Thursday, January 12, 2017

Horse Soldiers by D. Stanton

5 of 5 stars  *****

Horse Soldiers is a thoroughly investigated and superbly written account of the few American Special Forces who entered Afghanistan post the 9-11 attack on the Twin Towers in the United States of America. These men were the first to respond so they were poorly outfitted but uniquely prepared by their training. Their ages were older than the average soldier and most had families who they left suddenly for the call of duty. These men were adept at being familiar with the people they engaged as ally and enemy. They were careful not to insult those with whom they fought and demonstrated courage and intelligence by the way they fought.

It is said that there will never be another campaign fought like this one successfully completed in Afghanistan. America was seen as an invading force after this campaign because the Special Forces personnel who rode with the horse soldiers of the Northern Alliance were pulled out before Afghanistan could rebuild itself into a better country. Instead, the warring tribes, that include the Taliban, dominated the society.

Stanton's ability to recreate the battles, the home front, and the perspective of the Afghans and the soldiers involved in this campaign is a tribute to his many interviews with the actual men, women, and historians he had to complete before writing this great American true story.