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Black Ops: The Rise of Special Forces in the C.I.A., the S.A.S., and Mossad Hardcover – June 19, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Geraghty, an expert in the evolution of war tactics, explores the building blocks that propelled the creation of special forces wings within the American, English, and Israeli military. Geraghty begins with an examination of tactics used in two conflicts: Vietnam and Afghanistan. Initially viewed as primitive by the Americans, the Vietnamese soldiers had success because of their knowledge of the jungle terrain and their experience with militaristic infiltration of towns and villages. Geraghty then turns his attention to military veterans like Green Beret captain Charlie Beckwith, whose idea to create "a force of doers" came to him after he took part in a British SAS operation in 1962 (exhaustively detailed in Beckwith's own book, Delta Force, as well as many others). In Geraghty's comprehensive view, the evolution of secretive military might was a movement from fringe to standard operating procedure. He touches on everything from the Bay of Pigs to the Afghan drug trade, and details operations both successful and failed (some famously), but ultimately covers familiar ground. Photos. (July) (c)
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Geraghty, an expert in the evolution of war tactics, explores the building blocks that propelled the creation of special forces wings within the American, English, and Israeli military. He touches on everything from the Bay of Pigs to the Afghan drug trade. — Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
I might have been disappointed that so few pages here actually touch on Israeli black ops, but in retrospect, it's just as well. The single short chapter on Israeli Black Ops offers nothing new, is very often inaccurate and based on dubious and badly outdated sources, and manages to make a fascinating area dull. Moreover, the author's subtle anti-Zionist slant flavors his descriptions and explanations.
What I skimmed of the other parts of the book were not especially compelling or well-written, but I can't address the accuracy.
Books like this make me seriously think about getting a Kindle -- so I could save half the cost and just delete the damn thing when I realized what a waste of shelf space it is. This one's getting tossed.
Half of the book is a series of stories about various special operations units over the past 40 years or so. The stories are written like what you would hear over the camp fire if you were with the unit. You won't see any explanation of what role these units played on the grand scale to win the war or there role in strategy. I think unless you are an expert in the field or have read books about the subject before you might not appreciate things.
However don't let that stop you. These tales are very interesting. You will read things I don't think you will see in other books. The author obviously has some inside connections of one kind or another. For example the author rights about how the Americans had eyes on the ground in Iran in 1979 before the raid. You do get some good little inside stories about the Israelis and the British fight in Northern Ireland. These stories will cast those events in a new light but won't change your basic understanding.
Through this collection of stories you see how these units operate. Their procedures do become apparent from these campfire stories. The raw courage and tension of the stories is inspiring, almost like a movie script. That is what made the book entertaining.
He makes the case, basically, that Mossad can be so effective because it can recruit any Jewish person as a spy for Israel regardless of their nationality. This is absurd.
In a classic example of apples and oranges he makes the rookie mistake of comparing the cost of an unmanned drone with an F-22 Raptor which he dismisses as the latest "toy" that seemingly juvenile Air Force Generals insist on having.
I really began to mourn the trees that died to make this book when I reached the part about how the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that maybe, might of, kinda that Cubans killed Kennedy and that supports his view of "chickens coming home to roost". I stopped reading and threw the book in the recycle bin which is something that I've never done before.
Whatever Geraghty's accomplishments up to this point this is just stupidity placed into action. If you're also stupid enough to believe that everyone in the world killed Kennedy then buy this book. I would hasten to point out however, that the findings of the HSCA were discredited a while back. If you're in the aluminum foil hat community I know that you think I'm either gullible or in on it myself, so since you'll never convince me and I'll never convince you please don't feel obligated to leave comments about that.
Anyway, back to the book. The author swings back and forth from one unattributed story to another. Geraghty should have retired before writing this book. The narrative reminds me of a vision of watching Grandpa yelling at the TV. The sad part of course is that it's really the microwave oven.