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Showing 1-10 of 782 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 888 reviews
on November 1, 2012
The Outpost is incredibly well researched. As a soldier who was there, I can say Jake Tapper tells our story well. By focusing on a particular region of Afghanistan, not just a particular unit or person, The Outpost is able to provide a better overall picture of the war in Afghanistan and what the soldiers experienced in the most remote corner of that country. The Outpost, through exhaustive interviews and research, is able to combine the thoughts and decisions of commanders, with the actions of the soldiers in the field, and round it out with the reactions of the family and friends back at home to provide a complete understanding of the war and its effects on everyone involved. I personally enjoyed reading The Outpost and learning the thoughts of many of the officers I served with, who could not be as open about their true thoughts and feelings as they could until after that fact, and also learning of the trials and challenges of the units that replaced mine, and how the war continued to unfold in the remote mountains of Afghanistan that I called home for 16 months. The Outpost, is neither pro-war nor anti-war. It is the cold hard truth documenting a flawed strategy to tame an untamable remote corner of Afghanistan, as told through the story of the many soldiers who personally served there from 2006 through 2009. The Outpost brings to the reader many stories of heroes and leaders the world needs to know about.
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VINE VOICEon October 13, 2016
I just read this book. I complete at least three or four books every week, and I can say without qualification that this is the best book I have read this year. Tapper provides an extraordinary fly-on-the wall recap of the attempt by the U.S. military to establish a post near the Afghani-Pakistani border, in the most unsuitable and unsafe location that could be found. In the process, the reader comes to know, care about and appreciate many of the soldiers, who continued to carry out orders despite the enormous difficulties that existed to frustrate the mission. I was so impressed by the efforts the soldiers made to maintain positive outlooks, to solve engineering and practical problems, to perform with courage in the face of constant enemy gunfire and bombardment, and to create some semblance of comfort in this hostile environment. The fact that a number of them lost their lives while trying to execute a deeply flawed plan is so sad and so maddening, as is the intransigence of many of the officers up the chain of command, who persisted in this mission despite how obvious its futility was. I was left wondering whether the officer who insisted that the super heavy vehicle be driven to and from the outpost (which ultimately and predictably resulted in the collapse of the road, the destruction of the very expensive vehicle, and most appalling, the death of good soldier Keating.) If anyone knows whether that officer got disciplined, I'd love to hear the details. I hope he did.

The book gives us a birds' eye view of what our soldiers go through in Afghanistan, and the many handicaps they face because our government sends them there and then does not supply or support them adequately. I think every American citizen should read this book.

It reminded me of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, a great novel about a stupid effort to capture a worthless island in the Pacific during World War II. Unfortunately, Tapper's book is truth, not fiction, and it teaches that we need to be more engaged in learning what exactly our forces are doing in our name, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and we need to be more vocal about missions without endgames, and lack of support for the boots on the ground.
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on November 13, 2012
I am the mother of a survivor of COP Keating. I have heard many of these stories first hand, but to see them in print, in order, has opened my eyes wider to the horrors of war. Americans need to get their head back in the game and realize the sacrifices our troops make. Jake Tapper gives the opportunity for just that in this book. This is a tribute to not only the fallen but to those humble souls who came out of COP Keating forever changed.
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on August 24, 2016
As a hard charger who was already on the Helo and was suppose to be inserted into this camp during the fight but got diverted for certain reasons, I've always been fascinated by this and wanted to still get involved anyway I could.
Recently, I went through an EMT course with a warrior who actually was here and the surrounding observation posts. We've looked it over and did more research on our own and came to the sad conclusion that this book tells it exactly as it is or was.
It also exposes the (command leadership or lack of) of their complete stupidity.
In the War College you would expect officers to read and understand Sun Tzu's Art of War, but no... our Jack Ass officers have sacrificed and wasted almost half as many of our warriors as what the Taliban and the HIg did, due to their arrogant Stupidity.
I hope you get this book and look into the lives of the brave warriors that were wasted at this COP. (Ignored by their command)
Then look at the other remote and defenseless outposts that aren't talked about as much.
Please never support our political driven wars... most of them are profiting someone but not the America I grew up knowing.
But Always... Please support our brave warriors... men and women of all services and please buy them a drink. Because by God they earned it.
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VINE VOICEon November 4, 2012
I must admit that I've been curious about this book for a while now, since it's hard to find good books on the war in Afghanistan. Camp Keating was a combat outpost for 3 years in the mountains of Afghanistan. And in 2009, the Taliban attempted to slaughter the Camp leading to one of the bloodiest battles there. But the book is an indepth look into the people who held that Camp against confusing and conflicting strategy in a war that most of us don't understand.

