Meet Blackwater USA, the powerful private army that the U.S. government has quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil. With its own military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and twenty-thousand troops at the ready, Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the “global war on terror”—yet most people have never heard of it.
It was the moment the war turned: On March 31, 2004, four Americans were ambushed and burned near their jeeps by an angry mob in the Sunni stronghold of Falluja. Their charred corpses were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River. The ensuing slaughter by U.S. troops would fuel the fierce Iraqi resistance that haunts occupation forces to this day. But these men were neither American military nor civilians. They were highly trained private soldiers sent to Iraq by a secretive mercenary company based in the wilderness of North Carolina.
• Winner of the George Polk Book Award
• Alternet Best Book of the Year
• Barnes & Noble one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007
• Amazon one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007
The myth that the Nazi-era German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, was not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers have destroyed it once and for all. Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the Allies, reveal horrifying details of violence against civilians, rape and genocide.
As former ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite brings unique insights to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The story has been distorted not only by Cold War propaganda but also by the myths of the nineteenth century Great Game. It moves from the high politics of the Kremlin to the lonely Russian conscripts in isolated mountain outposts. The parallels with Afghanistan today speak for themselves.
‘A superb achievement of narrative history, sensitive writing and exciting fresh research’: so wrote Simon Sebag Montefiore about Rodric Braithwaite’s bestseller . But those words, and many others of praise that were given it, could equally apply to his new book.
The true story of one man’s determination to master the world’s deadliest helicopter and of a split-second decision that changed the face of modern warfare.
Ed Macy bent every rule in the book to get to where he wanted to be: on Ops in the stinking heat of the Afghan summer, with the world’s greatest weapons system at his fingertips. It’s 2006 and he is part of an elite group of pilots assigned to the controversial Apache AH Mk1 gunship programme. So far, though, the monstrously expensive Apache has done little to disprove its detractors. For the first month ‘in action’ Ed sees little more from his cockpit than the back end of a Chinook.
But everything changes in the skies over Now Zad. Under fire and out of options, Ed has one chance to save his own skin and those of the men on the ground. Though the Apache bristles with awesome weaponry, its fearsome Hellfire missile has never been fired in combat. Then, in the blistering heat of the firefight, the trigger is pulled.
It’s a split-second decision that forever changes the course of the Afghan war, as overnight the gunship is transformed from being an expensive liability to the British Army’s greatest asset. From that moment on, Ed and his squadron mates will face the steepest learning curve of their lives – fighting an endless series of high-octane missions against a cunning and constantly evolving enemy. Ed himself will have to risk everything to fly, fight and survive in the most hostile place on earth.
This is an eyewitness-and eye-opening-account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty, and with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die-and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did-from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of victims, to the final howling attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.
An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.
From the air, the Pacific island of Iwo Jima looks like a large, gray pork chop. Its strategic location, midway between the U.S. B-29 airfields on the Marianas Islands and the Japanese home islands meant that it had to be seized no matter what the cost. On February 19, 1945, the invasion of Iwo Jima was launched. It became the greatest battle fought by the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II. From it came the most famous image of the war, the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi. When it ended a month later, the Marines had suffered 20,000 casualties—almost 5,000 men killed in action. And an astonishing twenty-six Marines were awarded America's highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor.
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Genre: Religion and spirituality
The primary goal of is to strengthen the faith of its readers by showing the power of others’ faith under the most extreme circumstances imaginable. This is accomplished through 365 one-page stories from America’s greatest conflict presented in a daily devotional format with relevant scripture readings for each day of the year. Additionally, the book presents a unique and concise history of World War II with summaries, maps, and photographs of the major campaigns of the war. On this level, the individual stories provide insights into the war and combat not found in typical historical accounts.
2009 Silver Medal Winner from the Military Writers Society of America
First Place Winner of the 2009 Bransom Stars & Flags Book Award
Larkin Spivey is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War and a retired Marine Corps officer. He commanded infantry and reconnaissance units in combat as well as being trained in parachute, submarine, and Special Forces operations. He was with the blockade force during the Cuban Missile Crisis and served President Nixon in the White House. As a faculty member at The Citadel, he taught courses in U.S. military history, a subject of life-long personal and professional interest. He is the author of God in the Trenches and Miracles of the American Revolution. He now writes full time and resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with his wife, Lani, and their four children. He is a lay eucharistic minister of the Episcopal Church and is actively involved in the Cursillo renewal movement and the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association.
