Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces

Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces

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by Tom Clancy
     
 

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An unconventional war requires unconventional men—the Special Forces.

 

Green Berets • Navy SEALS • Rangers •
Air Force Special Operations • PsyOps • Civil Affairs •
and other special-mission units

 

The first two Commanders books, Every Man a Tiger and Into the Storm, provided

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Overview

An unconventional war requires unconventional men—the Special Forces.

 

Green Berets • Navy SEALS • Rangers •
Air Force Special Operations • PsyOps • Civil Affairs •
and other special-mission units

 

The first two Commanders books, Every Man a Tiger and Into the Storm, provided masterly blends of history, biography, you-are-there narrative, insight into the practice of leadership, and plain old-fashioned storytelling. Shadow Warriors is all of that and more, a book of uncommon timeliness, for, in the words of Lieutenant General Bill Yarborough, “there are itches that only Special Forces can scratch.”

 

Now, Carl Stiner—the second commander of SOCOM, the U.S. Special Operations Command—and Tom Clancy trace the transformation of the Special Forces from the small core of outsiders of the 1950s, through the cauldron of Vietnam, to the rebirth of the SF in the late 1980s and 1990s, and on into the new century as the bearer of the largest, most mixed, and most complex set of missions in the U.S. military.

 

These are the first-hand accounts of soldiers fighting outside the lines: counterterrorism, raids, hostage rescues, reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, and psychological operations—from Vietnam and Laos to Lebanon to Panama, to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq, to the new wars of today…

 

 

