Skip to comments.ĎAmerican Spartaní by Ann Scott Tyson, about Maj. Jim Gantís mission in Afghanistan
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 Gants 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, Gants 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 didnt have.
Our overall strategy failed because we lacked sufficient control over the feckless Afghan leaders we placed in power. Its a wonder the exuberant Gant didnt 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 ...
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.
Bing West, the reviewer, is the real deal. He has enormous street cred with me. I highly recommend The March Up.
Amazon has a Kindle edition, $14.95
Both those have been known issues since before Obama took office.
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
Col Kurtz. . .I was about to post what you did. . .thinking alike.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.