The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan (P.S.) By Eric Blehm

I'd been waiting to get this book for quite some time, especially after having read Sean Naylor's Not A Good Day To Die and Robin Moore's Task Force Dagger so I was all smiles when it finally came through my letterbox.
Eric Blehm's capture of the humility and professionalism of ODA 574, the team of Green Berets led by Captain Jason Amerine, is exceptional. There's just enough backstory on the strong characters of the team members to understand their personalities without delving into a portfolio of yawnsville biographies. This in turn really makes the guys real people to the reader, not just names on a page or possible characters in movie in the reader's mind.
I found the lack of swashbuckling contacts and firefights almost a relief, with the most interesting thing within the book being the forging of the relationships between the SF guys, Hamid Karzai and his Afghan fighters. Don't get me wrong, there is a good amount of detail on the contacts that happened but its not cover to cover fire and manoeuvre as some books rely on to sell. It highlights of the patience and earning of trust that builds strong bonds exactly the way these elements should. When you stick to your trusted game plan, the results are what you strive for. If for whatever reason or whoever's reason you deviate from it, that's when things tend to start breaking down; as is painfully (and totally avoidably) illustrated in December 2001 when egos of certain bombastic higher ranks start throwing their weight around in environments they shouldn't even be in let alone giving commands in.

In short, a great piece of work detailing a true account of Special Forces soldiering on the highest level on a mission for all the right reasons. Its just unfortunate that as soon as the chest beating higher echelons get involved, it is as always, the lower ranks that come off worse. Eric Blehm Fantastic book and didn't end the way I thought. So angry at the lack of true leadership combat men and women have to put up with. Morons who think they know it all and fail to listen to men who really know what they are doing. Eric Blehm A good book, that once again lets the reader get acquainted with some of the most courageous defenders of this country. Each member of the proud Green Berets showed how harsh and dangerous were the obstacles they faced. To say that I am so proud of these courageous individuals is putting it mildly. I actually revere their lives, for I recognize that without their kind, this country wouldn't be half the country that it is. Their strength, and their standing up against all forces that mean harm, make them a unique breed. I like the book on principle alone, not as much, perhaps, as some other titles, but it is such a privilege to read how they all work together, including aerial support, and how these eleven men defied the odds in their battle for the greater good. 4 Stars. Eric Blehm First off let me say that this book is not of blistering gun battles, but instead a mission of hope and the future. 10 special forces and an elder tribesmen would help defeat the Taliban and start a revolution against war on terror, 10 men would hold the key and future of a country torn by war since the beginning of time. 1 mission would dictate the future of a country and the outcome of a war, with all the might of the US military w/out this mission the armed forces could have meet the same consequence as the mighty Red army did decades before. This book is of men who forged a war against terror but United a country against it's self. This book is a must read if you want to know how an alliance was formed to defeat the war on terror but forged a new peace between God and country,this mission determined the outcome of the war against terror. A must read for the historic events of this mission, and the historic events that followed this mission. Eric Blehm this story was completely new to me. It gave me a different view of Hamid Karzai & it was an amazing story about a small group of soldiers inspiring courage Eric Blehm

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Eric Blehm, author of the award winning The Last Season, is back with another true adventure story, The Only Thing Worth Dying For. Set in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets led by Captain Jason Amerine that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, The Only Thing Worth Dying For is, in the words of former Congressman Charlie Wilson (from Charlie Wilsons War), the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan. The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan (P.S.)

The vast majority of the reviews have rated this 5 stars. I would rate it higher if possible. The author, Eric Blehm has done an excellent job explaining the life of a SF team and what they can be assigned to accomplish. As indicated by the book the team was given a job in a new environment following 9 11 and as usual for SOG given very little specifics. They were making some of it up as they went along and by all accounts doing the job and accomplishing their assigned goal. Their problems started when the REMF's arrived from HQ to only observe the operation. Never in my lifetime have I ever experienced an observer who out ranked the troops on the ground strictly observe. There is some defect within these observers brain that malfunctions when they arrive onsite. In this case the observers were an 0 5 and a 0 4 watching over the shoulder of a 0 3. The 0 3 was a team leader and was qualified for the position or he would not have been there. We have all seen it before the REMF's wrangle a way to get to the action so they can get a notation in their 201 file that says he was there and maybe pick up a medal. In this case their involvement was to interfere by directing the team leader to follow their orders and then they involved themselves into an unnecessary airstrike that took the lives of over 50 friendlies and crippled most of the survivors. Their obvious desire to earn battle stories for the O Club cost these men their lives. If these observers had of admitted their war had past them by and stayed in the rear where they belonged those who died might still be with us today. Both Officers should have faced a court martial. Excellent book but rotten result. It is a must read. Eric Blehm Blehm describes the early days of SF in Afghanistan with clear and descriptive prose that seems like it must be made up. This is a story of professional soldiers plying their trade in difficult circumstances with remarkable results. It is a story of leadership and bravery. It is a story of tragedy and the horror of war. It is a story of people giving their all for a common goal and making the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom. Eric Blehm Great story of what it was like it the opening stages of the war on terror. With all the problems that you would expect. Plus some you wouldn't. Outdated maps, no military personnel with sufficient language skills. Overbearing glory seeking Headquarters units. However it is an exciting read. That points out that the armed services have to support each other. To get the immediate mission accomplished. Unless your a marine commander, and performing a rescue of wounded US soldiers. Who don'thappen to be Marines. Might put a bullet hole or two in one of your aircraft. You decline to assist. So what would have been a flight of less than a hour. Results in a flight of four hours in daylight over enemy territory. Certainly puts the current Secretary of Defense in a new unflattering light. Eric Blehm A wonderful account of this world changing mission and the men who executed it. It also highlights the easily forgotten condition of western geopolitical thought prior to the Global War On Terror and the challenges facing our military in the post Cold War era and immediate aftermath of 9/11, and shines a bright light on the brief period before it all fell apart. It is at once beautiful and tragic as Blehm brings you into this family of men and into the cold, barren Afghan night, and then breaks your heart with victory in view. I'd had this on my list for a few years since reading Fearless by Eric Blehm (highly recommended), and finally got around to picking it up. My only regret about the book is that it isn't longer. Eric Blehm Very well written without the Hollywood embellishments many authors resort to. Many great things are accomplished by small groups of military personnel like these Green Berets and what they accomplished needs to be appreciated. What happened to them was a tragedy that seems to happen in each conflict, people in the rear who should not be involved in the minute tactical decisions costing brave men their lives. Five stars for the brave men and the great job this author did, Eric Blehm