Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Review: Horse Soldiers - by Doug Stanton

Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan
Reviewed by: Dr. Alfred Paddock, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.), Madison, Ala.

Drawing on approximately 100 interviews, as well as on written sources, the author tells the story of this operation in a vivid manner. He explains well the precise coordination required with Air Force aircraft in order to target the Taliban with bombs and missiles. Without that coordination, the Northern Alliance could not have prevailed. The desperate battle at the Qala-i-Janghi fortress, where 600 Taliban soldiers escaped and broke into an extensive cache of weaponry, is particularly well-described.

To sum up: Horse Soldiers is a good, gripping story about the accomplishments of a small force of courageous SF, CIA and Air Force personnel operating under incredibly demanding circumstances. It reads like a novel, which, indeed, contributes to its shortcomings. Much of the dialogue in the book could well be adopted for a movie screenplay — which is sure to come. But this “creative nonfiction,” in addition to its historical inaccuracies, will dissuade most serious writers from citing it as a reference.

For full book review go to: http://www.soc.mil/swcs/swmag/Page_BookReviews.htm