In a remote, enemy-held valley in Afghanistan, a Special Forces team planned to scale a steep mountain to surprise and capture a terrorist leader. But before they found the target, the target found them…
The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought huddled for hours on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine-gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars—the Army’s third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam.
Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers’ mettle but serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Weiss and Maurer (coauthor, Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds) who in the past five years has embedded six times with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan detail the team's ill-fated 2008 mission in eastern Afghanistan's Shok Valley, a place "isolated and surrounded by a wall of mountains." The soldiers had been tasked to capture Haji Ghafour, a high-ranking commander of an extreme militant group. Through interviews with the men involved, the authors provide captivating individual perspectives on the undertaking. Captain Kyle Walton believed the assignment was flawed from the beginning; the authors write that "Not only did the basic tactical plan of attacking up a mountain not work, but it was unclear how they would evacuate casualties." Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding who had joined the army just months before 9/11 for "a job where you can lay down your head at night and be proud of it'" would ultimately lose part of his leg. It was his first and last deployment with Special Forces. Like many of the men in his unit (also profiled in the book) Walding would be honored with a Silver Star. In this compelling, multi-dimensional account, Weiss and Maurer remind us of the extraordinary risks soldiers take and the sacrifices they make every day both for their country, and for each other. B&W Photos & maps.
The book started a little slow but as you read on you understand why. You truly need the dynamics of the characters to realize how amazing these individuals are. Once they are in contact, I couldn't put the book down. Thank god for these individuals and their bravery.
Enjoyed this one allot! Same Scenes are told from the unique perspectives of different soldiers.
No Way Out: A straight-forward but unsatisfying narrative
While No Way Out presents its facts and story in a clear, straight-forward manner, it lacked the powerful emotional appeal I have experienced in similar war/battle narratives on the War on Terror. Achieving its goal of telling the 'true' story and what 'really happened' during Operation Commando Wrath, it did so in a relatively unmoving and elementary manner. The writing style seemed overly simplified and undecorated, often with awkward sentencing, and what appeared to be some syntax and punctuational errors. The few attempts made at inspiring an emotional response in the reader were relatively weak and ineffective; rather, the book has a matter-of-fact style and tone that left me unsatisfied. I felt little-to-no connection with any of the characters, something I crave in a book. The book was informative and educational if that is strictly what you are looking for; in that sense a reader will not be disappointed.
If you are looking for a book with no blatant political agenda, however, this is not the book for you. Not only are the political tones obvious throughout without being stated, the author/s felt the need to explicitly state it in the final pages of the book, which utterly killed it for me. If I am looking to solely read and learn about the war, I do not want to read nor do I care about the authors' views/opinions on the war. Simply present the facts and allow readers to draw their own conclusions and form their own opinions.