Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of "Guns, Germs, and Steel," Leebaert tells the stories of small forces that have triumphed over vastly larger ones and changed the course of history--from the Trojan Horse to Al Qaeda. Maps and charts.
"In this monumental critical analysis of the 3,000-year history of special operations, Leebaert proves that '[a]n opponent's strength does not consist of numbers only or plain superiority of weapons.' Since the Trojan horse felled Troy the 'fountainhead,' Leebaert says, 'for all special operations' armies have known that small groups of elite warriors (commandos, rangers, special forces, guerrillas, etc.) can swiftly change the course of conflict. Leebaert, a professor of government at Georgetown and author of The Fifty-Year Wound, provides in-depth and insightful rundowns on scores of special operations around the globe, concentrating on the United States and other Western nations. From Gideon's terrifying assault on the Midianites in ancient Israel to the American Delta Force's special ops in the mountains of Afghanistan, he analyzes the operations in lively, if sometimes over-the-top, prose that aims 'to give life and vitality to the deadly beings who most concern our story.' The last chapters of this mammoth book, however, are drier, as Leebaert focuses on the relationship between politics and the use of special forces." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)