Author(s): Mark Urban
When British and American forces invaded Iraq in April 2003, their intelligence operations got to work looking for the WMD their governments had promised us were there. They quickly realised no such weapons existed. Instead they become faced with an ever-increasing spiral of extremism and violence that was almost impossible to understand, let alone contain. This book tells the story of what happened next, one of the most dramatic and sustained operations in our recent military history. Up against the wall, under the aegis of the joint forces commanded by Major General McChrystal, our men moved into action using the wide variety of aircraft and weaponry at their disposal. Combining intelligence with brute force, the SAS went on the attack, night after night targeting Al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups with an intensity never before practiced by the service, destroying the terrorist threat and saving lives.
* The real story of Britain's war in Iraq has never been told - until now...
** 'This is an essential record of a remarkable military period. Too often Special Forces operations are shrouded in uncontextual mystery, rendering many works about them speculative homoerotic hagiographies. Urban is immune to such nonsense' Sam Kiley, THE TIMES ** 'In this ground-breaking investigation into the SAS war in Iraq between 2003 and 2009, Mark Urban has worked his way around all that and, with obvious top access, has put together one of the few truly authentic accounts of the modern SAS outside the world of fiction.' Stephen Grey, THE TIMES ** 'That Mark Urban, a BBC journalist also known for excellent recent books on the Napoleonic Wars, has been able to tell this story is a testament to his determination and investigative skill. Few reporters succeed in cultivating any sources within the closed world of the British special forces; Urban has found dozens who have spoken with unprecedented candour. The result is gripping and troubling in equal measure and an invaluable addition to the increasingly comprehensive literature on the Iraq war.' Jason Burke, OBSERVER ** 'Urban's book, Task Force Black, deserves to do well. It is the first account, as full as it can be under the circumstances, of the clandestine war waged by the SAS and their Royal Marines equivalent, the SBS, alongside US Delta Force in the height of that murderous war' Kim Sengupta, INDEPENDENT
Mark Urban is Diplomatic and Defence Editor for Newsnight. He is the author Big Boys' Rules, Rifles and Fuslilers