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Editorial Reviews

bn.com
When you think military fiction, you think Tom Clancy. But did you know that Clancy has been collaborating with top military men to give the reader a taste of what the real military world is like? This entry in his Commanders series presents retired general Carl Steiner, who has spent many years leading America's Special Forces in such missions as Desert Storm and the Panama invasion. In the post-9/11 world, we rely on men like Stiner -- and we rely on Clancy to keep us in the know!
When he's not overseeing his Net Force series of cyberthrillers or putting out thousand-page-plus tomes of militaristic suspense, Tom Clancy co-writes a series of nonfiction books on different segments of the U.S. military. The latest is a conversational, nonacademic study of the history of the United States' Special Forces, from their roots in World War II to the present. The book's co-author, a former paratrooper and commander-in-chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command, provides a good deal of the firsthand experience that gives the writing a welcome feel of authenticity. Since Stiner is retired, he's free to spout off about Pentagon bureaucracy and key military figures, including Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. This irreverence, not to mention some spectacularly engrossing depictions of dangerous missions in Panama and Iraq, helps spice up an occasionally sluggish agglomeration of anecdotes and acronyms.
—Chris Barsanti
Publishers Weekly
This is the third volume in Clancy's series presenting modern war from the perspective of its commanders. Here the focus is on special warfare: Rangers, SEALs, Delta Force, the Green Berets and other less familiar organizations. Stiner headed the newly created Special Operations Command during the Gulf War. His experiences and Clancy's investigations combine to describe how the perennial outsider troops became frontline insiders. Many of the book's anecdotes from the 1950s and '60s support an image of a special operations community not exactly at war with the army, but trying to establish parameters for what its advocates considered a new approach to war, incorporating military, political and social elements under military control. Following about 40 pages on Vietnam, the second half the book takes us through accounts of the pinpoint strikes on the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro, two operations in Panama and Desert Storm activities that included Scud missile takedowns. The book ends with a 10-page chapter on September 11 and its aftermath, and appendixes on Special Ops Command history and "Leadership." Readers looking for an up-to-the-minute account of the ways and means of the war in Afghanistan will not find it here, but the plethora of insider history and firsthand operation specifics from insertion to "exfiltration" up to the early '90s will please the historically minded. (Feb. 4) Forecast: The Clancy name and events of September 11 have combined to make this a BOMC main selection, but the Gulf War material will have trouble competing with live television reports and newspaper accounts of current systems and teams. Expect a short run as a bestseller on the strength of Clancy alone. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote from the review of the audiobook in KLIATT, September 2002: Clancy once again ventures out of the realm of fiction and into the domain of reality and looks at "unconventional war." The author and his collaborators examine the need for and the establishment of the U.S. Special Forces units. YAs who have an interest in the military, particularly those who may be considering it for a career, will find this book interesting and informative—this is not a Hollywood version of the Green Berets or Navy SEALs. After a discussion of international terrorist incidents that occurred during the 1970s and '80s, the authors examine the organization and development of America's Special Forces, and the resistance of the traditional military to "special units." The book covers a detailed description of Special Forces operations during the war in Vietnam and provides a detailed description of the Achille Lauro hijacking and its follow-up. The events of 9/11 and their aftermath have brought international terrorism sharply into focus and this book is certainly relevant to events today. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Berkley, 548p. index., Boyd
Library Journal
The present war against terrorism has been quite a showcase for the United States's Special Operations Forces (SOF), which consists of the well-known Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and Green Berets, the supersecret Delta Force, and other similar units. Clancy presents some of their history, as well as incidents from the not-too-distant past, which demonstrates that what has happened in the past year is not entirely unknown to our armed forces. Narrator George DiCenzo offers a strong, confident, and deliberate performance. Recommended for purchase by public libraries.-Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of megaselling novels in the techno/gung-ho genre (The Bear and the Dragon, 2000, etc.) that he practically invented adds an untimely entry to his body of nonfiction dissections (Every Man a Tiger, 1999, etc.) of what makes our military so great: everything you wanted to know about Special Forces except for Afghanistan. Teamed this time with a retired former chief of US Special Operations Command, Clancy delves into the origins and evolution of the Special Forces concept. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan get special credit for a relevant grasp of realpolitik: the need for a new kind of force capable of Cold War dirty tricks, counterinsurgencies, and holding terrorists to account for their crimes anywhere in the world. Some action vignettes from SF roots in WWII and Vietnam rival Clancy fiction, but things get bogged down with military trivia as the author and General Stiner interweave narratives (liberally laced with the kind of DOD jargon that makes a ship a "naval platform" and an airplane an "aviation asset") on the Achille Lauro (hijacked cruise liner) incident, "taking down" Noriega's Panama, and other actions. The central theme is a somewhat predictable one of guys in the field taking heat, or worse, because Washington never quite gets it. For example, only after Vietnam, when the Pentagon finally allows that the standard US ground soldier is frighteningly inept at forging good relations with "friendlies," does that become a top SF training priority. Also well documented is the depth and breadth of opposition to any concept of elite units by mainstream military commanders who tend to see Special Ops planners as "princes of darkness" out to rob the "Big Army" of budget andresources. Obviously caught with the book already in the publishing pipeline when the 2001 War on Terrorism was declared, Clancy awkwardly tacks on a final chapter to cover repercussions of September 11 (but not including any military operations in Afghanistan), which adds nothing original either in his analysis of the Al Qaeda brand of terrorism or proposed countermeasures. Valor vs. red tape with the soul of democracy at stake.
From the Publisher
“Some action vignettes from [Special Forces] roots in WWII and Vietnam rival Clancy fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The plethora of insider history and firsthand operation specifics…will please the historically minded.”—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781436245708
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/04/2003
Series:
Commander Series , #3
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
115,759
File size:
933 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

5 CDs, 6 hours

Tom Clancy returns to Jack Ryan’s early days, in an extraordinary novel of global political drama.

“Smart and likable, Jack Ryan has become one of the best-known
characters in contemporary American fiction.” –The Washington Post

L
ong before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter group had brought him to the attention of the CIA’s Deputy Director, Vice Admiral James Greer–as well as his counterpart with the British SIS, Sir Basil Charleston–and when Greer asked him if he wanted to come aboard as a freelance analyst, Jack was quick to accept. The opportunity was irresistible, and he was sure he could fit it in with the rest of his work.
And then Jack forgot all about the rest of his work, because one of his first assignments was to help debrief a high-level Soviet defector, and the defector told an amazing tale: Top Soviet officials, including Yuri Andropov, were planning to assassinate the Pope, John Paul II.
Could it be true? As the days and weeks go by, Ryan must battle, first to try to confirm the plot, and then to prevent it, but this is a brave new world, and nothing he has done up to now has prepared him for the lethal game of cat-and-mouse that is the Soviet Union versus the United States. In the end, it will be not just the Pope’s life but thestability of the Western world that is at stake. . . and it may already be too late for a novice CIA analyst to do anything about it.
“Clancy creates not only compelling characters but frighteningly topical situations and heart-stopping action,” wrote The Washington Post about The Bear and the Dragon. “Among the handful of superstars, Clancy still reigns, and he is not likely to be dethroned any time soon.” These words were never truer than about the remarkable pages of his breathtaking new novel. This is Clancy at his best–and there is none better.
TOM CLANCY lives in Maryland.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Some action vignettes from [Special Forces] roots in WWII and Vietnam rival Clancy fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The plethora of insider history and firsthand operation specifics…will please the historically minded.”—Publishers Weekly

 

Meet the Author

At one time, Tom Clancy was an obscure Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history and only a letter to the editor and a brief article on the MX missile to his credit. Years before he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red Octoberthe story of a Russian submarine captain who defects to the United Statessold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn” and “non-put-downable.” Since then Clancy has established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense.



