Joseph Collins wrote a great, succinct review over at War On The Rocks. His last paragraph is the critical one. In it, I think he captures the story hidden behind the hyper-masculine Spartan shield that the book tries to portray (as I can only imagine – I haven’t read it yet).
When we ask ourselves why Major Gant fell from grace, we also have to look in the mirror. The all-volunteer Armed Forces — active and reserve components — are not made for a decade of large-scale, protracted warfare. That fact, however, did not and will not stop us from engaging in protracted warfare. The U.S. Government chose to wage large-scale, protracted war in part by grinding down the best and the bravest until many of them died, broke, or fell from grace. On the jacket of Tyson’s book, Gunner Sepp, himself a former special operator, writes: “There are many stories here. One of the most troubling is about what happens to elite troops after their country has kept them in combat for more than a decade.” Jim Gant’s fall is an object lesson for America and a warning to our nation’s leaders. It will also be a blockbuster movie that probably will not be as good as the book.
What happens when we ask young, patriotic, hard-charging Americans to go overseas to fight a war “predicated on being implemented by geniuses?” In MAJ Gant’s case, he goes and tries his best to win.