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American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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“A momentous account… The overall story is enticing, brutal, and current.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An astonishing new account . . . This book will be read a lot longer than most books about the American war in Afghanistan. It especially will resonate with people interested in Special Forces… We need people like Gant to do real foreign internal defense.” (Tom Ricks)
“Tyson concentrates on Gant’s campaign, which produced plenty of fireworks, heroism, suffering and, this being Afghanistan, constant frustration. . . . One of the only satisfying products of a dismally unsatisfying war: this entertaining book.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“American Spartan is a riveting, powerful account of the service of Major Jim Gant, a man seen by many of us as the “perfect counterinsurgent” . . . Ann Scott Tyson had a ring-side seat . . . and takes us there in this extraordinary, gripping book.” (General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Ret.))
“This story captivated me like no other I’ve read on combat action in Afghanistan. I don’t condone Jim Gant’s every decision or the way he did things, but I do respect the hell out of what he did as a warrior.” (Dalton Fury, author of Kill Bin Laden)
“In the half-century since Robin Moore’s The Green Berets, no other account of Special Forces at war could match its range and depth and candor-until now. American Spartan will enlighten and disturb readers with its searing honesty...” (Dr. Kalev I. Sepp, former Green Beret and coauthor of Weapon of Choice)
“The Catch-22 of the Afghanistan War, a mixture of romanticism, fantasy and hard-core dedication. . . . Read this book to savor the rich, candid details of love between a man and a woman, between Afghan and American comrades in battle, and between two cultures.” (Washington Post)
“Masterfully written and moving . . . [American Spartan] is a must read and will stand the test of time.” (Chicago Tribune)
“Tyson raises a host of serious questions about the nature of war, the many aspects of loyalty, and the price paid by America’s front-line fighters.” (Christian Science Monitor) --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
From the Back Cover
One of the most charismatic, controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time," went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.
A decorated Green Beret who had spent years training indigenous fighters, Jim argued for embedding autonomous units with tribes across Afghanistan: these American soldiers would live among Afghans for extended periods, not only to train tribal militias but also to fight with them in battle. He argued that these small U.S. teams could earn the trust of the Afghans and transform them into reliable allies with whom we could defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda networks.
Correspondent Ann Scott Tyson came to share Jim's vision that Americans and Pashtuns could fight side-by-side and create real change across the region, so she accompanied him to Afghanistan. This remarkable story—of Jim's close relationships with village elder Noor Afzhal, the fierce fighting they took straight to the enemy in the mountains of Konar Province, and Ann and Jim's deepening love for each other—is told with a keen sense of drama and immediacy.
A story like no other, American Spartan is one of the most remarkable and emotionally resonant narratives of war ever published.--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
But along the way, his unorthodox and go-it-alone manner created detractors who were able to shut his operations down despite its successes. Conflicting with his warrior astuteness, Gant permitted his girlfriend (and later wife) to clandestinely live with him in the war zone, give weapons to local tribesmen without following bureaucratic protocol, drank alcoholic beverages contrary to military rules and used unprescribed drugs.
In candid detail, Ann Scott Tyson, a former Washington Post reporter, writes a dramatic story of Gant’s rise to success and eventual downfall, including the emotional impact on the professional soldier forced to retire in disgrace and stripped of his Special Forces tab, a symbol as coveted as the Green Beret. Although Ms Tyson’s well written book is biased in places (she is Gant’s wife), it provides exciting and informative narratives of the harsh conditions in which America’s Green Berets live and fight in the remote mountain outposts of Afghanistan. It also shows that heroism counts for little when one does not conform to the ‘Army way.’
Gant proved his theories, but they were not continued by the commanders in country after he was relieved and sent back to the U.S. The gains he made in building allies were lost as his replacements did not make the same effort to win the trust of the Afghan tribesmen.
“American Spartan” is highly recommended for those interested in our current struggle in Afghanistan and for students of unconventional warfare.