7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2004
This is a pretty good story of one man's experience at the hub of Delta Force for a dozen years. Haney was right there from the beginning and was present at most of the unit's main actions - from the disastrous Iranian rescue operation to the only slightly less disastrous invasion of Grenada.
Haney comes across as a likeable and perceptive man. He also writes very well and has a knack for the sorts of details that make books like these worth reading. Delta Force is without doubt an impressive unit, and this book shows why.
Its main faults have been pointed out by other reviewers. Easily the best part of the book is the first half, covering Haney's early career and Delta Force's gruelling selection process. After that, it doesn't so much flag as meander.
Haney goes on all sorts of missions, but never really does very much. He goes to Beirut on guard duty, but nothing much happens. Haney's description of the failure in the Iranian desert is compelling, but he never really offers his thoughts on what went wrong. One of the most interesting sections of the book is where he talks about preparations for a mission to free US captives in Vietnam. This is surely worth a book in itself, but we never really learn very much, despite Haney's assurances that the story is genuine. Eventually, he injures himself on operations with the SAS, and has to retire to a normal infantry unit, which is where the story ends.
This is a still a very good book, and I highly recommend it, but it slightly dissapoints after the excellent first half.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2002
A book like this is the real gem on the book market. Reading a biography about arguably the most demanding carrier both mentally and physically that of a professional soldier (not to mention Special Forces) is rather rare. Before I purchased this book, I had great expectations and high interests in what the author has to say to the general public. After I had finished reading it I found myself disappointed to some extent, here is why.
Since this book is targeted for the commercial use I have realised after a few dozen pages that this book has achieved its purpose, probably satisfied appetites of average readers. What is more, Haney aspired to present us with the facts and concepts employed in secret tactics and military lives of covert soldiers. He has succeeded some might say, but in the eyes of the more acquainted persons with the subject; this book is a way below its true potential. Selection process for the elite unit Delta Force is described in detail, but for the author it took place decades ago and it is not significant anymore. I understand that this is a biography, but the largest part of the book focuses just on that, on his struggle to be accepted into this unit.
Moreover, the second part of this brief biography is concerned with the Haney's memories of the real action that he was involved in around the globe, from South America to the Middle East. As implied by my previous thought, his account of the heart pounding operations occupies a small portion of the book. In other words, after finishing reading this book, you have a feeling that this book is too short. Moreover, from his writing style one can conclude that his expression in the written form is not his best side. Some parts of the book are intriguing and well explained. On the other hand, some events and especially the missions are written too simply, without a political background and implications of the missions that Delta was involved in. Generally, events are explored hastily and are often covered with the veil of secrecy. If I was him, I would have waited a few more years in order to write a good peace of work, equally balanced and more relevant to the present situation. I understand that this is his first book, however, Haney has to put on the paper his incredible experiences in a more vivid and generous way.
Nevertheless, this peace of work should be read by anyone with an ambition of becoming a professional soldier or by those who wish to learn more about a unique life opportunity that can be grabbed as being a member of Delta Force.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2004
I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this book. It's true that at least two thirds of the book deal with the setting up and training of the group, but I found these details ( particularly the training ) to be fascinating. The real action comes much later in the book and this is not described as well as the previous chapters but is still interesting.
There are certain revelations in the book which are both surprising and disturbing ( Vietnam after the war, Covert actions in Central America, and successful ( information ) breaches of American Security by the Delta Force operators in training exercises ).
A thoroughly enjoyable read.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2002
Eric L. Haney is the genuine article. He is one of the few to have served in this most elite of special forces. I brought this book right back when it had only just been released and read it from cover to cover in one loooooong sitting, (I have read it several times now all told). I couldn't put it down. If like me you have an avid interest in U.S. special operations forces, (especially Delta Force), then this is a must.
You get a wealth of 'inside' information told by Haney on all manner of operations he and others have been involved in. Some of these many will know, (eg Iran - Eagle Claw and Grenada), but there is plenty of lesser known ones, (eg Beirut, Honduras and Sudan). I was positively left begging for more.
