A Wall Street Journal national security reporter takes readers into the lives of U.S. Special Forces on the front lines against the Taliban and Islamic State, where a new and covert war is keeping Afghanistan from collapse.
"Powerful, important, and searing." --General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (ret.), former commander, U.S. Central Command, former CIA director
In 2015, the White House claimed triumphantly that "the longest war in American history" was over. But for some, it was just the beginning of a new war, fought by Special Operations Forces, with limited resources, little governmental oversight, and contradictory orders.
With big picture insight and on-the-ground grit, Jessica Donati shares the stories of the impossible choices these soldiers must make. After the fall of a major city to the Taliban that year, Hutch, a battle-worn Green Beret on his fifth combat tour was ordered on a secret mission to recapture it and inadvertently called in an airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital, killing dozens. Caleb stepped on a bomb during a mission in notorious Sangin. Andy was trapped with his team during a raid with a crashed Black Hawk and no air support.
Through successive policy directives under the Obama and Trump administrations, America has come to rely almost entirely on US Special Forces, and without a long-term plan, is failing to stabilize Afghanistan, undermining US interests both at home and abroad. Eagle Down
is a riveting account of the heroism, sacrifice, and tragedy experienced by those that continue to fight America's longest war.
About the Author
Jessica Donati covers foreign affairs for The Wall Street Journal in Washington DC, and has reported from over a dozen countries in the role. She joined the paper as the bureau chief in Kabul in 2015, and lived in Afghanistan for over four years. Previously, she worked for Reuters in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, covering both the conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan. She co-authored a series on the war in Libya that was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2012. She is also the recipient of a New York Press Club award for her reporting in Libya . She is British-Italian, and grew up in Italy. She lives with her husband and son in Washington DC.