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Lions of Kandahar

10 Mar 2015

The Green Berets form an interesting part of our military. They are the Army's tier 2 special forces operators analogous to the SEALs which represent the Navy's tier 2 special forces operators. I have read about what they do in theory but until reading Lions of Kandahar, I did not fully appreciate their day to day lives on deployment. The main distinguishing factor that sets Army special forces apart is how they train and fight with indigenous armies.

Working with the armies native to a country seems like a good idea because they will be the ones left when the Americans pull out. This also provides for an opportunity to help build a country up rather than just tear it apart. However, from reading this book, it sounds awful. It is crazy to put your life in the hands of soldiers with training that is so far inferior to ours. I could see trusting the other special forces guys around you because you have a shared set of training and experiences. But, trusting the guys who may very well be spys for the enemy or simply run away at the first sign of trouble, does not sound like a great way to fight a war to me.

The book details a series of firefights that occured in the taking of the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan in 2006. It was a very good portrait into a crazy series of conflicts. I found it to be well written and pretty engaging. I would recommend it especially if you are interested in a some war stories. It made me realize that the Army special forces is probably not the right place for me. I would not completely rule it out, but based on how things operate in this book, I doubt it would interest me day to day.


Category: book