In this New York Times bestseller, award-winning combat reporter Sean Naylor reveals how close American forces came to disaster in Afghanistan against Al Qaida-after easily defeating the ragtag Taliban that had sheltered the terrorist organization behind the 9/11 attacks.
At dawn on March 2, 2002, over 200 soldiers of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions flew into the mouth of a buzz saw in the Shahikot Valley. Believing the war all but over, U.S. military leaders refused to commit the troops and materiel required to fight the war's biggest battle-a missed opportunity to crush hundreds of Al Qaida's fighters and some of its most senior leaders. Eyewitness Naylor vividly portrays the heroism of the young, untested soldiers unprepared for the ferocious enemy they fought; the mistakes that led to a hellish mountaintop firefight; and how thirteen American commandos embodied 'Patton's three principles of war'-audacity, audacity and audacity-by creeping unseen over frozen mountains into the heart of an enemy stronghold to prevent a U.S. military catastrophe.
Comparable to Blackhawk Down. Some readers may see an anti-military bias in this book. I don't. I do see a story about how rapid success can shroud problems that are only revealed by adversity. One of the lessons of Blackhawk Down is that battles cannot be effectively directed by remote commanders lacking situational awareness. Not a Good Day to Die shows that we haven't learned that, yet. Further, not only does the tendency continue, it is exacerbated by modern communications and a public/media hungry for fresh meat.