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Monday, December 10, 2012

War by Sebastian Junger

War by Sebastian Junger author the Pulitzer Prize winning The Perfect Storm. 
Introduction  This book is not about the politics, cultural perspective nor the strategy of this war.  It is really about the nature of war itself and what is does to the very young Americans who mostly fight it.   I found it especially interesting because I had several high school students who came back from the country wounded in more ways than one....

Book 1  Fear
Korengal Valley, Afghanistan Spring 2007
By cowardice I do not mean fear. Cowardice… is a label we reserve for something a man does.  What passes through his mind is his own affair.
Lord Moran, The Anatomy of Courage
Book 2 Killing
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
Winston Churchill (or George Orwell)

Book 3 Love
The coward’s fear of death stems in large part from his incapacity to love anything but his own body. The inability to participate in others’ lives stands in the way of his developing any inn resources sufficient to overcome the terror of death.
J Glenn Gary, The Warriors

 For five years American soldiers manned a series of outposts in the most godforsaken part of Afghanistan.  Near the border of Pakistan the tactical object was to interdict Taliban fighters and supplies crossing the border. Forty two American died in a tiny place where Junger spent part of a year living with the American troops in small outposts under siege. This is the story of those men.

For those interested in what the ground war in Afghanistan is really like at the tip of the spear, this is the book to read.  My summary of the book is from  William Tecumseh Sherman: "War is hell."

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