Jocelyn Green is an award-winning freelance writer who pens articles for dozens of magazines, including Christianity Today, Today's Christian, Today's Pentecostal Evangel, Baptist Bulletin, EFCA Today, InSite and more. She also writes for nonprofits, universities and corporations such as Juicy Juice, Nestle, Publix and General Mills. Wife of a former Coast Guard officer, she authored (Moody Publishers 2008). She also edited and contributed to by Larkin Spivey, a 2009 Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Winner. She is a member of the Evangelical Press Association and the Christian Authors Network. She and her husband have two children, a dog and a cat, and reside in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
From Robert Leckie, the World War II veteran and bestselling author of , whose experiences were featured in the HBO miniseries , comes this vivid narrative of the astonishing six-month campaign for Guadalcanal.
From the Japanese soldiers’ carefully calculated—and ultimately foiled—attempt to build a series of impregnable island forts on the ground to the tireless efforts of the Americans who struggled against a tenacious adversary and the temperature and terrain of the island itself, Robert Leckie captures the loneliness, the agony, and the heat of twenty-four-hour-a-day fighting on Guadalcanal. Combatants from both sides are brought to life: General Archer Vandegrift, who first assembled an amphibious strike force; Isoroku Yamamoto, the naval general whose innovative strategy was tested; the island-born Allied scout Jacob Vouza, who survived hideous torture to uncover the enemy’s plans; and Saburo Sakai, the ace flier who shot down American planes with astonishing ease.
Propelling the Allies to eventual victory, Guadalcanal was truly the turning point of the war. is an unparalleled, authoritative account of this great fight that forever changed our world.
The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Reich in January 1945. Political instructors rammed home the message of Wehrmacht and SS brutality. The result was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known, with tanks crushing refugee columns under their tracks, mass rape, pillage and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred because Nazi Party chiefs, refusing to face defeat, had forbidden the evacuation of civilians. Over seven million fled westwards from the terror of the Red Army.
Antony Beevor reconstructs the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse, telling a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanatacism, revenge and savagery, but also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice and survival against all odds.
Everyone has seen the footage: a heavily bearded Saddam Hussein blinking under the bright lights of infantry cameras, dazed to find himself in U.S. Army custody. Yet while the breaking news was broadcast around the world, the story of the remarkable events leading up to that moment on December 13, 2003 has never before been fully told. offers the full, behind-the-scenes account of the search for Saddam Hussein, as related by the Army interrogator whose individual courage and sheer determination made the capture possible.
In July of 2003, Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox was deployed to Baghdad alongside intelligence analysts and fellow interrogators. Their assignment was clear: gather actionable intelligence—leads that could be used to launch raids on High Value Targets within the insurgency. But, as Maddox recounts, hunting for the hidden links in the terrorist network would require bold and untested tactics, and the ability to never lose sight of the target, often hiding in plain sight. After months of chasing down leads, following hunches and interrogating literally hundreds of detainees, Sergeant Maddox uncovered crucial details about the insurgency. In his final days in Iraq he closed in on the dictator’s inner circle and, within hours of his departure from the country, pinpointed the precise location of Saddam’s Tikrit spider hole.
Maddox’s candid and compelling narrative reveals the logic behind the unique interrogation process he developed, and provides an insider’s look at his psychologically subtle, non-violent methods. The result is a gripping, moment-by-moment account of the historic mission that brought down Black List #1.
Meet Sergeant ‘Bommer’ Grahame, one of the deadliest soldiers on the battlefield. He’s an elite army JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller — pronounced ‘jay-tack’) — a specially trained warrior responsible for directing Allied air power with high-tech precision. Commanding Apache gunships, A-10 tank-busters, F-15s and Harrier jets, he brings down devastating fire strikes against the attacking Taliban, often danger close to his own side. Due to his specialist role, Sergeant Grahame usually operates in the thick of the action, where it’s at its most fearsome and deadly. Conjuring the seemingly impossible from apparently hopeless situations, soldiers in battle rely on the skill and bravery of their JTAC to enable them to win through in the heat of the danger zone.
