- Hardcover: 688 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (November 13, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316185396
- ISBN-13: 978-0316185394
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 913 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor Hardcover – November 13, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. ABC senior White House correspondent Tapper (Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency) begins this fascinating history with the controversial 2006 decision to establish a military base in Nuristan, an untamed, isolated Afghan province abutting Pakistan, home to a distinct ethnic group suspicious of strangers. Following the new counterinsurgency policy, U.S. forces would protect civilians while winning their hearts and minds by supporting economic development. The base, surrounded by mountains, was difficult to defend. From the beginning, insurgents sniped, launched rockets, ambushed supply convoys, and sabotaged aid projects. In October 2009, three years into the mission, hundreds of insurgents launched a coordinated attack. The 50 U.S. defenders fought heroically and prevailed; soon after, the base was evacuated; the subsequent official report concluded that the operation was deeply flawed. Aware of their fool's errand, the men did their best, and Tapper delivers a gripping, blow-by-blow account of their actions, their personal stories, and the tortured, often incomprehensible command decisions that kept them fighting despite inadequate support and an ally, Pakistan, that actively encouraged the enemy. 65 b&w photos, 4 maps. (Nov.)
In 2009, in one of the deadliest battles in Afghanistan, Combat Outpost Keating was attacked by Taliban insurgents and nearly destroyed. A Pentagon investigation concluded that the outpost, a poorly located and protected part of a counterinsurgency strategy, should not have been there in the first place. The 53 U.S. troops stationed there were part of an effort to combat extremist groups that sprouted with U.S. support during the Russian occupation. ABC News war correspondent Tapper spent two years chronicling the mission and lives of the troops and their commanders, making the war more personal as readers get to know the troops’ personality quirks, backstories, family lives, and perspectives on their mission. He notes the consequences of the fact that the Afghan war was fought on the cheap as more attention was focused on Iraq, and chronicles the troops’ encounters with harsh terrain, entrenched conflicts among tribes, and reckless commands. They marched into villages so isolated that villagers weren’t aware that their former nemesis, the USSR, no longer existed. Photographs and maps, as well as letters and e-mails, enhance this incredible account of how this outpost was horribly jeopardized. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Extensive media buzz will make this a highly visible and much-requested title. --Vanessa Bush
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Jake Tapper, in addition to being one of the true journalists of our time, is an amazingly gifted writer. There's no attempt at spin or gloss, just the hard reality of what it's like to be lonely and isolated in a remote corner of the world. The research is top notch. In addition to understanding the fog of war, but you come away with feeling like you really know the soldiers along with their friends and family and what the war has meant for everyone. And it makes you realize how amazing our soldiers are and what they've sacrificed.
I think that The Outpost has a potential for being on of the great books on war and the combat experience, along with We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam and Generation Kill. This book is highly recommended.