American Spartan: The Promise, The Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant

Ann Scott Tyson. Morrow, (384p) $27.99 ISBN 978-0-06-211498-3
Tyson, a journalist by trade, offers a momentous account of her now husband, Special Forces Major Jim Gant, and his journey into the deep-seated tribal Pashtuns of Afghanistan. Beginning with President Obama's promise in 2009 to end the war in Iraq and ending with Gant's removal from Afghanistan amidst accusations of the abuse of alcohol and pain medications, the book shows the efforts of one man bent on changing the way the military moves in foreign countries. After serving deployments, Gant published an online treatise on why America is destined to lose the war, arguing there is "gaping hole in U.S. Strategy: the failure to systematically engage Afghanistan's powerful Pashtun tribes."  The paper comes to the attention of President Obama, General Petraeus, and other high ranking military officers who offer Jim the resources he needs to implement his plan. Jim's mission is to assimilate a team of Special Forces to work hand-in-hand with the Pashtun tribes and help to set up the Afghanistan Local Defense Initiative, the Arbakai. In the midst of implementation, Gant starts clashing with U.S. command and his career in the military begins to unravel. Tyson does her best to shade an underlying love affair while showing the action and circumstances surrounding her time with Jim Gant. The affair doesn't appear until page 79 and is never quite awarded the depth of feeling she gives to living in Afghanistan and dealing with the atrocities of war. Many readers will want more on their relationship, at least for the sake of transparency amid Tyson's journalistic style of writing. The overall story is enticing, brutal, and current. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/24/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-211500-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-9232-8
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Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-06-211499-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-222046-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-229570-5
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