For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment
From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group—commonly known as SEAL Team Six — has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
In , Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
He was a Soviet Top Gun—yet left all of the power and glory behind when he engineered the most audacious act of defection in Cold War history. On May 20, 1989, Soviet Air Force Captain Alexander Zuyev escaped from an air base in Soviet Georgia. Under the threat of Russian air defense missiles, and with other fighters in hot pursuit, Zuyev carried out a real-life flight to freedom even more breathtaking then classic works of fiction like and .
“In the grand tradition of Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov…. Anyone who seek to understand the collapse of communism must read this gut-wrenching true book.”
“ is a great story. Alex Zuyev gives us an incredibly clear picture of combat aviation in the Soviet Union, tearing apart the curtain of myth and rumor to show us just how the Russian air force trains and fights.”
“Stunning!… I have never encountered a better ‘insider’ book—Fulcrum reads like the very best thrillers, but every word is true. Tough, crisp writing…. Bravo!”
“Alex Zuyev was a brave and talented Russian pilot… [and] one of America’s ‘Secret Weapons’ in the Gulf War. He deserves our respect and admiration—his book is a gripping and dramatic adventure.”
“Zuyev and McConnell have done us all a great service. Fulcrum is a must-read for anyone who wants to know why the Soviet Union collapsed.”
I was so blown away by this book I had to meet Viktor in person and now count him as a personal friend. The book is factual in every respect and is difficult to put down once started. John Barron is an excellent author and did a first class job of writing Viktor’s story. In addition to an exciting escape story it reveals why the Soviet Union had to collapse of its own ineptitude, deceit, and corruption. It details humorous incidents such as army pilots’ mess-hall riots due to bad food.
Viktor is not only a first class pilot, he is also a true hero.
Don’t lend this book to anyone and expect to get it back.
Submarine warfare of to-day: how the submarine menace was met and vanquished, with descriptions of the inventions and devices used, fast boats, mystery ships, nets, aircraft, &c., &c., also describing the selection and training of the enormous personnel used in this new branch of the navy.
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at .
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During the 1930s the Soviet Union launched a major effort to create a modern Air Force. That process required training tens of thousands of pilots. Among those pilots were larger numbers of young women, training shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. A common training program of the day involved studying in “flying clubs” during leisure hours, first using gliders and then training planes. Following this, the best graduates could enter military schools to become professional combat pilots or flight navigators. The author of this book passed through all of those stages and had become an experienced training pilot when the USSR entered the war.
Volunteering for frontline duty, the author flew 130 combat missions piloting the U2 biplane in a liaison squadron. In the initial period of the war, the German Luftwaffe dominated the sky. Daily combat sorties demanded bravery and skill from the pilots of the liaison squadron operating obsolete, unarmed planes. Over the course of a year the author was shot down by German fighters three times but kept flying nevertheless.
In late 1942 Anna Egorova became the first female pilot to fly the famous Sturmovik (ground attack) plane that played a major role in the ground battles of the Eastern Front. Earning the respect of her fellow male pilots, the author became not just a mature combat pilot, but a commanding officer. Over the course of two years the author advanced from ordinary pilot to the executive officer of the Squadron, and then was appointed Regimental navigator, in the process flying approximately 270 combat missions over the southern sector of the Eastern Front initially (Taman, the Crimea) before switching to the 1st Belorussian Front, and seeing action over White Russia and Poland.
Flying on a mission over Poland in 1944 the author was shot down over a target by German flak. Severely burned, she was taken prisoner. After surviving in a German POW camp for 5 months, she was liberated by Soviet troops. After experiencing numerous humiliations as an “ex-POW” in 1965 the author finally received a top military award, a long-delayed “Golden Star” with the honorary title of “Hero of the Soviet Union”. This is a quite unique story of courage, determination and bravery in the face of tremendous personal adversity. The many obstacles Anna had to cross before she could fly first the Po-2, then the , are recounted in detail, including her tough work helping to build the Moscow Metro before the outbreak of war. Above all, is a very human story—sometimes sad, sometimes angry, filled with hope, at other times with near-despair, abundant in comradeship and professionalism—and never less than a large dose of determination!
