I read the whole thing . Very good .
I also read Luttrell's book, Lone Survivor , written with a writer named Robinson . The book is written like many other memoirs of war I've read that fell into the hands of professional writers . The first half is the usual account of growing up plus excruciating detail on training that even includes a listing of the four rules of firearms safety . In other words, they made the book like a good stack of pancakes, thick and syrupy . The action part and the heroism of those 4 men seem impossible . Either the SEALs really are supermen or the account was embellished . I don't know .
Luttrell / Robinson give the liberal media a deserved bashing but an unfocused one . Instead of griping about what the media would " probably say ", the writers should've cited specific media excesses from the past .
The book says they had no rope to tie up the goatherds ; I'd think you could improvise with shoe laces as instructed by Rex Applegate in his book, Kill Or Get Killed .
I am a Vietnam-era civilian . I read a lot but never had formal military training .
I don't know what I don't know .
That said, I wonder how a four-man team can be expected to be self-sufficient or self-supporting . Suppose someone breaks an ankle, suffers a poisonous bite, or just gets deathly ill ?
If a team that size had run into just 15 Taliban, that would, to me, have been a calamity .
I think 4-man operations should be conducted with maximum emergency support on hand . I mean c-130 gunships warmed up on the runway or flying nearby, dedicated helicopter gunships ready for takeoff , other helicopters ready to fly over to : 1) establish communications 2) drop supplies 3) extract the team 4) Land reinforcements . And maybe artillery zeroed in on likely enemy approaches .
You would think that after the disaster at Desert One under Jimmy Carter, the risk of civilians stumbling upon the team would be taken into consideration in the planning ---also that operations would never be planned "thin" .
The Blackhawk Down mess in Somalia should have made plain how dangerous it is for a few men to be immobilized under attack by infinite numbers of enemy .
That underscores the need for reliable communications, escape capability and scrapping the mission if detected .
For more reading material :
The book, SOG, by John Plaster is relevant here . It deals with 6-man teams in Vietnam .
Delta Force by Chargin' Charlie Beckwith and Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko were disappointing works, I felt .
The Hit Team by Dag Christenson and Vengence by Jacobs deal with operations involving small Israeli assassination teams .
Numerous WWII books about The Commandos, Merrill's Marauders, The Sabateurs of Telemark, MacArthur's escape from the Phillipines, Stillwell's hike out of Burma and the French Resistance drive home the importance of contingency planning, intelligence, stealth, training, physical conditioning, communications, first-class equipment, coordination, support etc.