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The Command: Deep Inside The President's Secret Army

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  275 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has proven to be the most lethal weapon in the president's arsenal. Shrouded in secrecy, the Command has done more to degrade the capacity of terrorists to attack the United States than any other single entity. And counter-terrorism is only one of its many missions. Because of such high profile missions as Operation Neptune' ...more
Kindle Edition, 71 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Wiley and Sons (first published February 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 479)
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D.B. Grady
Apr 06, 2012 D.B. Grady rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I cowrote this book so my five stars are deeply suspect.
Michael Burnam-fink
Feb 21, 2012 Michael Burnam-fink rated it really liked it
Shelves: war, 2012
If you're looking for thrilling tales of bravery and action, this is not your book. If you want a sober, factual account of one of the most secretive and significant elements in the US government today and the Global War on Terror, read on.

Ambinder uses his unparalleled access to JSOC personnel to explain how JSOC pioneered a fast and lethal combination of intelligence and action that broke the back of the insurgency in Iraq and lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Delta Force and the Navy SEAL
Sep 30, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Why do I read books like this? This one was about JSOC. A full history, and how it got to be what it is today. I suppose as citizens we need to read things like this so we know what our government is doing in our name. And I am glad to read things like this. But man, is it messed up. Here read this: "Operators from Delta Force and SEAL Team Six infiltrated China with the CIA and mapped the locations of Chinese satellite transmission facilities in the event that the United ...more
Richard Hayes
Jul 05, 2012 Richard Hayes rated it really liked it
NOTE: I received a copy of the book from the publisher.

If you are looking for a Tom Clancy type of book with all kinds of action with Seal Team Six or Delta Force then this is not the book for you, but if you are interested in the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) this is a good book.

While this book does have how Seal Team Six killed OBL it mainly was about what equipment, units and the political decisions about it. It also has some accounts about other actions taken by JSOC forces but aga
Roger W. Rollins
This is actually a book that should be required reading for every OCS basic training school.

I'm actually more pleased by the specific examples of numerous " flexible using " of the English language for " political " purposes than anything. else that was detailed in the book.
Rick L. Roller
Apr 16, 2014 Rick L. Roller rated it liked it
Not a lot on their history.

disappointed that this was just another modern war novel and not much on the history of havoc before everyone was a navy seal sniper. no disrespect to the real navy seal snipers but back in the day seals, snipers, and spec ops people kept their mouths shut.
Jun 24, 2012 Arun rated it really liked it
This is the author's very first published book, but do not take him for just another grad out of literature class. He was the White House correspondent at National Journal, chief political consultant to CBS News, political editor at the Atlantic, and a producer for ABC News. Cannot underestimate how well connected the author must be to have such deep insight & material into the inner working of America's national security network. Starting with the undiluted sequence of behind the scenes eve ...more
A short and sweet account of what exactly JSOC is, how they operate (in great detail), and how the organization fits into the overall military operational structure. The authors have done an excellent job of sticking to facts and giving credit where it's due to the people who have built JSOC into an agile and responsive fighting and intelligence-gathering force. I respect authors who write with candor on a sensitive issue such as this, but retain the decency and maturity to consider operational ...more
David P Mitchell
May 03, 2015 David P Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very Informative It's good for the citizens of the United States to see where and how some of their best have been used in protecting and the sacrifice of blood and treasure
Stephen Dorman
Feb 17, 2012 Stephen Dorman rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
If you've ever wondered what JSOC/SOCOM get up to then this is a good introduction. Not as scary as many media reports will make them and the juicy bits that will get most of the wasted ink (sneaking into China and Pakistan) are obvious attention grabbers.

The really interesting bits are in the way improving "blink" times have driven changes; integrating services, technologies and disciplines across the board.

It's a well-written and fast read. Four stars because it's descriptive of the service
Jun 16, 2013 Eivind rated it it was ok
The Command gives us a glimpse into the world of special forces in the US in general and JSOC specifically. JSOC was the group responsible for tracking down and assassinating (or "targeted killing" as the politically correct term supposedly is) Osama bin Laden.