The first volume in the new Helion Library of the Great War, a series designed to bring into print rare books long out-of-print, as well as producing translations of important and overlooked material that will contribute to our knowledge of this conflict.
Genre: Economics (Home and family)
A leading reporter offers a tour of military working dogs’ extraordinary training, heroic accomplishments, and the lasting impacts they have on those who work with them.
People all over the world have been riveted by the story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who was a part of the Navy SEAL team that led the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. A dog’s natural intelligence, physical abilities, and pure loyalty contribute more to our military efforts than ever before. You don't have to be a dog lover to be fascinated by the idea that a dog—the cousin of that furry guy begging for scraps under your table—could be one of the heroes who helped execute the most vital and high-tech military mission of the new millennium.
Now Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world's most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.
“Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers,” says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout dog handler. “The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler.” This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.
“A moving portrait of the loyal, courageous, furry warriors who truly are an enlisted Man's Best Friend.”
“ is a fascinating book about the valiant things that military dogs do as told through the words of the soldiers who fight beside them. It also shows you how military service dogs are created, told through the words of the trainers and scientists who know the process. It is written in an easy and entertaining style and will acquaint you with dozens of canine heroes ranging from Stubby, who fought in WWI, to Cairo, who was a member of the raiding party that took down Osama Bin Laden. It is a great read for anyone who appreciates dogs and heroes.”
“If the idea of dogs at war conjures up thoughts of harsh methods and unrelenting discipline, think again. Maria Goodavage's revealing and engaging books exposes the unexpected trust and affection that flows both ways between dog and handler. You may already care about dogs: This book will heighten your respect for them.”
“Inspiring personal stories of the many canine allies (and their handlers) who have dramatically enhanced military command units and examines how this indelible human-canine bond often transcends the atrocities of wartime violence.”
“Stories of spooked pups aboard battle-bound Hueys and dogs in the line of fire reveal surprisingly human-like response to war, and posit these military mutts as admirable—and capable—soldiers.”
The heroic, real-life personal account of Chris Ryan's most famous mission, , is now reworked for a new generation.
Some authors just write about it. Chris Ryan has been there, done it — and here is the gripping real-life tale…
During the Gulf War in 1991, Chris Ryan became separated from the other members of the SAS patrol, Bravo Two Zero. Alone, he beat off an Iraqi attack and set out for Syria. Over the next seven days he walked almost 200 miles, his life constantly in danger.
Of the eight SAS members involved in this famous mission, only one escaped capture. This is his story…
A definitive account of the American experience in Afghanistan from the rise of the Taliban to the depths of the insurgency.
After the swift defeat of the Taliban in 2001, American optimism has steadily evaporated in the face of mounting violence; a new “war of a thousand cuts” has now brought the country to its knees. is a political history of Afghanistan in the “Age of Terror” from 2001 to 2009, exploring the fundamental tragedy of America’s longest war since Vietnam.
After a brief survey of the great empires in Afghanistan—the campaigns of Alexander the Great, the British in the era of Kipling, and the late Soviet Union—Seth G. Jones examines the central question of our own war: how did an insurgency develop? Following the September 11 attacks, the United States successfully overthrew the Taliban regime. It established security throughout the country—killing, capturing, or scattering most of al Qa’ida’s senior operatives—and Afghanistan finally began to emerge from more than two decades of struggle and conflict. But Jones argues that as early as 2001 planning for the Iraq War siphoned off resources and talented personnel, undermining the gains that had been made. After eight years, he says, the United States has managed to push al Qa’ida’s headquarters about one hundred miles across the border into Pakistan, the distance from New York to Philadelphia.
While observing the tense and often adversarial relationship between NATO allies in the Coalition, Jones—who has distinguished himself at RAND and was recently named byas one of the “Best and Brightest” young policy experts—introduces us to key figures on both sides of the war. Harnessing important new research and integrating thousands of declassified government documents, Jones then analyzes the insurgency from a historical and structural point of view, showing how a rising drug trade, poor security forces, and pervasive corruption undermined the Karzai government, while Americans abandoned a successful strategy, failed to provide the necessary support, and allowed a growing sanctuary for insurgents in Pakistan to catalyze the Taliban resurgence.
