Books on Terrorism

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Books on Terrorism

Book Revew of First In

First In -
An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan

By Gary C. Schroen
Published by Ballantine Books (2007)

 

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Gary Schroen served in the CIA for 35 years - with many of those years as an operator in the Middle East.

Shortly after 9/11 a small element of the CIA was inserted into Afghanistan to work with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban regime.  The seven man team was called "JAWBREAKER" and they provided communications with the Northern Alliance, coordinated for money, supplies and equipment, and passed daily intelligence reports.

The book reveals the dangers and discomfort that this small element faced while in Afghanistan.  It also highlights the ineptitude of highly-placed bureaucrats in the United States government who didn't have a clue.

This book is a very detailed account of a CIA field operation.  He describes the initial infiltration of his intelligence team, the efforts to synchronize the bombing effort of the Air Force against viable targets (lots of angst here), and the pain of getting high-level approval for the insertion of the first Special Forces teams into Afghanistan.  If you are a student of Afghanistan, the war on terror, or intelligence operations then this book is well worth reading.