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Fighting an elusive and dangerous enemy far from home, the British army in Afghanistan has been involved in asymmetric warfare for the best part of a decade. The eight-year series of deployments jointly known as Operation 'Herrick', alongside US and other NATO contingents within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, have been the longest continuous combat commitment of the British Army since World War II. Together with Operation 'Telic' in Iraq, which immediately preceded and overlapped with it, this conflict has shaped the British Army for a generation. Enemy threats have diversified and evolved, with a consequent evolution of British doctrine, tactics and equipment. This book provides a detailed analysis of those specifics within a clear, connected account of the course of the war in Helmand, operation by operation.
Within weeks of the devastation of 9/11, United States Special Operations Forces were dropping into Afghanistan to lead the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Ten years later, the Navy's SEAL Team 6 carried out Operation Neptune Spear to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden. In Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and Mali, the role of Special Ops has been a game changer on the battle field as they have fought terrorist from Al Qaeda, al Shebaab and Boko Haram, as well as insurgents and the Taliban. But that has been a war that has largely hidden from view--until now. In Special Forces in the War on Terror, author Leigh Neville takes readers inside that shadow world of Special Operations. Drawing upon recently declassified material and first-hand accounts from his SOF contacts in the US, UK, and other coalition countries, Neville reveals the remarkable results achieved by these secret soldiers, and gives readers an unprecedented blow-by-blow description of all major SOF operations.Neville uncovers the true story behind the dramatic rescue of two aid workers from chaotic Somalia by a SEAL team from kidnappers linked to the notorious al Shebaab. Parachuting in at night, the team struck the kidnappers at dawn in a coordinated assault that left all of the kidnappers dead with no injuries to the hostages or the assault team. The SEALs kept the hostages safe until the men of the Nightstalkers--the US Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment--arrived to fly them all to safety. Also included is the story of the Delta Force Master Sergeant who won the Silver Star by single-handedly holding off an assault by some 300 insurgents in war torn Fallujah. Attached with two other Delta operators to a Marine infantry platoon, 25 of the 37 men he was with were wounded during the attack. The Delta sergeant held off the insurgents from a roof-top position, moving constantly to keep the enemy back and confusing them on the actual number of defenders until the wounded could be evacuated.Highlighted in Special Forces in the War on Terror is the history of the secret drone war run by the United States Joint Special Operations Command, which rivals the CIA's highly publicized drone campaign in Pakistan, the real history of the contentious "Night Raids" by American and British Special Forces in Afghanistan and the true story of the "industrial grade" counter-terrorism effort which swung the war against al Qaeda in Iraq.Unlike other books on SOF, Special Operations Forces in the War on Terror offers a single, detailed analysis of all significant SOF missions, and includes maps, combat diagrams, and full-color photographs. The book is the definitive record for a remarkable period in military history when the world's elite soldiers fought against overwhelming odds to yield results out of all proportion to their numbers.
