Task Force Black

The Explosive True Story of the Secret Special Forces War in Iraq

Mark Urban

St. Martin's Press

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When American and British forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, select teams of special forces and intelligence operatives got to work looking for the WMD their governments had promised were there. They quickly realized no such weapons existed. Instead they faced an insurgency—a soaring spiral of extremism and violence that was almost impossible to understand, let alone reverse.

Facing defeat, the Coalition waged a hidden war within a war. Major-General Stan McChrystal devised a campaign fusing special forces, aircraft, and the latest surveillance technology with the aim of taking down the enemy faster than it could regenerate. Guided by intelligence, British and American special forces conducted a relentless onslaught, night after night targeting al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups.

Task Force Black reveals not only the intensity of the secret fight that turned the tide in Baghdad but the rivalries and personal battles that had to be overcome along the way. Incisive, dramatic, exceptionally revealing, the war in Iraq cannot be understood without this book.

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Book Excerpts

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TASK FORCE BLACK (Chapter 1)Mission Paradoxical

Early in April 2003 an RAF Chinook flew through the darkness towards Baghdad. It had set out from a remote airstrip in western Iraq and was heading for the city’s airport. The pilots, highly trained special forces aircrew, scanned the land below through night-vision goggles, trying hard to keep low while racing over a desert so featureless that those who misjudged their height could easily fly into the ground.

BIAP (Baghdad International Airport) was the objective for one of the US armoured brigades that had sped up from Kuwait.

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Praise for Task Force Black

"This is an essential record of a remarkable military period. Too often Special Forces operations are shrouded in uncontextual mystery, rendering many works about them speculative homoerotic hagiographies. Urban is immune to such nonsense."
--Sam Kiley, The Times (London)
 
"Urban's book catches the tensions which surfaced between various branches of the military and government departments.... what it does do is give human faces to a bunch of remarkable men."
--The Independent

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About the Author

Mark Urban

MARK URBAN is Diplomatic and Defense Editor of the BBC’s Newsnight. He has covered many of the world’s conflicts during the past twenty-five years, including the Iraq campaign that began in 2003. He lives in London.

Mark Urban

Mark Urban

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Available Formats and Book Details

Task Force Black
The Explosive True Story of the Secret Special Forces War in Iraq
Mark Urban

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
June 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312541279
ISBN10: 0312541279
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages, plus two 8-page color photo inserts
$25.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
June 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250006967
ISBN10: 1250006961
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages, Includes two 8-page black-and-white photograph sections, plus 5 maps and Index
$16.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
June 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429995856
ISBN10: 1429995858
320 pages, Plus two 8-page color photograph inserts
$9.99
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St. Martin's Press

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