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.
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on June 6, 2016
A really great book, it was emotionally draining for me Tapper did a great job bring the people to life then to have them killed. As a Marine Corps combat Vet this book really confirmed that the Military leadership has learned nothing from history and are still making the same mistakes over and over, when I saw the pictures of where the outpost was my thoughts were who in their right frigging mind would put a combat outpost in the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains absolute lunacy by Army command staff. I've read numerous books on the war in Afghanistan and have come to the that anyone above the rank of Caption never ventures away from the rear with the gear. This book should be required reading at West Point and Annapolis.
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on April 2, 2017
Amazing. Incredible. Must read. Thus far one of my favorite books of military history. I am a Veteran of Middle East campaigns & from a family of veterans of WWII, Korea, & Viet Nam wars. Grew up devouring books about WWII, Korean War, & VietNam War. In my opinion, this book ranks among the great books about those previous wars.
If you liked "War" by Sebastian Junger & his related award winning documentary "Restrepo," you should enjoy this book. Whereas Junger's "War" documented the service of one platoon at a combat outpost (COP) in Afghanistan; the COP itself becomes a "character" in "The Outpost." The book documents the incubation of the idea of COP Keating through to the actual creation of the COP to it's final showdown & recounts the history & stories of the units that served on the COP. The book also provides contextual history of Afghanistan & the affected province(s). "The Outpost" also includes interesting "character development" in telling the stories of many of the troops that served at COP Keating. Words fail me at describing this important book & it's impact. The first time l read the book; l got to the last page, finished it, & immediately went back to page 1 & began reading it again. I've read it 4-5 times, it is that good.
I am grateful that Tapper painstakingly told this incredible & must-read story. I am grateful for the heroic service of the many men that served at COP Keating & the surrounding COPs. God bless & watch over US veterans. MJP
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on February 6, 2017
I read Red Platoon by Romesha before reading The Outpost. Red Platoon is more succinct has a less lengthy into to the Camp Keating history, and is more exciting. I preferred Red Platoon.
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on November 17, 2012
Tapper has done a great job of researching and writing about a part of the war in Afghanistan. If you really want to know what is going on there, read this book. It covers the battle for a part of the Nuristan province from both a strategic and a tactical point of view, and gives the reader a comprehensive look at the decision making and the consequences in a three year period in one part of the war. It is clear from the book that we are putting our troops in an impossible situation since the tribal Afghans don't really get the idea of national representative government. There is this constant tension between the COIN approach (protect the people and teach them national democracy) and conventional war fighting (keep the troops alive and control the territory). Afghans do get the idea of local government but it is limited to the village or valley level. Even the language can vary from valley to valley. The story that Tapper relates is classic in that the decision makers (lt colonel and above) don't really know what is realistic since they don't really understand what it takes on the ground. They end up asking for results that are just not possible except in a few isolated cases which they then think is completely repeatable. This happens in any top down organization but it gets people killed in combat situations as it did in this story.
I can't recall one casualty in the book that wasn't result of the troops being under resourced or positioned to fail by command decisions. The "can do" attitude ran amock in Kamdesh. It is hard to believe that this is not a problem all over the country. Read the book and draw your own conclusions.
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on August 15, 2014
Tapper's description of Soldiers serving in combat outposts in Afghanistan is gripping, compelling and riveting. He depicts American Soldiers at their very best. Tapper captures Soldiers' courage, unswerving commitment to their fellow Soldiers and to a mission they individually question. He puts the reader in their outpost which becomes is a metaphor for the futility of the efforts to transform Afghanistan. This book is not so much about the enemy we face but rather the wrongheaded policy of state-building we follow. Outpost is an important work and should be read by anyone seeking insights on why American objectives in Afghanistan are not being achieved.
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