Academic journal article Military Review

Hammerhead Six: How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley

Academic journal article Military Review

Hammerhead Six: How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley

Article excerpt

HAMMERHEAD SIX How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War Against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley Capt. Ronald Fry with Tad Tuleja, Hachette Books, New York, 2016, 400 Pages

Ronald Fry is a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer who commanded an operational detachment alpha (ODA) code-named "Hammerhead Six" in the Pech Valley of northeastern Afghanistan's Kunar Province in 2003 and 2004. In Hammerhead Six: How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War Against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley, Fry chronicles the challenges he and his highly trained twelve-man team encountered during the early stages of what has become our nation's longest war.

Fry provides an entertaining yet relevant account of his team's exploits while undertaking a "struggle against Al Qaeda and the Taliban for the hearts and minds of the people" He provides an interesting perspective for those unfamiliar with unconventional warfare. Hammerhead Six internalized the Special Forces motto, De Oppresso Liber (To Free the Oppressed). Fry describes his team's effort to build bonds of friendship and mutual respect with the indigenous people of the Pech Valley. He asserts that unconventional warfare is "an emotional as well as a military investment"

Hammerhead Six was a national guard ODA from the 19th Special Forces Group (SFG) that included an intensive-care nurse, a police officer, a gem dealer, an engineer, and several entrepreneurs. The unique occupational diversity of Hammerhead Six provided multiple perspectives to problem solving. …

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