The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

Jake Tapper, Author
Jake Tapper. Little, Brown, $28.99 (688p) ISBN 978-0-316-18539-4
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 11/13/2012
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-21585-5
Compact Disc - 18 pages - 978-1-61969-261-9
Audio Product - 978-1-61969-988-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-5154-4
Paperback - 683 pages - 978-0-316-18540-0
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ABC senior White House correspondent Tapper (Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency) begins this fascinating history with the controversial 2006 decision to establish a military base in Nuristan, an “untamed,” isolated Afghan province abutting Pakistan, home to a distinct ethnic group suspicious of strangers. Following the new counterinsurgency policy, U.S. forces would protect civilians while winning their hearts and minds by supporting economic development. The base, surrounded by mountains, was difficult to defend. From the beginning, insurgents sniped, launched rockets, ambushed supply convoys, and sabotaged aid projects. In October 2009, three years into the mission, hundreds of insurgents launched a coordinated attack. The 50 U.S. defenders fought heroically and prevailed; soon after, the base was evacuated; the subsequent official report concluded that the operation was deeply flawed. Aware of their fool’s errand, the men did their best, and Tapper delivers a gripping, blow-by-blow account of their actions, their personal stories, and the tortured, often incomprehensible command decisions that kept them fighting despite inadequate support and an ally, Pakistan, that actively encouraged the enemy. 65 b&w photos, 4 maps. (Nov.)
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