Intelligence specialist Leigh Neville identifies, describes and illustrates the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the US and other Allied (Coalition) forces committed to the 'War on Terror' in Afghanistan since 2001, providing a fascinating insight into specific operations detailing weapons, equipment and experiences in combat. With a surprising amount of recently unclassified material from government departments that are yet to be published in the mass media, this is a ground-breaking analysis of the largest mobilization of Special Forces in recent history. Extensive first-hand accounts provide an eyewitness perspective of the fighting including a description of the assault on Tora Bora, all illustrated with an array of unpublished photos and full color artwork. Containing detailed information on the US Delta Force, the British SAS, Australian and Canadian Special Forces as well as CIA and MI6 operational units this book provides a crucial study of their skills and success amidst Afghan mountains.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Intelligence specialist Leigh Neville identifies, describes and illustrates the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the US and other Allied (Coalition) forces committed to war in Iraq since 2003, providing a fascinating insight into specific operations, detailing weapons, equipment and experiences in combat. With a surprising amount of recently declassified material from government departments that are yet to be published in the mass media, this is a ground-breaking analysis of the largest mobilization of Special Forces in recent history. With extensive first-hand accounts providing an eyewitness perspective of the fighting on the ground and including information on the US Delta Force, the British SAS, Australian and Canadian special forces as well as CIA and MI6 operational units this book provides a crucial study of their skills and success in Iraq from the Battle of Debecka to storming the safe house of Uday Hussein. In a controversial war that has been plagued by high fatalities and military blunders, this book highlights the successes enjoyed by Special Forces operatives. This book serves as a companion volume to Elite 163: Special Forces Operations: Afghanistan.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The patrol vehicles used by Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq vary quite dramatically between the theaters as well as amongst the Coalition members, and have been developed and upgraded to meet the demands of the deployment. Covering all the major Coalition nations, Leigh Neville continues his look at the elite forces deployed in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom with this analysis of their vehicles.Tracing the evolution of the vehicle types, from their historical precedents, through their designs to their operational developments, he discusses their advantages and disadvantages, along with their tactical employment. From the mine-protected vehicles used to counter the IED threat in Iraq, the use of Strykers as armored raiding platforms by the US Rangers, to the civilian vehicles adapted for military service by both Coalition troops and Private Military Contractors in the regions, this book uses rare in-theater photographs and color artwork to show the variety and inventiveness of the patrol vehicles being used in combat today.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the early morning hours of March 4, 2002, a reconnaissance team of US Navy SEALs from the Tier One Naval Special Warfare Development Group attached to Joint Special Operations Task Force 11 attempted to infiltrate onto an Afghan mountain peak in support of what was then the largest operation conducted by US forces since Vietnam, Operation Anaconda. The SEALs were tasked with establishing covert observation posts to call in air strikes on al Qaeda positions in the infamous Shah-i-Khot Valley close to the Afghan-Pakistan border.Anaconda was designed to engage large numbers of foreign al Qaeda fighters who had fled to the valley after the overthrow of their hosts, the Taliban government and the later battle of Tora Bora in December 2001 which forced many of the foreign fighters toward the border and into the Shah-i-Khot, a traditional refuge of mujahideen in the 1980s. Anaconda brought together both conventional American forces and a large collection of US and Coalition special operations forces to hunt down the al Qaeda remnants. As the SEAL's special operation Chinook, flown by the Nightstalkers of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, attempted to land on the peak of the 11,000 foot Takur Ghar, hidden al Qaeda defenders sprang an ambush. The Chinook was struck by RPGs and small arms fire and banked away to escape. In the process, a SEAL fell from the rear ramp and tumbled into the snow below. The crippled Chinook managed to escape the ambush and land several kilometres away. A second Chinook was dispatched which picked up the SEAL team and flew them back to the peak of Takur Ghar in a desperate search for the missing SEAL. As the SEALs and their Air Force Combat Controller exited the helicopter they were immediately engaged by the al Qaeda defenders. A ferocious firefight erupted resulting in the death of the Combat Controller and two SEALs being wounded. Eventually the outnumbered SEALs were forced to withdraw from the peak.At Bagram, the Task Force 11 Quick Reaction Force was launched to attempt a rescue of the SEALs. The QRF was comprised of two Nightstalker Chinooks carrying Army Rangers and Air Force Combat Controllers and Para Rescue Jumpers, specialists in Combat Search and Rescue. Due to both command difficulties and communications problems, the one of the QRF Chinooks never received a warning about landing on the peak. Instead, the Chinook landed directly onto the peak and into the sights of al Qaeda.The Chinook was immediately struck by RPG, recoilless rifle and heavy machine gun fire killing or seriously wounding several Rangers and Nightstalkers. The QRF became engaged in an epic seventeen hour firefight, finally killing or driving off all al Qaeda fighters from the peak with a combination of superb small unit tactics and danger close air strikes from F-16s, F-15s, an AC-130 and an armed CIA RQ-1 Predator. Al Qaeda reinforcements were kept at bay by an Australian Special Air Service OP on a nearby mountain which called in air strikes whenever reinforcements neared the trapped Rangers and SEALs.