Book Review: The Hunt for Bin Laden ― Task Force Dagger ― On the Ground with the Special Forces in Afghanistan
179 Military Law Review 210, 2004
10 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2015
Date Written: Spring 2004
This review comments on Moore’s study of American, Afghan, and coalition members’ operations as part of the Combined Joint Special Operations Force, titled Task Force Dagger, under then-Colonel (promotable) (COL(P)) John F. Mulholland, Jr. It examines the flow of ideas and key themes, and “completes the record” where Moore’s book is otherwise silent or inaccurate with respect to applicable law and policy regarding the most notable comments and vignettes in his book. Moore’s work contains equal parts romantic adventure novel and historical analysis of recent Special Operations Forces (SOF) operations. The book progresses in twenty-four chapters from the earliest reactions to the World Trade Center and Pentagon disasters, through Operation Anaconda in which SOF and conventional forces crushed Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds dug deep into the Shah-i-Kot Mountains of eastern Afghanistan, to an epilogue on Moore’s SOF protagonist friends and admired colleagues-in-arms. He carefully details the appearance, actions, and attitudes of the subjects he discusses in his book, using dramatic emphasis and colorful language to paint a picture of the fast-paced, life-and-death decisions that faced Task Force Dagger troops daily. He also shows his pro-SOF or anti-“conventional force” bias throughout the book, and glosses over or misstates some key legal considerations bearing upon the conduct of SOF and coalition forces.
Keywords: Afghanistan, Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Special Operations Forces, SOF, Coalition, Enduring Freedom, Counterterrorism, Robin Moore, Special Forces, SOF, SF, Task Force Dagger
JEL Classification: B3, B30, H56, B31, K33, N35, N4, N40, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation