On Sale: January 7, 2013
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"Never shall I fail my comrades. . . . I will shoulder
more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one
hundred percent and then some." —from the Ranger Creed
In early March 2010, General Stanley McChrystal, the
commanding officer of all U.S. and coalition forces in
Afghanistan, walked with President Hamid Karzai through a
small rural bazaar. As Afghan townspeople crowded around
them, a Taliban rocket loudly thudded into the ground some
distance away. Karzai looked to McChrystal, who shrugged.
The two leaders continued greeting the townspeople and
listening to their views.
That trip was typical of McChrystal's entire career, from
his first day as a West Point plebe to his last day as a
four-star general. The values he has come to be widely
admired for were evident: a hunger to know the truth on the
ground, the courage to find it, and the humility to listen
to those around him. Even as a senior commander, McChrystal
stationed himself forward, and frequently went on patrols
with his troops to experience their challenges firsthand.
In this illuminating memoir, McChrystal frankly explores the
major episodes and controversies of his eventful career. He
delves candidly into the intersection of history,
leadership, and his own experience to produce a book of
Joining the troubled post-Vietnam army as a young officer,
McChrystal witnessed and participated in some of our
military's most difficult struggles. He describes the many
outstanding leaders he served with and the handful of bad
leaders he learned not to emulate. He paints a vivid
portrait of the traditional military establishment that
turned itself, in one generation, into the adaptive,
resilient force that would soon be tested in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and the wider War on Terror.
McChrystal spent much of his early career in the world of
special operations, at a time when these elite forces became
increasingly effective—and necessary. He writes of a
fight waged in the shadows by the Joint Special Operations
Command (JSOC), which he led from 2003 to 2008. JSOC became
one of our most effective counterterrorism weapons, facing
off against Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Over time, JSOC gathered staggering amounts of intelligence
in order to find and remove the most influential and
dangerous terrorists, including the leader of Al Qaeda in
Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The hunt for Zarqawi drives some
of the most gripping scenes in this book, as McChrystal's
team grappled with tricky interrogations, advanced but
scarce technology, weeks of unbroken surveillance, and
McChrystal brought the same energy to the war in
Afghanistan, where the challenges loomed even larger. His
revealing account draws on his close relationships with
Afghan leaders, giving readers a unique window into the war
and the country.
Ultimately, My Share of the Task is about much more
than war and peace, terrorism and counterinsurgency. As
McChrystal writes, "More by luck than design, I'd been a
part of some events, organizations, and efforts that will
loom large in history, and more that will not. I saw
selfless commitment, petty politics, unspeakable cruelty,
and quiet courage in places and quantities that I'd never
have imagined. But what I will remember most are the leaders."
Diane Rehm Show - NPR - January 16, 2013
PBS News Hour - January 16, 2013
Face the Nation - January 13, 2013
Weekend Edition Sunday - January 13, 2013
The View - January 9, 2013
Charlie Rose - January 8, 2013
Daily Show with Jon Stewart - January 8, 2013
Today - January 7, 2013
CBS This Morning - January 7, 2013
CBS Sunday Morning - January 6, 2013
Today - January 5, 2013
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