Oppose Any Foe

Reviews of Oppose Any Foe

“essential reading for those interested in special operations”
Military Review

“an invaluable and highly readable overview of SOF’s history not just for those newly joining its ranks but also for anyone who seeks to know more about these glamorous and little-understood forces”
National Review

“succeeds brilliantly in presenting a sweeping 100,000-foot view all the way down to ground, dirt, sweat and blood level. A must-read.”
American Spectator

“needs to be taken seriously by policy makers”
Wall Street Journal

“an exceptionally valuable contribution to an understanding of U.S. military capabilities”

“Moyar admires these elite units, and his enthusiastic, warts-and-all approach to discussing Special Forces fireworks will surely raise some eyebrows.”
Publishers Weekly

“an excellent primer on the history of US special operations”
Studies in Intelligence

“A definitive account that reads like a well-crafted novel. Mark Moyar balances the audacity, egos, expertise, and mistakes that comprise the true history of America’s Special Operations Forces to produce a fascinating story that is as instructive as it is entertaining. A must-read for current and future policymakers.”
—Stanley McChrystal, General (ret), commander of Joint Special Operations Command, 2003–2008

Oppose Any Foe is a superbly researched, wonderfully readable account of the evolution of America’s Special Operations Forces, with very thoughtful—and thought-provoking—reflections on the employment of SOF in our recent wars. Oppose Any Foe is, in particular, a fitting and timely tribute to the extraordinarily talented, courageous, and selfless special operators with whom I was privileged to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
—David Petraeus, General (ret.), commander of US and coalition forces during the “surges” in Iraq and Afghanistan and, subsequently, director of the CIA

“Mark Moyar’s Oppose Any Foe is both a history and an analysis of America’s formation and use of Special Operations units and their suitability for nonconventional and often stealthy operations. As in his past explorations, from Vietnam to the contemporary ‘war on terror,’ Moyar’s work is characterized by exacting research and common sense. He is becoming our most engaging, analytical, and reliable historian of the postwar American military.”
—Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author of The Savior Generals

“This truly extraordinary book combines the scholarship of a profoundly impressive work of history with the white-knuckle tension of a thriller. The reader is naturally overawed with the sheer courage of the American Special Ops Forces, but also with the quality of their training, the depth of their professionalism, the acuity of their instincts, and the decency apparent in their innate modesty. Mark Moyar has done them, and us, a fine service in writing this groundbreaking book.”
—Andrew Roberts, professor, War Studies Department, King’s College, London

“Mark Moyar has written an important history of US Special Operations Forces that eloquently records their recent rise in prominence. In this well-referenced and highly readable book, Moyar highlights the chronic challenges that Special Operations Forces have faced in working for conventional commanders and describes the limits of the military instrument in its current configuration in achieving US foreign-policy objectives. He shows the need for fresh thinking on how America conducts its own irregular warfare activities and a better understanding by policymakers and their senior military advisors on what is possible through military force.”
—Charles T. Cleveland, Lieutenant General (ret.), commander of the United States Army Special Operations Command, 2012–2015

“Historian Mark Moyar weaves together nuggets of history from Special Operations past to create an in-depth account of America’s elite forces. But Oppose Any Foe’s best part comes at the end. Moyar offers advice to future Special Operations Forces. Recommended reading for the current administration and future SOF leaders.”
—Kevin Maurer, coauthor of No Easy Day, the Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden

“It is exceptional to find a writer who has the diligence and depth of the careful scholar, with the skill to tell a rattling good tale—but Mark Moyar is that author. This is a masterly account of the rise of American Special Forces, a compelling account not just of the derring-do, but the Washington politics and organizational rivalries that went into forging the tip of the American armed forces’ spear.”
—Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS, and author of The Big Stick

“Simply put, Oppose Any Foe is now the single best account available of US Special Operations Forces from their creation in World War Two to today’s brushfire wars. An accomplished military historian, author Mark Moyar writes with the precision of a scholar and the vibrancy of a journalist. Moyar’s sweeping history will superbly serve government and military professionals, and the nation’s citizens, in fully understanding the extraordinary character and capabilities—and limitations—of this elite grouping of American warfighters.”
—Dr. Kalev I. Sepp, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations and Counterterrorism

“Mark Moyar’s first-rate book is the best popular history of the Special Operations Forces to date and will remain an indispensable source of information, with memorable personalities and dramatic battle scenes, for the foreseeable future.”
—Thomas Henriksen, senior fellow, Hoover Institution, and author of Eyes, Ears, and Daggers


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