"There wasn't a meeting when someone didn't mention Black Hawk Down ." - A senior Obama administration official, as quoted in The New York Times, 02/05/2011
From Mark Bowden, internationally bestselling and acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and the preeminent chronicler of the actions of the US military and special forces writing today, comes an intensely gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. With unprecedented access to key sources and his great gift for storytelling, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and where the action unfolded.
The story focuses on bin Laden, who maintained a steady stream of despairing correspondence in hiding in the year before his death, and on President Obama, perceived by many as an anti-war candidate because of his opposition to the Iraq War, whose evolving views and enormous responsibilities have turned him into one of the most determined warriors to ever inhabit the White House.
It details the rapid evolution of war-fighting methods over the last decade, as American special forces and intelligence agencies have adapted to fight non-state enemies like Al-Qaeda, and how they came together seamlessly in May 2011 to kill the world's most notorious terrorist. Tracing the operation in blow-by-blow detail, Bowden's book is an unrivaled account of the most high-profile special forces operation ever to have been undertaken, and a page-turning narrative of how the man behind 9/11 was finally brought to justice.
Bestselling author Bowden (Black Hawk Down) follows the long and often cold trail from 9/11 to a compound in Abbottabad, Paki-stan, where a hand-picked... Dream Team of U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, in this sketchy and surprisingly vapid account. Relying on interviews with President Barack Obama and many of the national security officials directly involved in the planning of the mission, Bowden shows how a sophisticated targeting engine that included supercomputers and surveillance drones tracked down the elusive terrorist mastermind beginning with a single name. Bowden did not interview any of the SEAL team members on the raid, and the action takes place mostly in comfortable government offices far from the tip of the spear. Despite silence from the SEALs, the omniscient author knows what was on their minds ( The one thing... always in their thoughts was danger... ) and in their hearts (they were veterans of many raids, hardened to violence and death ). The hero of Bowden s narrative seems to be Obama, who risked his presidency on the type of uncertain raid that had doomed Jimmy Carter. Readers expecting a detailed, dramatic account of the raid on the Abbottabad compound will be disappointed.