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Masters of Chaos : The Secret History of the Special Forces
Special Forces soldiers are daring, seasoned troops from America's heartland, selected in a tough competition and trained in an extraordinary range of skills. They know foreign languages and cultures and unconventional warfare better than any U.S. fighters, and while they prefer to stay out of the limelight, veteran war correspondent Linda Robinson gained access to their closed world. She traveled with them on the frontlines, interviewed them at length on their home bases, and studied their doctrine, methods and history. In Masters of Chaos she tells their story through a select group of senior sergeants and field-grade officers, a band of unforgettable characters like Rawhide, Killer, Michael T, and Alan -- led by the unflappable Lt. Col. Chris Conner and Col. Charlie Cleveland, a brilliant but self-effacing West Pointer who led the largest unconventional war campaign since Vietnam in northern Iraq.
Robinson follows the Special Forces from their first post-Vietnam combat in Panama, El Salvador, Desert Storm, Somalia, and the Balkans to their recent trials and triumphs in Afghanistan and Iraq. She witnessed their secret sleuthing and unsung successes in southern Iraq, and recounts here for the first time the dramatic firefights of the western desert. Her blow-by-blow story of the attack on Ansar al-Islam's international terrorist training camp has never been told before.
The most comprehensive account ever of the modern-day Special Forces in action, Masters of Chaos is filled with riveting, intimate detail in the words of a close-knit band of soldiers who have done it all.
This impressively readable account chronicles the role of the U.S. Army's Special Forces (aka the Green Berets, a label they do not care for) over the past 15 years. Special Forces operations included Somalia, the first Gulf War, the Balkans, Afghanistan and once again the Gulf. The latter two operations are are allotted half the book, with the ongoing presence in Iraq being the forces' largest operation since Vietnam. Based on interviews with 30-odd operators, the book is a compelling group portrait of some of America's most dedicated warriors. A journalist specializing in national security subjects, particularly unconventional warfare, Robinson mostly shows the men performing their original role: organizing and training local friendlies to liberate their countries or at least achieve American goals. Recent achievements along those lines include organizing Shiite militias in Iraq and leading Kurdish forces to tie down Saddam's army in the north. Robinson also presents in some detail the new role of the Special Forces, one of major strategic significance: calling in aerial fire support on enemy targets in support of either U.S. or indigenous forces in distant lands. Still mostly secret, she finds even after careful investigation, is their work with the FBI after 9/11.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
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September 05, 2005
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