Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan by Sean Parnell with John R. Bruning
This was an amazing book! Sean Parnell (with John R. Bruning) has written this fantastic story so well it reads like a novel, not non-fiction. It would not surprise me if Outlaw Platoon is eventually made into a movie – it is THAT vivid, emotional, and action-packed. I felt like I was there in the chaos with these men fighting heated battles in Afghanistan. Parnell gives wonderful, intimate details on what goes on in the mind of a young commander and how the men relate to one another in the field. These men really did become closer than brothers after what they went through.
What I enjoyed is that Parnell kept things real. He did not sugar coat the hell his men went through, the injuries they sustained or the feeling of injustice from the actions of our Pakistani “allies”. He honestly portrays the obvious gulf between those who are in or experienced active combat and those who have not. Most important, I think, is enlightening the reader on issues with our American politics and the very obvious cultural differences that dictate how this war is being waged. Parnell is candid in his assessment of the situations: rules of engagement, men unwilling to fight, dealing with Afghan leaders who actually play both sides of the war.
I have been reading plenty of military books lately and so far this is my favorite. It is dramatic. It is real. I hope more people read it not just for the story, but for understanding what our men are going through over there. Thankfully it is not completely intense and there are ample amounts of humor to keep you moving along. This was one book I could not put down and devoured all 300+ pages in a day. As a warning to more sensitive readers the language can be foul at times. The images of war can be graphic. Subject matter is really for those who are more mature and I do not recommend this for young teens.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255