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Shadow Warriors: Inside The Special Forces (Commander Series) Paperback – February 4, 2003

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Frequently Bought Together

Shadow Warriors: Inside The Special Forces (Commander Series) + Special Forces: A Guided Tour of U.S. Army Special Forces (Tom Clancy's Military Referenc) + Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Tom Clancy's Military Reference)
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Product Details

  • Series: Commander Series (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (February 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425188310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425188316
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Shadow Warriors is the third of Tom Clancy's commander books, and this time around Clancy teams up with General Carl Stiner, retired, to recount the recent history of U.S. Special Forces. Clancy notes that while Special Forces played important roles in World War II and Vietnam, the U.S. military has always been uncomfortable with "elites" and their unconventional methods and thus tended to view them primarily as a "sideshow." However, in 1980 when 53 Americans became hostages in Tehran, it became painfully clear that the conventional military tactics of the day, aimed at countering the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, simply could not deal with this new kind of threat. Most of the book revolves around Stiner's military career: its beginning in the late '50s, his tour in Vietnam as a Green Beret, various assignments in the Middle East, and his final stint as commander of SOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command). Particularly interesting are Stiner's firsthand accounts of the Achille Lauro hostage rescue, the invasion of Panama, and operations in Desert Storm. Clancy fills in and adds context to Stiner's career and to the Special Forces themselves, including short stories of the Jedburgh teams in World War II and the formation of the Green Berets in the early '60s. Though at times disjointed, the result is a fascinating and timely glimpse into the evolution of U.S. Special Forces. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This is the third volume in Clancy's series presenting modern war from the perspective of its commanders. Here the focus is on special warfare: Rangers, SEALs, Delta Force, the Green Berets and other less familiar organizations. Stiner headed the newly created Special Operations Command during the Gulf War. His experiences and Clancy's investigations combine to describe how the perennial outsider troops became frontline insiders. Many of the book's anecdotes from the 1950s and '60s support an image of a special operations community not exactly at war with the army, but trying to establish parameters for what its advocates considered a new approach to war, incorporating military, political and social elements under military control. Following about 40 pages on Vietnam, the second half the book takes us through accounts of the pinpoint strikes on the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro, two operations in Panama and Desert Storm activities that included Scud missile takedowns. The book ends with a 10-page chapter on September 11 and its aftermath, and appendixes on Special Ops Command history and "Leadership." Readers looking for an up-to-the-minute account of the ways and means of the war in Afghanistan will not find it here, but the plethora of insider history and firsthand operation specifics from insertion to "exfiltration" up to the early '90s will please the historically minded. (Feb. 4)Forecast: The Clancy name and events of September 11 have combined to make this a BOMC main selection, but the Gulf War material will have trouble competing with live television reports and newspaper accounts of current systems and teams. Expect a short run as a bestseller on the strength of Clancy alone.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Shadow Warriors reads more like a history book or even a biography of Carl Stiner.
Obviously Stiner is a mover and shaker, and deserves all the respect he commands, but I think it's too bad he felt he had to conceal his memoir in this book.
Overall, if you are looking for a suspense-laden Tom Clancy novel, this isn't the book for you.
A Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By southqwerty on March 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Having spent a chunk of my 12-year military career in and around Special Ops, I looked forward to reading this book. And as a continual student of unconventional warfare, I was expecting the book to be a detailed history of Special Forces, peppered with stories and detail from Stiner, someone who had obviously "been there, done that". It is not.
The subtitle of the book is "Inside the Special Forces", and it is very misleading. Early in the book, some of the history of the Jedburghs and the OSS is given, but the book soon turns into a memoir for Stiner, with Clancy giving a few explanations here and there, and basically heaping his stamp of approval and admiration on the material written by Stiner.
That's pretty much about all there is to the book. As far as the material goes, Stiner was on the inside during Just Cause, and so he presents an extremely glossed over and sanitized version of events. Anyone who was in or studying the military during that time knows that Just Cause was the epitome of a "charlie foxtrot" operation that barely came off. Special operations guys were used as shock troops and some of them - among them a platoon of Navy SEALs - were killed because the 'regular' military didn't know how to use them. He barely mentions this. Stiner was far enough away from the action not to have his career sacrificed by the fallout from Just Cause, so he gets to tell the story of how the military reorganized it's Special Operations Forces after that time. He had a part in that, so for that I guess the book is useful.
All in all, don't be fooled into thinking that the book is as advertised. A few tidbits of useful information are presented here, but not anything that isn't easily found elsewhere.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John Thomas on February 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of Clancy fiction, but this is the first nonfiction of his that I have read. While really only glancing at the cover before reading it, I incorrectly assumed a book about special forces training and combat. That turns out to be a small part of what this book really is. It is a mini-biography of Carl Stiner (a true American hero), a development history of special forces, and examples of American combat from WWII to the the Gulf War.
This is a book that every soldier and sailor should read, because it really explains how winning is so much more than just fighting with weapons. Winners need to fight with psychology, civil affairs, training others, etc. But while every soldier and sailor may benefit, it is not quite exciting for the average reader. I read this on the heels of Blackhawk Down, which is infinitely more electrifying, but understandably a different type of book. Shadow Warriors is really almost a text book, and a good one, for some.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By P. Rawls on February 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am retired Special Forces, my ultimate home base is Fort Campbell 101st Airborne Division 1/3 AD and Special Forces 3rd Brigade, Airborne Ranger. For nearly twenty years I humped the reality of what I thought not possible to convey to the average person and did not think I would ever read a book that could sum it. I have never read any of Clancy's books as I assumed it was all creative writing and whitewash. All that I need to say now is I cried due to the reality of this aided write of Carl Stiner. I will have to buy Clancy's other books now. I recommend this to all my brothers in arms for peace, and to every American in this most trying time for us all including our Special Forces. I recommend another book that goes into the details of some special forces, terrorism and Armageddon, Karl Mark Maddox's SB 1 or God.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tom Newman on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book fails to live up to its title - Inside the Special Forces. First, it isn't about SF, its about Special Operations. Second, it isn't Inside anything - its a poorly researched and poorly resourced piece that fails to offer any new material on Special Operations other than some barely believable anecdotes of several retired general officers (come on, Mr. Clancy, we all know Sergeant Majors tell the best stories...).
Before and during my 16 year career with the Army and the Special Forces, I have enjoyed Tom Clancy's novels and respected his deep understanding of modern warfare. Unfortunately, this hardly extends to the supposed subject of this book, Special Forces. It is quite obvious that Mr. Clancy made the most minimal contribution to this book, both in concept and writing. In my opinion, Clancy's name is on the cover to sell copies.
Clancy's co-author, General Carl Stiner, appears to have done a little more work. Unfortunately, while Stiner's record is full of high-profile jobs, including the Commander in Chief of Special Operations Command, he fails to provide more than a few superficial anecdotes to a number of special operations missions that have been told and re-told in far greater detail by other authors.
As an example of Stiner's failure to provide substantive information on Special Forces, the book takes two chapters, nearly 100 pages, to give a totally misleading account of one of the military's most-poorly led and executed invasions, that of Panama in 1989. While there are plenty of details on Stiner's relation to the XVIII Airborne Corps, there is very little information on Special Forces training, planning, or execution. Even the details on conventional units (why they are even mentioned in this book is incomprehensible) are misleading.
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