Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Book Review: Inside Delta Force

Inside Delta Force, by Eric L. Haney, is an autobiographical take on one of our nation's most secretive military groups, Delta Force (referred to as "Delta"). Haney rose to the rank of Command Sergeant Major while in the United States Army, about half of that time in Delta. Since his retirement, he has used his training for bodyguard and other related civilian work. He is also producer of the CBS television series "The Unit", based on his book's account of Delta.

I enjoyed the first half of the book, mostly because of the grueling conditions that were presented to the men who wished to join. These men were no slouches-they already had been invited from Rangers and Green Berets (and likely other special forces groups) where they had all proven themselves to be first rate soldiers. The training mostly involved long marches with heavy backpacks. Teamwork, usually an essential in the military, was not allowed. The men were forced to work alone and rely on wits and guts. Over a hundred men attempted to make the cut, and twelve passed in Haney's class.

The second half of the book was less enjoyable, as I felt there was often too much detail about small things in the missions that was not too interesting. One detail NOT overlooked (or boring to me) was the lists of names of those killed in action. It is right to remember our fallen soldiers, and it is always a good reminder to pray for the dead.

Probably the most memorable thing about the book was the lists of altercations that we have been involved in around the world. From the perspective of the soldier, it can be downright confusing. At one point, a situation erupts in the middle east. Haney, expecting to be deployed, rushes back to base, only to find his group on the way to Grenada.

Ironically, the cover has a quote from Bill O'Reilly: "In this rapidly changing and dangerous world, U.S. Special Forces are vital to the security of all Americans. Read Inside Delta Force and learn what we are really up against." That seems like a line right out of the FOX noise playbook, and yet, I didn't get the feeling from this book that it was an outright endorsement of the war on terror. To be fair, it was written before 9/11, and the author adds a short chapter at the end regarding his thoughts on the post-9/11 world. Haney defends the United States Military's actions as generally good by implying that if we weren't, we'd have nuked them already.

That is an overly optimistic assessment of the situation. To add to that, he also writes that careerism is dead in the Army as the common goal of fighting terror has focused everyone to one goal. I'll allow to the fact that he wrote that shortly after 9/11 when that was likely the case for a short time, but it is surely no longer the case: humans are humans. The government and military will always be full of careerists and bureaucrats, working for personal gain rather than the mission.

Finally, the language in this book leaves something to be desired. We get it. The military is full of people with potty mouths. Does it need to be in print? The book would have been far better if the author had kept things at a PG level. Vulgarity does not add to anybody's tough guy persona-their actions certainly were tough enough. I do not recommend this book to most people due solely to the language. Most of the information learned from it can be learned from other sources. Ron Paul's A Foreign Policy of Freedom is good, so is anything by Pat Buchanon.

Do not read Inside Delta Force unless you are accustomed to a lot of cursing.
Ideology: **** (out of a possible 5)
Content:* (*** if language were cleaned up)
Importance:**
Insomnia Effect:***

Total: **.5 Would be a ***.5 if the cursing were removed. Command Master Sergeant Haney, release a clean edition of the book and I'll buy it and recommend it!

5 comments:

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