Barnes & Noble
Published by: Center Street
Release Date: April 11, 2017
A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command
The Army does not want you to read this book.
In 2008, officers of the 101st Airborne attempted to shield the case at the center of this book from the Freedom of Information Act.
In 2015, the Defense Security Service telephoned one of the authors with a veiled threat.
In 2016, the Pentagon censored key revelations that are now redacted between these covers.
After just six months in the violent province of Wardak, Afghanistan, a third of Captain Roger Hill’s unit, Dog Company, 1-506th, had been wounded in battle. Then two soldiers are killed on a routine patrol.
Working with an Army counterintelligence team, Hill and his First Sergeant, Tommy Scott, bust a dozen enemy infiltrators—local nationals working on their base while also passing secrets to the Taliban.
Hill, a West Point grad and decorated combat veteran, was a rising young officer who had always followed the letter of the military law. Now, though, abandoned by his high command, he must learn what the spies know in order to head off a massive Taliban attack on his base.
Suddenly, Hill and Scott face an excruciating choice: follow Army rules on prisoner treatment, or damn the rules to their own destruction and protect the men they’d grown to love.
As the element trekked east on Jalrez’s only road, Hill saw the village of Esh-ma-keyl on the Blue Force Tracker just two and a half clicks away. It was the Taliban’s red line in the sand, the village where the 82nd had been so badly hit. Dog Company was better armed and better trained than the enemy, but the Taliban had the advantage of surprise and terrain. In just over six weeks’ time, Hill and his men had developed a respect for these fighters. They were tenacious and resourceful, and on the whole, a cut above the insurgents in Iraq.
As the French and ANA vehicles rumbled ahead and radio chatter poured into Hill’s ear, he thought about Lieutenant Colonel DeMartino’s order, a “movement to contact” — essentially wading into hostile territory to pick a fight. Hill understood the psychological currency earned by taking it to the enemy. Of saying, We’re here, we’re in your face, what are you going to do about it? Hill got that. But with all their advantages in firepower and tactics, wouldn’t it be better to make their first ground thrust into a known Taliban stronghold a slam dunk with a little rehearsal and planning? After all, Jalrez was practically out Airborne’s front gate. Dog Company could do this op any day—every day, in fact. Only later would Hill realize that while Dog Company could, DeMartino himself could not. And that may have been the whole point.