Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Lions of Kandahar

The Lions of Kandahar, The Story of a Fight Against all Odds,
By Major Rusty Bradley and Kevin Maurer.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. The story comes alive in a way that a 3D movie could only wish to replicate. It is written well enough that you find yourself ducking RPGs as you read.
Basically, the story is about an Army Special Forces unit bailing out a Canadian Mechanized unit during a joint operation, by taking a critical hill and gaining the high ground. It is an 11 day debacle that reads through in a matter of hours.
Along the way you get an inside look at what our men are up against in Afghanistan, and how a Special Forces unit operates. You also get a picture of the local population of Afghanistan and begin to see that contrary to much liberal down play in the media, there are many people who are happy we are there doing what we are doing.
At the end of the book, there is a sober assessment of who is really to blame for this war, and the carnage it has left in its wake. In the end it is not the American Soldier who is to blame for civilian casualties. Al Qaeda and the Taliban initiated this war. They are the ones who use civilians as shields, that our military so desperately tries to avoid harming. They are the ones who would continue to harass the local population if left to their own devices.
I feel for the Afghan people, and so does this Special Forces unit. You can hear their concern in the story line. You can see the suffering the Taliban inflicted on this population long before NATO arrived on the scene. The book dismantles the notion that Afghanistan and her people would be better off without out intervention, or that we have no business being there. It also dismantles the notion that the war is unwinnable.
Major Bradley and Kevin Maurer do us all a favor in writing this book, and telling the story. In doing so he inspires respect for our troops, and the American can do spirit they have. We can.

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