- Expected 3 Sep 2020
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
The heartbreaking and inspiring story of one of the deadliest battles during the war in Afghanistan, acclaimed by critics everywhere as a classic.
‘A mind-boggling, all-too-true story of heroism, hubris, failed strategy, and heartbreaking sacrifice’ Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild
At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 soldiers stationed there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war that year. Four months after the battle, a review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place.
In The Outpost, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families. This modern classic of military history is an indictment of the management of the war in Afghanistan, and a thrilling tale of true courage in the face of impossible odds.
‘For those wishing to understand the middle years of the war, they could do no better than to read The Outpost’ Time
‘Brilliant, dedicated reporting by a journalist who goes to ground to get the truth. A sad, real tale about this war, America and the brave warriors who live-and die-at the point of the spear’ Bob Woodward, author of Fear
‘There have been many books written on the subject of America's seemingly endless engagement in Afghanistan, but none better than The Outpost’ Atlantic
‘The Outpost is a mind-boggling, all-too-true story of heroism, hubris, failed strategy, and heartbreaking sacrifice. If you want to understand how the war in Afghanistan went off the rails, you need to read this book’ Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild
"The power of The Outpost lies in Tapper's development of the main characters … He juxtaposes dramatic battles, complete with limbs blown off and eyes dangling from sockets, with poignant scenes of wives and parents first learning of the deaths of their loved ones’ Washington Post
‘Tapper lays bare the poor decision-making that shattered dozens of American lives in the pursuit of an ill-conceived goal’ Wall Street Journal
‘A heartbreaking chronicle of the rotation of soldiers asked to oversee an underfunded, often thankless mission’ Huffington Post
‘The seminal work of documentary journalism to emerge out of the post-9/11 war in Afghanistan’ Business Standard
About the author
Jake Tapper began his job as Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN in January 2013. Prior to that, Tapper was named ABC News' senior White House correspondent on November 5, 2008 – the day after the 2008 presidential election. For an unprecedented three years in a row, the White House Correspondents' Association has awarded him the prestigious Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure.
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.