The Mission: America's Military in the Twenty-First Centuryby Dana Priest
Four-star generals who lead the military during wartime reign like preconsuls abroad in peacetime. Secretive Green Berets trained to hunt down terrorists and wage guerrilla wars are assigned to seduce ruthless authoritarian regimes. Teenage soldiers
Walk with America's generals, grunts, and Green Berets through the maze of unconventional wars and unsettled peace.
Four-star generals who lead the military during wartime reign like preconsuls abroad in peacetime. Secretive Green Berets trained to hunt down terrorists and wage guerrilla wars are assigned to seduce ruthless authoritarian regimes. Teenage soldiers schooled to seize airstrips instead play detective and social worker in a gung-ho but ill-fated attempt to rebuild a nation after the fighting stops. The Mission is a boots-on-the-ground account of America's growing dependence on the military to manage world affairs. It describes a clash of culture and purpose through the eyes of soldiers and officers themselves. In the aftermath of September 11, this trend has only accelerated, as the country turns to its warriors to solve the complex international challenges ahead. People in the military understand that they are on an unheralded, unnamed mission -- The Mission -- one largely unknown to most Americans.
Through the author's unparalleled access to all levels of the military, much of the book unfolds in front of her eyes. The Mission blends Ernie Pyle's worm's-eye view with David Halberstam's altitude. Full of scoops, insider dialogue, and insight into the nation's top military leaders, the stories bring you to battlefields with Special Forces A-Teams in Afghanistan and Kosovo, palaces in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the jungles of Colombia and Nigeria, and the Byzantine politics of Indonesia. To write this book, Dana Priest, who covered the military for the Washington Post, traveled to twenty countries, visiting the military's most important arenas of engagement. The result is the first full examination of new and historic policy -- the ever-widening role of our soldiers as America seeks to change and to pacify the world.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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I give this item four stars for reasons still not clear as I believe the grunts, berets and staff NCOs are wise in their trade and scholars in their abilities to show a reporter/author only the outer surface of the first layer of their hardened shells. To get a accurate, pull no punches look you HAVE to give justice where justice has been done, books that have been penned by men who CHOSE to step away from the pack, away from the ability to return to steak and showers each night...men who are not reporters or newsmen, the men who ARE the grunts, berets and other valued positions in today's voluntary service to this country. There, and by their hand only, will you find the deeper layers that make the service and the brotherhood building so rare and never untrenched by even the smartest of 9-5 reporters. I recommend books that came from the men that this author reports about from the outside looking in... one in particular is Stand By to Fall Out (P. Chadz) a non- combative book that shows the intertwining and brother making for a four year, 700 page stretch. So yes, in many accounts 'the Mission' is a good lead in, yet the true story will only come from the soul and the pen of then men who endure the stresses and struggles by their own request and reason.