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If you loved American Sniper you will love Not a Good Day to Die The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda Award winning journalist Sean Naylor, an eyewitness to the action, vividly portrays the fight for Afghanistan s most hostile battlegroundAt dawn on March the first major battle of the st Century began Oversoldiers of the st Airborne and th Mountain Divisions flew into Afghanistan s Shahikot valley and into the mouth of a buzz saw They were about to pay a bloody price for strategic, higher level miscalculations that underestimated the enemy s strength and willingness to fightAfter the attacks of September Coalition forces quickly toppled the Taliban regime from the seat of government But, believing the war to be all but over, the Pentagon and US Central Command refused to commit the forces required to achieve total victory in Afghanistan Instead, they delegated responsibility for fighting the war s biggest battle to a tangle of untested units thrown together at the last momentThen the world watched as Anaconda seemed to unravelDenied the extra infantry, artillery and close air support with which they trained to go to war, the soldiers of this airborne assault fought for survival in brutal high altitude combat Backed up by a small, but crucial, team of special forces, they were all that stood between the Coalition and a military disasterPerfect for fans of Black Hawk Down , Zero Dark Thirty, Chris Ryan, and Andy McNabAbout the author Sean Naylor is a senior writer for the Army Times He has covered the Afghan mujahideen s war against the Soviets, and American military operations in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq Named one of theunsung influential print reporters in Washington by American Journalism Review in May , he earned the White House Correspondents Association s prestigious Edgar A Poe Award for his coverage of Operation Anaconda Excruciatingly painful level of detail although or perhaps because it was so well researched, but I couldn t get past first 1 2 of book This is probably excellent journalism but readslike an after action review or lessons learned report I m normally a military battle junkie and an Afghan Loved Sebastian Junger s War and First In. Too many Chiefs And definitely, due to micro management of the battlefield, not enough of our Indians Not a Good Day to Die, by Sean Naylor, is just a terrific battle book It s almost overwhelming in detail, but Naylor is a fine writer taking you, with effective prose, to the mountains of Afghanistan You as a reader are there as an Al Queda warrior studies mysterious ATV tracks in the mud while nearby he s being marked by a special ops sniper You are there on the slopes as a few brave guy Too many Chiefs And definitely, due to micro management of the battlefield, not enough of our Indians Not a Good Day to Die, by Sean Naylor, is just a terrific battle book It s almost overwhelming in detail, but Naylor is a fine writer taking you, with effective prose, to the mountains of Afghanistan You as a reader are there as an Al Queda warrior studies mysterious ATV tracks in the mud while nearby he s being marked by a special ops sniper You are there on the slopes as a few brave guys, struggling for air in the high altitude, battle an Al Queda bunker complex The battle itself was a mess, highlighting all the problems, a lot of them self inflected, on the modern battle field The plan for Anaconda was suspect anyway, with its reliance due to politics on Afghan fighters driving, at night with no headlights, down a bad road into enemy country To some extent Naylor soft peddles this But as events turned out this was not an operation killer, as terrific recon work had our forces holding the high ground, while our troops in the Shahikot valley occupied static but hot positions With air strikes taking a toll, the killing time for Al Queda had begun But military technocrats a thousand miles away Air Force General Gregory Trebon in particular wanted a piece of the action As a result, Americans died due to a series of bone headed decisions by Trebon and his on the ground man, SEAL Vic Hyder Don t get me wrong, Anaconda was a victory, but it could of beenWhat is amazing is how Naylor is able to plot all of this, the various calls from troops on the ground and in the air, wrong transmissions, screw ups, heroism, virtually every moment of the battle is there for the reader What cuts against the effectiveness however is the dizzying use of acronyms without a good glossary, and what seems to be an incomplete index For example, the above General Trebon is last referenced on page 94, even though his notorious role goes on pretty much until the end of this 377 page book And after checking out the paperback version, I saw this has still not been corrected One other caveat, Naylor really seems to have something against the SEALS, who come across as whiney cowboy prima donnas I m not sure I buy that, it just comes across as something personal and beyond the lines of the story Finally, as much as you come away disliking Hyder and Trebon s roles in all of this, their silence in this account leaves you feeling you ve not yet heard the full story though as it stands now, the indictment is formidable Not a Good Day to Die is a decent 3 Star account of our first major battle in Afghanistan after we kicked out the Taliban This operation defines the acronym FUBAR I decided the author wanted to get that concept across by writing almost 200 pages about the lead up and planning in such a way as to completely confuse the reader I did not find his account of the plan or lack of one as enlightening or analytical as it should have been I also did not enjoy the obvious slant he brought to the acc Not a Good Day to Die is a decent 3 Star account of our first major battle in Afghanistan after we kicked out the Taliban This operation defines the acronym FUBAR I decided the author wanted to get that concept across by writing almost 200 pages about the lead up and planning in such a way as to completely confuse the reader I did not find his account of the plan or lack of one as enlightening or analytical as it should have been I also did not enjoy the obvious slant he brought to the account, using anonymous sources and loaded descriptions to place blame Not to say his portrayal wasn t accurate but I felt he should have beendispassionate in assessing responsibility He is a reporter, not a trigger puller or commander in the fight although he was there in theater Once the battle gets going, you can t help but hear the Jaws theme in the background as things go wrong The intel assessment of how many Al Queda and other terrorist fighters proves to be wrong The fighters stay and fight instead of fleeing from the US forces The final chapter of the story is about the fight on Robert s Ridge, where the Navy SEAL fell out of the chopper and the rescue team was shot down when trying to get into to find him There were a lot of tough fights and brave men out there His combat scenes are the highlight of the book This operation ended and touched off a major pissing contest between various services and headquarters It was FUBAR but the soldiers and airmen tasked with executing the fight performed magnificently A good read but what a terrible title for the book This was a great book detailing Operation Anaconda It s apparent the author did a lot of research, and interview quotes from the people involved are seamlessly integrated throughout the text The book is incredibly thorough, describing how everything ended up the way it did and why The author seemed to give a very objective assessment about the successes, failures, and the men involved which I appreciated Further, this book did an excellent job showing how this operation exemplifies how t This was a great book detailing Operation Anaconda It s apparent the author did a lot of research, and interview quotes from the people involved are seamlessly integrated throughout the text The book is incredibly thorough, describing how everything ended up the way it did and why The author seemed to give a very objective assessment about the successes, failures, and the men involved which I appreciated Further, this book did an excellent job showing how this operation exemplifies how the friction and fog of war can affect an operation and the troops involved.Despite all of these favorable points, I will say there were times when I got lost as to the orientation on the battlefield when the author was covering specific troop placements Sometimes the author would state a cardinal direction, and I d be completely thrown off because I d be thinking it was a completely different direction A few maps were placed throughout the text, but I would have preferredmaps showing exactly where the troops were located incorporated, along the lines of the maps in the book We Were Soldiers Onceand Young Ia Drang the Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam