Into the Viper’s Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War by Stephen Grey

“Into the Viper’s Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War” by Stephen Grey is the story of American and Afghan forces cooperation in dealing with the Taliban stronghold on southern Afghanistan. It details the vivid three-day battle for the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala. The battle started on 7 December 2007 This is an excellent, well-written book.  Grey skillfully tells the story of how American, British, and Afghan forces took the fight to the Taliban in 2007.

The town of Musa Qala was a notorious Taliban stronghold. This was the location chosen for everything to change. A local leader decided he was going to leave the Taliban. He was joining the Hamid Karzai’s government. This defection needed coalition protection.

Stephen Grey is an excellent writer. He captures all phases of this story. He covers the discussions between President Karzai and coalition leaders. He covers the particulars of the deadly combat to wrest control of Musa Qala from the hands of the Taliban. He paints a picture of International cooperation as he tells the story through the words of the British, Afghani, and American men who were there. The publisher did an excellent job with eight pages of graphics and charts to showing systematically how the battle took place.

I highly recommend this book for any reader looking for a tactical-level viewpoint on the Afghan War. Anyone interested in Afghanistan and the war against the Taliban will benefit from reading the book. I recommend for community and university libraries as well as the personal libraries of all military historians. This is the best I have read on United States involvement in Afghanistan.

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