Clancy’s next novel, Red Storm Rising, took on U.S./Soviet tension by providing a realistic modern war scenario arising from a conventional Soviet attack on NATO. Other bestsellers followed: Patriot Games dealt with terrorism; Cardinal of the Kremlin focused on spies, secrets and the strategic defense initiative; Clear and Present Danger asked what if there was a real war on drugs; The Sum of All Fears centered around post-Cold War attempts to rekindle U.S./Soviet animosity; Without Remorse took on the rising U.S. drug trade and Vietnam War era POW’s; and Debt of Honor explored the hazards of American/Japanese economic competition, the vulnerability of America’s financial system, and the dangers of military downsizing. In light of the events of September 11, 2001, Debt of Honor demonstrated once and for all Clancy’s cutting-edge prescience in predicting future events. The novel ends with a suicide attack against the U.S. Capitol Building by a terrorist flying a 747 out of Dulles airport.





Clancy’s uninterrupted string of best sellers continued with Executive Orders, which combined the threat of biological and conventional terrorism with the instability of the Persian Gulf region; Rainbow Six, which explored the dual threats posed by former Soviet intelligence operatives willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder, and genetically engineering bio weapons; and The Bear and The Dragon, which posited a limited war between China, the U.S. and Russia.





Clancy’s nonfiction works include Submarine, Armored Cav, Fighter Wing, Marine, and Airbornea series of guided tours of America’s warfighting assets. He has also written three books in an extraordinary nonfiction series that looks deep into the art of war through the eyes of America’s outstanding military commanders. Into The Storm: A Study in Command, written with armor and infantry General Fred Franks Jr., and Every Man a Tiger, written with Air Force General Chuck Horner, won unanimous praise for their detailed exploration of traditional war-fighting from the ground and from the air. The third book in the Commanders series, Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces, written with General Carl Stiner, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, tells the story of the soldiers whose training, resourcefulness, and creativity make them capable of jobs that few other soldiers can handle, in situations where traditional arms and movement don’t apply.  







General Carl Stiner was born in LaFollette, Tennessee, on September 7, 1936. He graduated from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in 1958 with a bachelor of science degree and was commissioned in the Infantry. He served initially with the 9th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, the 7th Infantry Division in Korea, and commanded a basic training company at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.


Stiner’s first special operations tour of duty was in l964-66 with the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Following graduation from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1967, he served in Vietnam as both an infantry battalion and brigade operations officer (S-3) with the 4th Infantry Division.


In 1970, after a tour with Headquarters, Department of the Army in Washington, D.C., Stiner joined the 82d Airborne Division where he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, and served as the Division operations officer (G-3). Following graduation from the Army War College in 1975 and a tour in Saudi Arabia, he commanded the 1st Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia.


Promoted to Brigadier General in 1980, Stiner served first as the Chief of Staff, Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), then headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, and later as the Assistant Division Commander of the 82d Airborne Division. After serving on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C., as Assistant Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs, in 1984 he was promoted to Major General and appointed as Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.


Stiner held this post until assigned as Commanding General, 82d Airborne Division, in January 1987. In October 1988 he was named Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. As Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, he was designated Commander, Joint Task Force South, and served as the operational commander of all forces employed on Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama in December 1989.


In May 1990 he was promoted to the rank of General and became the second Commander in Chief of the United States Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. As Commander in Chief, he was responsible for the readiness of all special operations forces of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, both active duty and reserve. He retired in May 1993.


During his thirty-five year career, General Carl Stiner commanded the Army’s preeminent contingency strike forces; including the Joint Special Operations Command, the 82d Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps. General Stiner has an extensive background in special operations. Among the many missions with which he was involved was the capture of the terrorists in the Achille Lauro hijacking, the Panama invasion and the capture of Manuel Noriega, and all special operations activities during Operation Desert Storm.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Huntingtown, Maryland
Date of Birth:
April 12, 1947
Date of Death:
October 1, 2013
Place of Birth:
Baltimore, Maryland
Education:
Loyola High School in Towson, Maryland, 1965; B.A. in English, Loyola College, 1969

Customer Reviews

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Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about exactly what the title implies, Special Forces (SF). Some reviewers apparently had confused the term "Special Operation Forces" (SOF) with the term "Special Forces." Special Forces is a term that is exclusive to one part of the Army's Special Operation Forces. It does not apply to other Army SOFs or any other branch's SOF. It really is unfair for the reviewer to blame Mr. Clancy for titling his book aptly just because the reviewer has a misunderstanding of the terminology.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most people that dont know that much about military, and war dont understand this book. It tells you about special forces not special operations. This book tells what went on then and how things worked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Puts her arm down and a dagger slides down her sleeve and into her hand and she kulls the mirage
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A stormy gray shecat pads in. "Autumnstar there's an apprentice named Ravenpaw at the first result who wants to join. I don't think Seasalt has an apprentice." Stormheart mews. Her dark blue eyes flicker like night skies. ~Stormheart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To all the people laboring under the impression that this will include Special Operations Forces detachments from every branch of the military, let me inform you that you are gravely mistaken, Tom Clancy didn't FORGET to mention other branches because no other branch falls under the category SPECIAL FORCES, they fall under the category of SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A great read, but as some other reviewers have mentioned, it focuses mainly on GEN Carl Stiner's career with the Army as a Ranger, Special Forces and General Officer. From the cover (yes, yes - I know the old addage) I figured it would be styled around three parts, Army, Navy and Air Force, having Rangers/Delta, SEALs and Pararescue, Combat Control and Air Force aircraft, respectively. The Marine Corps itself did not have any units under SOCOM until recently (July 2003), with it's SpecOps Capable units and I did not expect to find anything about the 'Corps in there from the beginning. That told, I found the book to be an interesting, quick and informative read about the background of Army Special Forces and the contributions of PSYOPS and Civil Affairs in conjunction with the famed Green Berets. GEN Stiner walks through WWII era beginnings and SF pioneers like Yarborough, Singlaub, et. al. and brings the reader right up through American SF involvement in Vietnam, terrorism in the Middle East (Lebanon '83 Marine barracks bombing and the Achille Lauro incident), Panama, the First Gulf War and into special operations today. A fantastic read for those interested in Army SF, Rangers, etc. but will be of interest to anyone seeking unconventional warfare military knowledge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those that don't have a true understanding of the military and what makes it up should not read this book before learing the terminology. Ask an Army SF 'operatior' and they will tell you that they don't call each other 'Green Berets'.(only those outside the forces and John Wayne did that) They only are given a green beret, just like a number other groups, like the 101st, Rangers, etc. They all have a different colored beret. The 'Special Forces' are just that: Army Special Forces, the Rangers are just the Rangers, they are not the 'Special Forces', there are a number of highly trained and specialized units which fall under the command of the USSOC or SOCOM. If u r truly interested in were the 'Special Forces' were derived from, it would help to read about the 'SOG' or 'MACVSOG' as well as about the 'OSS'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great look into the development of special forces with an empasis on the career of Carl Stiner. It's main focus is the green beret's and what it is like to become one and be one. Its a quick read with a ton of good stuff in it. If you are a Clancy fan you will enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After you read 'Into the Storm' and 'Every Man a Tiger,' you think that this is a great bio about a SF Operator. Or maybe you think it is about the US Military's SF groups, such as SEALs, Green Berets, PJ's, Force Recon, or Delta. What this is about is a bit of the history of the Army's Green Berets and a LOT about the career of General Carl Stiner. If Gen. Stiner had served in SF units all of his career, it might have been on target, but Gen. Stiner spent much of his career on conventional military assignments.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A big disappointment for me. There is much more to special forces than Green Berets and General Stiner's experiences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I am an avid Clancy reader, I found this book disappointing. The title is misleading: "Special Forces" means the U.S. armed forces' elite units from each and every major branch of services. Rather, Clancy's reliance upon one highly respected and former Green Beret does injustice to the Navy SEALs, Marine Force Reconnaissance, Air Force Special Forces, and the Army Rangers. I originally thought that this book was a history of how each armed forces developed their special forces. Instead, this book seemed to be a companion to Clancy's other Army's Special Forces. I only recommend this book to those that love to read about the Green Berets.