The Wars of the Green Berets: Amazing Stories from Vietnam to the Present
Robin Moore, Michael Lennon. Skyhorse Publishing, $12.95 (243pp) ISBN 978-1-60239-054-6
Moore's 1965 bestseller The Green Berets helped bring the army's special forces to the U.S. collective consciousness; here he collaborates with special ops staff officer Lennon for this disappointing historical that traces the ""Shadow Warriors"" from their early days in Vietnam to Operation Desert Storm (1991), Somalia (1993), Afghanistan (2001) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). Each conflict furnishes the setting for a discrete story of special operations units in combat, the stories loosely linked by a handful of recurring characters. Mike Apin, for example, fights as a young draftee at Dak Pek, a besieged special forces camp in Vietnam; he turns up in Afghanistan with the 5th special forces group fighting alongside native tribesmen and surfaces again in Iraq in 2003 with the CIA searching for WMD sites. The episodes are fictionalizations of real anecdotes gathered by Moore and Lennon, but character, plot and dialogue (on Iraq: ""This is going to degenerate into an insurgency against us and probably civil war"") get short shrift. Readers interested in the exploits of special forces are better served by recent nonfiction accounts like Linda Robinson's Masters of Chaos and Robert Kaplan's Imperial Grunts.
Reviewed on: 06/04/2007