A sniper's preferred method of killing people is when they are not expecting to be killed. "This is the story of the ways people are selected and slain, sometimes at long range, sometimes at very close quarters, by soldiers who are, in effect, invisible to their targets. This is the story of the art and science of precision long-range marksmanship and the effect of a bullet on the human body. It is about ambush, battle, mayhem, slaughter, winning, losing, living, dying, and war." "The sniper community is incredibly tiny; add up all snipers from the Marines, the U.S. Army, the SEALs, and the Rangers who are behind a gun in a combat zone at any one minute, and they will add up to about a few hundred men and no women." "Add up the kills these snipers make and compare them to the results of infantry battalions and brigades and divisions, and you'll find that many of them individually make more kills than entire battalions or brigades operating at the same time in the same area."
I am a Viet Nam era veteran and I find the study of the changing landscape of battle since the time I served extremely interesting. I believe the biggest change is in the evolution of the "SNIPER". One of the most powerful components this book provides is detailed reporting of not only the role "sniper/scouts" play in the current war in the Middle East, but also their prior roles in Viet Nam and even Panama. (Operation Just Cause). The United States has absorbed a hard earned education. Whereas in the past, a couple of snipers or marksman would accompany a battalion and all their armored equipment, now in today's urban, building to building fighting, the battalion and armored vehicles support the sniper teams.
This book details the training required not only in structured schools, but also in on-the-job-training, when the need for additional sniping/scouting/spotting personnel is immediate and on the battlefront. One of the real life stories involves successfully adding two cooks to the sniper team. This tale is at its absolute best when being narrated by actual snipers. At times the author bogs down the flow with too much minutiae about the weapons themselves. I have read many sniper books recently, and this one not only doesn't pull any punches about the "unique" mindset of the type of individual that would fit the parameters of a successful sniper, it also doesn't shy away from the celebration accorded the up close and personal ending of an enemy combatant's life.
The author and "ALL" the snipers portrayed, make it blatantly obvious to anyone who has ever served in combat, that more care and regard to the "RULES OF ENGAGEMENT" (ROE) are observed by our American troops in a week, than all our enemies combined do in a lifetime. I shudder at the thought of how many American lives have been lost while we go through chain of command before we shoot, as compared to terrorists walking into schools, restaurants and places of worship, and with no conscience at all, destroy uncounted civilian lives from toddlers to adults.
It takes a very, very, unique individual to be a United States Sniper. And as it's obvious to see, the ranks of these highly qualified warriors must increase for us to be successful in today's type of war. It should be noted that one of the main pre-requisites as stated in "DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SNIPER TRAINING FIELD MANUAL FM-23-10 SECTION 1-3 (Washington DC,1994)": "THE SNIPER MUST BE ABLE TO CALMLY AND DELIBERATELY KILL TARGETS THAT MAY NOT POSE AN IMMEDIATE THREAT TO HIM. IT IS MUCH EASIER TO KILL IN SELF-DEFENSE OF OTHERS THAN IT IS TO KILL WITHOUT APPARENT PROVOCATION. THE SNIPER MUST NOT BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO EMOTIONS SUCH AS ANXIETY OR REMORSE."