I for one will be amongst the first in line if Mr Haney brings out anymore books on Delta Force.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2003
But after that the book kind of drops off. There is no doubt Eric haney is the definition of the word 'Commando', a professional and elite soldier. However the story kind of drops off after he completes the 'Operator' Course, and history dictates that nothing much happens afterwards. Lots of preperation, Call-Outs/Stand-Downs and drilling, and a short war, but thats about it, really.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2002
I found this book not just to be beautifully written but to be deeply insightful about the human cost of war. There's plenty of action and excitement -- but that doesn't seem to be the point of it all. Most books I've read dealing either in fiction or non-fiction with special operations present the soldiers themselves as one-dimensional, machismo robots who care little about either the context or the consequences of their missions. CSM Haney, on the other hand, shows us men who are as intelligent and thoughtful as they are deadly. He writes with a clear, calm voice that is at times, profoundly moving, and at other times, quietly reassuring in its lack of theatrics. I've read a bit about the selection and training of SAS and Delta Force before. What I found interesting in this book is how the writing's pace seemed to match the pace of selection. By the time Haney had finished his 53-mile orienteering through the mountains, I was wrung out. But because I had physically experienced so much of the selection process, I understood the confidence that the men took with them into the training section. The training section, too, seemed paced to ratchet up to the climax of its cat and mouse game with the FBI. By the time I had "experienced" all of that, I felt I had a good foundation for the skills and experience a Delta Force operative takes into a mission. Thus I didn't feel that the war stories needed to be saddled with further arcane talk about equipment and ammunition. More political context didn't seem necessary, either. These stories are more... human ... than they are political or even traditional military. One of the great things about this book is how well it puts a human face on these 'shadow warriors' and helps us see them as men, not caricatures from Tom Clancy. CSM Haney is the real deal -- and he has makes it obvious that when a man has proved everything he will ever need to prove to his fellow men and to himself, he doesn't feel the need to prove it -- on paper or in life -- by biting the heads off of snakes or other noxious rambo posing. I've seen CSM Haney on CNN and Fox quite a lot lately. He's smart as a whip and quite the historian. Few people can put history in such accessible terms. This is a man we will hear from again, and a military book we'll be thinking about for many years to come, long after books full of political and military minutia are forgotten.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2007
David Mamet, in my edition of this book, now more than three years old, long before 'The Unit' came along, writes at the beginning:
"The great military novels have about them an ineffable air of sadness. [They] seem, both in scenes of combat and in the scenes of rest, depictions of a life heightened to the plateau of regret, longing, and loss. The great military memoirs, similarly, are a record of loss and its transmutation into compassion. [...] in Eric Haney's Inside Delta Force, we are welcomed into the curious, moving and persuasive philosophy of the soldier trying to find wisdom in defeat and humility in victory."
It's a comment that reflects the spirit of the contents, and which ultimately translates into the very cool TV series based on the book. I also admit, quite without shame that the characters of 'Phantom Strike Team' in my novel 'Fontaine' were definitely inspired by this account, which I found fascinating and quite un-put-downable; much like Michael Durant's 'In The Company of Heroes'.
I have no idea how 'real' and 'true' the things depicted here are, because I have no real evidence to back up whatever I believe. However, I would like to think--possibly wishfully, but why not?--that Orwell's 'rough men [who] stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm' aren't just a bunch of thugs, who just like to shoot people, but that they are like those guys; that they are grounded and have a sense of purpose, and that Mamet's comments are on the mark.
Again, without evidence for the 'truth', whatever that may be, I cannot tell; but I choose to think that Haney has done more than just show them in the best light; that even in the harsh light of day, it all basically holds true.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2003
I believe Mr HANELY is not a soldier of Delta Force.
He is a Warrior of Delta Force. in every sense of the word this man is a real WARRIOR and he has inspired me to pursue a career in Australian special forces.
Anyone whos is interested in delta force MUST by this book. in fact any one interested in any form of Spec Ops should by it.
It is the most informative work i have read on this subject written by someone who was there from the start.
after reading this book you will know the kind of people who are selected to be Counter Terrorist soldiers. what they are looking for and have a decent knowledge of how they basically work. and you will also 'meet' some delta force legends and hero's.
this is a truly magnificent book all i can say now is
BUY IT NOW and then
"Do the best that you can"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2009
I have to say this is one the most interesting book of Elite Forces of the US Military Army. The training that these guys go though is not
inmaginable, nothing that you could see with deatil on TV. The training is just no for human I would say super heroes train like that, but one thing is for sure these guys do not know the meaning of hesitation or break a sweat they are trained to save lifes and that is not a game. Recommended *****Stars
Eric L Haney what a guy!!!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2014
My interest in this book started with a programme on Netflix called "The Unit", which was based on the book "Inside Delta Force" written by Eric Haney. So I bought the e book for Kindle and within the first few pages I was hooked. Buy the book! If you like books about special forces and their true story it's the book you need!