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ĎAmerican Spartaní by Ann Scott Tyson, about Maj. Jim Gantís mission in Afghanistan
Washington Post ^ | March 28,2014 | Bing West

Posted on 03/29/2014 8:37:05 AM PDT by Pan_Yan

...

First, the sheer adventure. Gant is a mountain man, circa 1840. He is Jeremiah Johnson, living in the wrong century. Despite his heavy drinking, volcanic mood swings and numerous wounds, he survived more than 40 months of combat. In 2003 and again in 2011, he and a dozen Special Forces soldiers lived in a mountain village in eastern Afghanistan, adjacent to the Pakistan border. When I visited that village, both the elders and the soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the 32nd Infantry told tales about Gant’s exploits. He captured one insurgent after a two-day chase. Another time, he drove into the center of the deadly Korengal Valley and fought his way out.

Adopted by a Pashtun tribe, Gant’s team, called the Spartans, set up an intelligence net, with drop points for agents to hide letters for team members. The tribesmen led the Spartans into the mountains, pointing out paths the Taliban fighters used and hamlets that sheltered them. In a dozen clandestine operations, not once was a hide site compromised.

...

One general wrote that Gant lived in “a fantasy world.” That is true. But the generals placed him there without providing mature leadership to guide him. The combination of the warrior spirit and a fabulist strategy created this tale of daffy devotion. According to his wife, “Jim had become more Pashtun than the Pashtuns.” He tried to be the leader the Pashtuns didn’t have.

Our overall strategy failed because we lacked sufficient control over the feckless Afghan leaders we placed in power. It’s a wonder the exuberant Gant didn’t lead a coup attempt against Karzai. Fortunately, his excessive risk-taking and unbridled devotion did not end in tragedy.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; alreadyposted; annscotttyson; greenberets; jimgant; specialforces

1 posted on 03/29/2014 8:37:05 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Pan_Yan

Lesson Learned.

You can do a whole lot as a Special Officer and get away with it.

Bringing in your girlfriend to live with you in in a team safe house in eastern Afghanistan is crossing the line.


2 posted on 03/29/2014 9:00:31 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Pan_Yan

Bing West, the reviewer, is the real deal. He has enormous street cred with me. I highly recommend The March Up.


3 posted on 03/29/2014 9:34:50 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Pan_Yan

Amazon has a Kindle edition, $14.95


4 posted on 03/29/2014 10:02:04 AM PDT by RicocheT (Where neither their property nor their honor is touched, most men live content, Niccolo Machiavelli)
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To: FreedomPoster
There are only a few articles about this story and none of them paint a very flattering picture of either the Army bureaucracy or our little pet cleptocrat, Karzai. I'll be interested to see how some of the current and former brass respond when and if Gant starts talking on the news networks.

In Afghanistan, A U.S. Special Forces Major's Meteoric Rise And Humiliating Fall

5 posted on 03/29/2014 10:44:47 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
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To: Pan_Yan

Both those have been known issues since before Obama took office.


6 posted on 03/29/2014 12:06:14 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: 2banana

Gant sounds way too much like Marlon Brando’s character in Apocalypse Now. But somebody has to step up and try to get the job done. -——————Semper Fi


7 posted on 03/29/2014 12:28:41 PM PDT by cherokee1 (skip the names---just kick the buttz)
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To: cherokee1

Col Kurtz. . .I was about to post what you did. . .thinking alike.


8 posted on 03/29/2014 12:58:50 PM PDT by Hulka
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