I asked my husband if he knew about this mission, and he handed me Gary C. Shroen’s book FIRST IN: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan.
I don’t think the HORSE SOLDIERS mission is the same mission as Schroen describes in his book. Schroen and other CIA operatives were helicoptered in to Afghanistan to make contact with the Northern Alliance only days after 9/11.
But I started reading Schroen’s book with an eerie feeling. I had temporarily put aside the novel A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini because I’ve come to a part of the novel (which deals with the disintegration in Afghanistan during the long years of fighting) that I can’t seem to get past.
What’s interesting is that I had no problem getting past a certain scene in Hosseini’s earlier novel THE KITE RUNNER which a male friend of mine could not get past. That scene was about a male victim; the scene I’m stuck on is about female victims.
To be reading at the same time a novel and a nonfiction book that cover much of the same material is eerie. But what’s more upsetting is to realize that those gains in Afghanistan so evident when Schroen’s book was published in 2005 have to a great extent been eroded.
Schroen writes about meeting a Northern Alliance commander (the boldface is mine):
I touched on a key issue for Aref, stating that unlike 1992, when we walked away from the Muhjahedin when victory was achieved, the U.S. government was in this fight for the long haul. We wanted to change conditions in Afghanistan, so that after the Taliban were crushed, and after bin Ladin and his Arab terrorists were eliminated, the country could rebuild, the economy could revive and peace could finally come to Afghanistan. A peaceful, economically stable environment would ensure that the country would never again be used by foreign elements as a sanctuary for terrorists.And here it is 2009 …
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at LA Internet Business Examiner, Operation Support Jews in the Military, and Fiction Marketing, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.