Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2005
Gary Schroen informs the reader upfront in an author's note that an officer of the CIA Publication Review Board characterized this book as "the most detailed account of CIA field operations as told by an officer directly involved" ever to be cleared for open publication. Indeed it is the details of how CIA went about establishing an initial seven man team (codenamed `Jawbreaker') and how that team deployed and operated in Afghanistan that makes this book so fascinating. It throws a spotlight on what has always been one of CIA's murkier corners.

Jawbreaker was established with admirable speed by CIA following the tragedy of 9/11 with a specific goal of going to Afghanistan and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. As the book's title implies Jawbreaker was the first American force deployed to Afghanistan. The story of the organization, deployment and support of Jawbreaker reveals, inadvertently I think, what is right and what is wrong about CIA. Sadly it also reveals serious flaws within the U.S. military command and control system(s) that have seriously hampered the War on Terrorism. Be warned however, this book is not a sensation seeking expose, it is a sober account of how seven brave and resourceful CIA officers did their best to respond to the somewhat confused and contradictory orders generated by often ill-informed and mostly irresolute intelligence officials and policy makers in Washington.
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