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Into the Viper's Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War

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The Taliban had been entrenched for many months in southern Afghanistan when a force that included the U.S. Army's elite 82nd Airborne paratroopers took the battle to the enemy. Airstrikes hammered the position in preparation for a night landing of coalition forces. Throughout the evening, these forces laid the groundwork for more troops, including Scots Guards, Royal commandos, and an Afghan battalion. In the blind chaos of the night, fifty-caliber bullets ripped through carloads of fleeing refugees, mistaken ...

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Into the Viper's Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War

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Overview

The Taliban had been entrenched for many months in southern Afghanistan when a force that included the U.S. Army's elite 82nd Airborne paratroopers took the battle to the enemy. Airstrikes hammered the position in preparation for a night landing of coalition forces. Throughout the evening, these forces laid the groundwork for more troops, including Scots Guards, Royal commandos, and an Afghan battalion. In the blind chaos of the night, fifty-caliber bullets ripped through carloads of fleeing refugees, mistaken for suicide bombers, adding to the sad collateral damage of war. But by dawn the next morning, the task force was in the middle of an enemy nest of two thousand Taliban fighters. The crucial series of intense battles for control of the region had begun.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
HISTORYTIMES.COM
"It took a long time for the British public to fully appreciate the deadly nature of the war in Afghanistan. Now though, through the television coverage and books such as Into the Viper’s Nest, no-one underestimates the difficult and challenging circumstances under which our armed forces have to operate."

THE VETERANS REPORTER
"...a welcome addition to the literature of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan."

LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Skillfully and sympathetically told from the point of view of the hard-pressed soldiers, Grey's book will be a strong addition to the growing literature on the Afghan war."

Library Journal
Journalist Grey (former editor, Sunday Times; Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Rendition and Torture Program), who won an Amnesty International award for his journalism on CIA rendition, here recounts a few short days in December 2007 when an American battalion, a British regiment, and an Afghan battalion moved on Musa Qala, the only major Helmand Province town (population 15,000–20,000) then held by the Taliban. It turned into a rough set-piece battle against an entrenched and determined force. Skillfully and sympathetically told from the point of view of the hard-pressed soldiers, Grey's book will be a strong addition to the growing literature on the Afghan war. Published in the UK last year as Operation Snakebite.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760338971
  • Publisher: Zenith Press
  • Publication date: 10/10/2010
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Grey is a journalist based in London, best known for breaking the international exclusive story of the CIA's secret rendition program for which he won the 2005 Amnesty International Media Award and formed the basis for his book Ghost Plane. He is a former editor of the Sunday Times and continues to contribute there as well as the New York Times, Guardian, Times, Independent, and Newsweek.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Principal Characters x

Prologue: The Eyewitness 1

Part I The Rebellion 17

1 Desert of Death 18

2 Red Devils 28

3 The Fort of Moses 34

4 Among the Taliban 37

Part II The Population Is The Prize 45

5 Arriving in Helmand 46

6 Mullah Salaam 52

7 Corrupt Measures 58

8 The War Cabinet 70

Part III The Taliban Strikes Back 73

9 The Patrol to Khevalabad 76

10 Crazy Orders 84

11 Killer with a Conscience 89

12 The Battle of 9/11 94

Part IV The Plan 105

13 Camping with Wolves 106

14 War, Tea, and Sugared Almonds 111

15 Decision 115

16 The Manhunt 121

17 The Yanks Are Coming! 132

18 The Final Plan 136

19 Camp Shorobak 141

Part V The Battle 145

20 The Militia: 4-6 December 146

21 D-Day: 7 December 170

22 Battle for the Wadi: 8 December 184

23 Night of the Spectre: 9 December 213

24 Diversion: 10 December 239

25 Raising the Flag: 11-17 December 251

Part VI The Aftermath 265

26 Perfidy 266

27 The Cost of It All 277

28 Cracking On 288

29 Epilogue: The End of the Beginning 291

Appendix: Killed in Action in Helmand Province, 17 September 2007-31 March 2008 307

Acknowledgments 309

Glossary 315

Notes 318

Maps 322

Index 331

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Customer Reviews

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