Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Rucht Hour: No Easy Day

So, this book has made the rounds in the media. I have to admit that I was just too curious about the entire event of the hunting Osama Bin Laden to not pick this up.

The book supposedly relates the story of the SEAL team that took out Osama Bin Laden on that fateful mission last year.

Like most books under a ghost author, the novel is a quick read. It offers a detailed look into the life of a Navy SEAL, their training, what it was like to go on mission in Afghanistan, and the psychological make up of those who serve in this elite cadre of soldiers. The latter half of the book is on the planning, training, and finally the execution of the raid on the Abbottabad compound.

The book is well-paced, puts you reasonably into the pants of someone serving in one of the more distinguished divisions of our military. Military enthusiasts and military historians will certainly enjoy it. Especially because it is such a quick read. Not nearly as dense as the latest books on John Adams or George Washington, the book is something that you could finish in a few days or a week. The book goes into the camaraderie the SEALs engage in - from the pranks they play on each other to the continual cracks they make.

The great controversy surrounding the book, of course, is that it supposedly revealed detailed information about the raid that went on in Pakistan. From my completely pedestrian perspective, it seems to me that the book is vague on the exact details of SEAL training. Also, many of the stories about their missions into Afghanistan are broad enough on the specifics that it doesn't seem to be too revealing to me.

However, I was indeed surprised at how much detail was given about how the raid was planned out. The text goes into step-by-step detail on how the strike was planned, how the chain of command operated, and so-on. Does it constitute a security breach? Does it put soldiers in harms way? It's hard to say and probably can be discussed by people far more qualified than me.

As for the raid itself - that event has been already well-documented and retold a thousand times. Nothing revealing in what I read there. It's interesting to me because the mission to get Osama Bin Laden raid reminds me of gunfights in the Old West in that regard - moments of violence whose briefest of moments have been documented with exacting detail.

So - would I recommend it to you guys? Yes, I would, actually. Gimme your thoughts and happy Friday, all!