago options exchange. On the other side of the Atlantic, a private British contingent including a former head of the UK's Special Boat Service, an ex marine turned tv cameraman and a British Baronet also recognized the potential of Abdul Haq's plan and lobbied for it in Whitehall. The story of all these men, but most of all Abdul Haq, and the reasons he went into Afghanistan on a seemingly impetuous mission, only to be assassinated by the Taliban in October 2001, is told for the first time here by a British woman who experienced important events of the Afghan war first hand and who spent many months in Eastern Afghanistan in the months after the loss of bin Laden from Tora Bora. She stayed with Haq's remaining family, tribal leaders whom journalists had once dubbed 'Resistance Royalty' but who were now accused of drug dealing and who were a pariah to the international community, yet neither were they friends of Pakistan. This is the story of the Afghan solution to the Taliban, why the West thwarted that plan and what it means for NATO as it seeks to stabilize and exit from Afghanistan today."--Publisher's website.
Not a Good Day to Die
Author: Sean Naylor
Award-winning combat reporter Sean Naylor reveals how close American forces came to disaster in Afghanistan against Al Qaida—after easily defeating the ragtag Taliban that had sheltered the terrorist organization behind the 9/11 attacks. At dawn on March 2, 2002, over two hundred soldiers of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions flew into the mouth of a buzz saw in Afghanistan's Shahikot Valley. Believing the war all but over, U.S. military leaders refused to commit the extra infantry, artillery, and attack helicopters required to fight the war's biggest battle— a missed opportunity to crush hundreds of Al Qaida's fighters and some of its most senior leaders. Eyewitness Naylor vividly portrays the heroism of the young, untested soldiers, the fanaticism of their ferocious enemy, the mistakes that led to a hellish mountaintop firefight, and how thirteen American commandos embodied "Patton's three principles of war"—audacity, audacity, and audacity—by creeping unseen over frozen mountains into the heart of an enemy stronghold to prevent a U.S. military catastrophe.
This three-volume reference work provides an up-to-date presentation and analysis of the U.S. wars of the 21st century, addressing their backgrounds, causes, courses, and consequences. It serves as an indispensable resource for students seeking to understand the role of the United States in the world today. • Provides up-to-date information on America's ongoing military conflicts and clear explanations of how these wars came about and the shifts in policy thereafter • Supplies comprehensive coverage detailing social, political, cultural, religious, ethnic, and military aspects of the 21st-century wars • Includes dozens of primary documents that are essential to understanding the events that have occurred, provide context to the text, and allow readers to examine the original sources of information directly • Identifies the key individuals and factors in strategic planning • Presents full information on the terror attacks visited on the United States and its key allies as well as the U.S. response to them
Level Zero Heroes
Author: Michael Golembesky, John R. Bruning
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
A New York Times Best seller! In Level Zero Heroes, Michael Golembesky follows the members of U.S. Marine Special Operations Team 8222 on their assignment to the remote and isolated Taliban stronghold known as Bala Murghab as they conduct special operations in an effort to break the Taliban's grip on the Valley. What started out as a routine mission changed when two 82nd Airborne Paratroopers tragically drowned in the Bala Murghab River while trying to retrieve vital supplies from an air drop that had gone terribly wrong. In this one moment, the focus and purpose of the friendly forces at Forward Operating Base Todd, where Team 8222 was assigned, was forever altered as a massive clearing operation was initiated to break the Taliban's stranglehold on the valley and recover the bodies. From close-quarters firefights in Afghan villages to capturing key-terrain from the Taliban in the unforgiving Afghan winter, this intense and personal story depicts the brave actions and sacrifices of MSOT 8222. Readers will understand the hopelessness of being pinned down under a hail of enemy gunfire and the quake of the earth as a 2000 lb. guided bomb levels a fortified Taliban fighting position. A powerful and moving story of Marine Operators doing what they do best, Level Zero Heroes brings to life the mission of these selected few that fought side-by-side in Afghanistan, in a narrative as action-packed and emotional as anything to emerge from the Special Operations community contribution to the Afghan War.
The Dutch resistance movement during the Nazi occupation was bedevilled by treachery, betrayal and poor organization and support from London. Despite these serious problems, the brave men and women of the Dutch resistance who refused to accept domination by their brutal oppressors, made a significant contribution to the war effort albeit at a terrible cost. Their contribution which included escape routes for Allied aircrew and acts of sabotage has been largely over-looked. While the author focuses on the activity and fate of her husband's father, Henry Scharrer, her superbly researched book ranges far wider. As well as introducing a large cast of resistance workers, double agents and Nazis, she describes many of the operations, successful and disastrous, and analyses the results. Too often, as in Henry Scharrer's case, the outcome was tragic. This gripping true account of extraordinary heroism and betrayal demonstrates both the best and worst of human conduct in extreme conditions.
Within weeks of 9/11, United States Special Operations Forces were dropping into Afghanistan to lead the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. For over a decade special forces have been fighting a hidden war in Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Mali and Afghanistan, facing off against a range of insurgents from organisations like al Qaeda, al Shabaab, Boko Haram and the Taliban. Leigh Neville draws on recently declassified material and first-hand-accounts from his SOF contacts to lift the veil of secrecy from these operations, giving an unprecedented blow-by-blow description of major Special Forces operations, culminating in SEAL Team 6's Operation Neptune Spear and the killing of Osama bin Laden. Detailing the special equipment, tactics, machinery and training that these Special Operatives received and used this impressive volume shows how the world's elite soldiers fought against overwhelming odds around the world.
The Battle for Peace
Author: Tony Zinni, Tony Koltz
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Now a New York Times Bestseller! Tony Zinni has served on the frontlines of war and peace--as a Marine in Vietnam, commander of troops in the Middle East, and diplomatic envoy. His wealth of experience provides fascinating insight into how the world works and a sweeping vision of America's role in it. Zinni argues that the roots of the world's growing turmoil are not being addressed and that America's aggressive confidence is making it worse--with potentially devastating implications for the safety of Americans. From the foxhole to the White House, Zinni's first-hand experience informs his view of how America can promote a more stable and peaceful world through realism and pragmatic cooperation with other peoples and states.