The book is riddled with military/intelligence jargon and it feels like it is written by (and for) people within the intelligence community. For the rest of us, I would only recommend picking it up if you have a burning interest in the US
Really short read about JSOC. For those who have read Bob Woodard's books about the Bush admin and the scale up for the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is a great addendum. The interesting thing is how the two wars have actually forced JSOC to fill the void created by the failures of Blackwater. Additionally, the strain of continued use of JSOC teams is beginning to show inside the group as a whole. Also the rise of JSOC leadership to the upper levels of the Pentagon shows the ever shifting s ...more
Mar 16, 2012 Jonathan rated it really liked it
The Command:Deep Inside the President's Secret Army is a very detailed account of the evolution of the United States' Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and of U.S. Special Forces over the last 30 years. Being a huge fan of techno-thrillers, military history and international affairs, this selection will fit well in my library. I highly recommend this if you're interested in learning some of the details behind Operation Neptune Spear, the Navy SEAL raid which resulted in the death of Osama ...more
Marjorie Semmens
Jan 22, 2016 Marjorie Semmens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Read in prep for film discussion of Dirty Wars
Harry Rubenstein
Jun 04, 2012 Harry Rubenstein rated it really liked it
I purchased this thinking it would be yet another sexy behind the scenes political pop-non-fiction book. I happen to enjoy them. However, this is not one of those books. And it is fantastic. A detail oriented account of JSOC/SOCOM, what they do, how they do it and some of their recent accomplishments. This books is well researched, well sourced and the well connected author was privy to dozens of high ranking officials who speak off the record.
Maryclaire Zampogna
Apr 01, 2012 Maryclaire Zampogna rated it really liked it
This is about the men of military who keep us and our country safe. The secret groups, who work together to accomplish the downing of Osama bin Laden. JSOC, Joint Special Operations Command is the group that is described in the book and how it works. This book helps you understand some of the details involved to work together, the Delta Force and the Navy Seals are some examples.
Feb 17, 2013 B rated it really liked it
Shelves: war-studies
Short but interesting read that will take 2-3 hours to finish at maximum. Chapters 6, 7, and 10 are particularly interesting, and chapter 8 is worth a close read as well. Not very in-depth, but full of fascinating information about JSOC structure and past activities. Definitely worth a read given the short time commitment and low price.
Jul 15, 2012 Gary rated it liked it
This very brief e-book was an interesting look inside the world of so-called "black SOF" {special operations forces). Being so brief, there's a lot that is glossed over, but it's still worth the short amount of time it takes to read if this topic suits your fancy. Very current information.
Ernie Witmer
Jan 03, 2014 Ernie Witmer rated it it was amazing
Excellent read and resource for understanding special forces and their importance.
Apr 03, 2012 Jana rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting book. The thing that I came away with is a sense that the military and intelligence world is very complex. I am grateful for all of those that can and do devote their lives to this career.
Greg Otto
Apr 21, 2012 Greg Otto rated it liked it
A thorough read into the short history of JSOC. A must-read for anyone who wants a true understanding of how the elite classes of the U.S. military, intelligence and government work together.
Mar 26, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing

Extremely informative & packed full with facts, but somehow I still had trouble putting it down. I'm in awe!
Tim Dees
Jun 22, 2012 Tim Dees rated it liked it
No great revelations, and a little pedantic. Does give some insight into the infighting and lack of coordination between federal government agencies.
Mar 07, 2012 Saul rated it liked it
Interesting view of JSOC and the carelessness that this administration has with our special forces teams.
Mar 28, 2013 Damian rated it liked it
An interesting essay on how the government is using SpecOps to enforce its political will internationally.
Jan 10, 2013 Pete rated it liked it
At 60 pages it was a brief read about Delta Force. Not a lot of new information, but an ok read for a hour.
Joseph A.
Sep 09, 2012 Joseph A. rated it it was amazing
Interesting and factual. The rebuild of our armed forces.
A must read for military buffs.
Dec 27, 2012 Sepp rated it it was ok
Acronyms. Acronyms everywhere. More about org.chart than acttion.
Dec 08, 2012 Mike rated it liked it
Short fast read but fascinating insight to the US Special Forces
Oct 10, 2012 Peter rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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  • Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11
  • The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden
  • Counterinsurgency
  • Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to al-Qaeda
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  • The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey
  • Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership
  • For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America
  • Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan
  • Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe
  • Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime
  • George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots
  • Afghanistan
  • Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles That Shaped American History
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  • Fundamentals of Astrodynamics

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