Special Forces in the War on Terror

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/19/2015
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing

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Within weeks of the devastation of 9/11, United States Special Operations Forces were dropping into Afghanistan to lead the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Ten years later, the Navy's SEAL Team 6 carried out Operation Neptune Spear to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden. In Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and Mali, the role of Special Ops has been a game changer on the battle field as they have fought terrorist from Al Qaeda, al Shebaab and Boko Haram, as well as insurgents and the Taliban. But that has been a war that has largely hidden from view--until now.

In Special Forces in the War on Terror, author Leigh Neville takes readers inside that shadow world of Special Operations. Drawing upon recently declassified material and first-hand accounts from his SOF contacts in the US, UK, and other coalition countries, Neville reveals the remarkable results achieved by these secret soldiers, and gives readers an unprecedented blow-by-blow description of all major SOF operations.

Neville uncovers the true story behind the dramatic rescue of two aid workers from chaotic Somalia by a SEAL team from kidnappers linked to the notorious al Shebaab. Parachuting in at night, the team struck the kidnappers at dawn in a coordinated assault that left all of the kidnappers dead with no injuries to the hostages or the assault team. The SEALs kept the hostages safe until the men of the Nightstalkers--the US Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment--arrived to fly them all to safety.

Also included is the story of the Delta Force Master Sergeant who won the Silver Star by single-handedly holding off an assault by some 300 insurgents in war torn Fallujah. Attached with two other Delta operators to a Marine infantry platoon, 25 of the 37 men he was with were wounded during the attack. The Delta sergeant held off the insurgents from a roof-top position, moving constantly to keep the enemy back and confusing them on the actual number of defenders until the wounded could be evacuated.

Highlighted in Special Forces in the War on Terror is the history of the secret drone war run by the United States Joint Special Operations Command, which rivals the CIA's highly publicized drone campaign in Pakistan, the real history of the contentious "Night Raids" by American and British Special Forces in Afghanistan and the true story of the "industrial grade" counter-terrorism effort which swung the war against al Qaeda in Iraq.

Unlike other books on SOF, Special Operations Forces in the War on Terror offers a single, detailed analysis of all significant SOF missions, and includes maps, combat diagrams, and full-color photographs. The book is the definitive record for a remarkable period in military history when the world's elite soldiers fought against overwhelming odds to yield results out of all proportion to their numbers.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction The World Before 9/11
Chapter 2: Enduring Freedom Afghanistan 20012002
Chapter 3: Iraqi Freedom Iraq 2003
Chapter 4: Countering Insurgency Afghanistan 20022009, Iraq 20032011, and the Philippines 2002 onward
Chapter 5: Industrial Counterterrorism Hunting al-Qaeda in Iraq 20032012
Chapter 6: Kill or Capture Afghanistan 20062014
Chapter 7: New Theaters Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Mali, and Syria
Chapter 8:The Long War
Select Bibliography

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