Examining what has worked thus far—and what has not—this serious and important book underscores the challenges we face in stabilizing the country and explains where we went wrong and what we must do if the United States is to avoid the disastrous fate that has befallen many of the great world powers to enter the region. 12 maps and charts
From Publishers Weekly
Since 2001, RAND Corporation political scientist Jones () has been observing the reinvigorated insurgency in Afghanistan and weighing the potency of its threat to the country's future and American interests in the region. Jones finds the roots of the re-emergence in the expected areas: the deterioration of security after the ousting of the Taliban regime in 2002, the U.S.'s focus on Iraq as its foreign policy priority and Pakistan's role as a haven for insurgents. He revisits Afghan history, specifically the invasions by the British in the mid- and late-19th century and the Russians in the late-20th to rue how little the U.S. has learned from these two previous wars. He sheds light on why Pakistan—a consistent supporter of the Taliban—continues to be a key player in the region's future. Jones makes important arguments for the inclusion of local leaders, particularly in rural regions, but his diligent panorama of the situation fails to consider whether the war in Afghanistan is already lost.
“A useful and generally lively account of what can go wrong when outsiders venture onto the Afghan landscape.” (* )
“This is a serious work that should be factored in as a new policy in Afghanistan evolves.” (* )
“Offers a valuable window onto how officials have understood the military campaign.” (* )
“[An] excellent book.” (* )
“How we got to where we are in Afghanistan.” (* )
“[Zeroes] in on what went awry after America’s successful routing of the Taliban in late 2001.” (* )
“A blueprint for winning in a region that has historically brought mighty armies to their knees.” (* )
“Seth Jones . . . has an anthropologist’s feel for a foreign society, a historian’s intuition for long-term trends, and a novelist’s eye for the telling details that illuminate a much larger story. If you read just one book about the Taliban, terrorism, and the United States, this is the place to start.” (* )
“A timely and important work, without peer in terms of both its scholarship and the author’s intimate knowledge of the country, the insurgency threatening it, and the challenges in defeating it.” (* )
“A deeply researched and well-analyzed account of the failures of American policies in Afghanistan,will be mandatory reading for policymakers from Washington to Kabul.” (* )
“Seth Jones has combined forceful narrative with careful analysis, illustrating the causes of this deteriorating situation, and recommending sensible, feasible steps to reverse the escalating violence.” (* )
“Seth G. Jones’s book provides a vivid sense of just how paltry and misguided the American effort has been.…will help to show what might still be done to build something enduring in Afghanistan and finally allow the U.S. to go home.” (* )
From Mark Bowden, the preeminent chronicler of our military and special forces, comes , a gripping account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With access to key sources, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
After masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden managed to vanish. Over the next ten years, as Bowden shows, America found that its war with al Qaeda—a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track—demanded an innovative approach. Step by step, Bowden describes the development of a new tactical strategy to fight this war—the fusion of intel from various agencies and on-the-ground special ops. After thousands of special forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the right weapon to go after bin Laden had finally evolved. By Spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. Bowden shows how three strategies were mooted: a drone strike, a precision bombing, or an assault by Navy SEALs. In the end, the President had to make the final decision. It was time for the finish.
In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (Nanjing) and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured, and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity—one of the worst in world history—continues to be denied by the Japanese government.
Based on extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents in four different languages (many never before published), Iris Chang, whose own grandparents barely escaped the massacre, has written what will surely be the definitive, English-language history of this horrifying episode—one that the Japanese have tried for years to erase from public consciousness.
But this book does more than just narrate details of an orgy of violence; it attempts to analyze the degree to which the Japanese imperial government and its militaristic culture fostered in the Japanese soldier a total disregard for human life.
Finally, it tells one more shocking story: Despite the fact that the death toll at Nanking exceeded the immediate deaths from the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (and even the total wartime casualty count of entire European countries), the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to court the loyalty of Japan and stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterized this conspiracy of silence, which persists to this day, as “a second rape.”
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In , Sebastian Junger () turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat—the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.
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