Lawrence of Arabia meets Sebastian Junger's War in this unique, incendiary, and dramatic true story of heroism and heartbreak in Afghanistan written by a Pulitzer Prize-nominated war correspondent.
Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.
A decorated Green Beret who had spent years training indigenous fighters, Jim argued for embedding autonomous units with tribes across Afghanistan: These American soldiers would live among Afghans for extended periods, not only to train and equip tribal militias, but to fight - and even die - alongside them in battle. He argued that we could earn the trust of the Afghans and transform them into a reliable ally with whom we could defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda networks. The military's top brass, including General David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. Central Command and overseeing the war in Afghanistan, and Admiral Eric Olson, head of Special Operations Command, approved the plan and gave Jim the go-ahead to embark on the mission.p>A war story like no other, an unprecedented account of a warrior who took up the cause of villagers as if it were his own, and of a woman on the front lines of a distant war, American Spartan is an unforgettable tale - and one of the most remarkable and emotionally resonant narratives of war ever published.
©2014 Ann Scott Tyson (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
The story flowed well with the right amount of detail.
Magnificent storytelling of how Special Forces found a way to win the hearts of one tribe at a time in Afghanistan and the unique challenges they faced. The US military should be more open minded rather than strong armed when it comes to trying to win a war. It is obvious only a short term solution is sought. We need to understand people rather than try and change the way they are.
The author digs into how the characters feel. What makes them happy and sad. I had no idea how much a weapon could demonstrate a status among people. If US soldiers go into villages and take weapons from the villagers, this could bring so much shame. We need to be cognizant of this and think of different solutions without bringing emotional harm to the villagers. Major Jim Gant understood the people and worked with them for a common goal.
Thanks to Major Jim Gant for his service to his country. I felt he followed his heart and his country betrayed him with their ego's and political agendas. I hope Mr. Gant finds peace. I pray that he does.
I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
This is coming from a guy who was in the Army and my father retired from the Army. Major Gant was a soldiers soldier, the type of gung ho officer everyone wanted. After reading this book I'm ashamed that the top brass let this happen!! Did Major Gant break some Army regs.? YES!! Has most every solider in the Army done the same? YES!!! Jim Gant is a true Spartan. He got the job done and never lost a man down range and that is the stuff the Army can't take away. Major Gant's legend will grow and it should. I think Jim did turn tribal but that is what he was asked to do.Taking Ann Scott in was over the top but the heart wants what the heart wants. Drinking beer on christmas and you loose your rank? I was in Kuwait and alcohol and more was available while I was deployed. Everyone who has served in the military world knows Major Jim Gant was shafted. Its sad but Jim Gant can watch my six anytime!!!! One article 15 can't take away what you did for this country. Thanks for all you have done and your service!!!! Major Jim Gant makes me proud to say I was in the Army!!!! Hooah!!!
Fantastic book! I highly recommend this to anybody interested in unconventional warfare within the context of the US's policies and approach in Afghanistan. Not your typical war story!
A warrior at heart struggling to accomplish the very essence of special forces missions, embed with the local population and raise an indigenous force that furthers US interest and policy in that region. Maj Gant was probably the only SF officer to actually accomplish the true mission in keeping with the original mandate of special forces. While he may have crossed lines and broke strict rules, his actions were precisely what was needed to win the hearts and minds of our Afghan compatriots. Cheers to a great American warrior.
This book was masterfully written, at first it took me a bit to get used to the male narration. But I'm glad I did, had a missed this book I'd be poorer for it. Jim Gant is owed our respect and honor, it was dishonorable what his command did to him. This book is very powerful and in more ways than you can imagine. If Jim ran the war in Afghanistan or Iraq for that matter we would have won in less than half the time. And it would have been honorable and permanent. Our Special Forces are at a huge loss without him.
Great effects on the battlefield. As a soldier I agree with only one aspect of his article 15. But I understand why he kept his soon to be wife with him. The rest was nonsensical and a complete crime against an amazing soldier and human being. I wish Jim Gant the best.
I believe this is a story of honor, values, culture and spirit of a true warrior. I can see as one of the great books on the mind of the warrior such as the 7 pillars of wisdom and the book of 5 rings. A must read for the ones who love military and war stories.
I think this is a story that not many outside of SF circles have heard. That said, for a Harvard educated writer I found the story lacking depth. A lot of repetition and cursing. The readers will put you to sleep....narrative could use some work. Overall, would read synopsis and wiki page and not recommend this to friends.
For any fan of American Military History, this is a must read!!! The fact that Major Gant's efforts in the GWOT aren't more well known to Americans is a tragedy. He was THE face representing The U.S. and its people to the Afghanis inhabiting the regions of Afghanistan in which "Commander Jim" operated. And he did a damn fine job in my opinion. Yes, he could have done a little differently, but I'm glad that he did not. If he had, none of us would have ever known his name. Thanks to Mrs Tyson-Gant for her courage in living and telling this story, and thanks Major Gant for representing your fellow Americans in a most honorable and courageous way! The American Military will eventually be singing the praises of what he and his team of Americans and Afghans accomplished. All while regretting not giving him their unabated support. You two secured not just your own, but everyone involved in this story's place in history!
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