Book of the day - The Operator: Firing the shots that killed Osama Bin Laden by Robert O’Neill
The storytelling in this book is incredible, possibly the best I’ve ever read. “Turn the volume up to liquify!”, “Squeeze your butt cheeks as hard as woodpecker lips”, I was surprised how great this book was. It was recommended by a friend and I procrastinated reading it, but this weekend I couldn’t put it down.
The best strategy to fight modern “terrorist warfare” is said to be with small highly skilled teams. Think Army Rangers and Navy Seal sized and skilled teams. This book glamorizes in a way the family aspect of the military and the skill and might of these elite teams. Frankly, this book would make me proud if my children become a Navy Seal. Perhaps the military recruiters should consider advertising via the top down approach to gather parents of children to encourage their children to sign up versus directly advertising to the children as a means of escaping a small town or dead end life plan.
I was a military contractor in Afghanistan once upon a time in 2011-2012 if I remember the timing right and I was deployed to FOB Shank. O’ Neil talks about his time in Shank for a hot second before he decided to retire from the Navy Seals. What he describes is pretty accurate to why I decided it wasn’t worth it. Mortar rounds were constant at Shank and it was an overall lazy shit show with the risk of losing an arm or leg as a bonus. In my opinion, the adventure wasn’t worth it. Nobody seemed to care about anything while i was there and that didn’t fit my personality.
My takeaway from the book was that if O’Neil was offered $17million to write a book, I suspect he didn’t write this book. Not that he’s capable of great work, but this book is flat out incredibly well written. It’s a top 10 adventure book. I’m guessing he told his story to a group of writers and they encapsulated O’Neils personality in these pages of writing. If someone was going to pay $17 million for the book rights, you can be sure they are going to spend a few million on the writing quality.
Hands down, go read this book. Read it with an open mind. Not about military might, leadership, or “who shot who”. I’ve always believed a team killed Osama Bin Laden and didn’t realize there was such a “hero” movement behind O’Neil. I find it strange that even the US points to a single person for having pulled the trigger. There must be a larger back story than meets the eye as to why they are giving one person the credit for pulling the trigger. The outfit O’Neil wore when he shot Bin Laden is in the Nixon Library in a glass case. Isn’t that weird? Why would the US be touting a single “hero” when it was a team of hundreds that put together the assault on the compound that day? Hell it was a best of the best seal team that went on two stealth helicopters into Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden. Where’s the credit for the rest of the team? I guess “teams” don’t make hero’s. I don’t know, and this is me wasting words on something that’s not important.