The Commandos


In The Commandos: The Inside Story of America’s Secret Soldiers, Douglas Waller was given unprecedented access to the special training that commandos receive. To observe Green Beret instruction, Waller camped out with Army Special Forces soldiers for two weeks in a cold, rainy February. For an inside look at Air Force Special operations, he put on a flight suit, a helmet, and night-vision goggles and flew with the pilots as they practiced weaving through the mountains in pitch-black darkness. He reveals the secret selection and training of Delta Force counterterrorist commandos. And, the first outsider ever given total access to Hell Week, he details the five days of grueling, nonstop commando training that Navy men must endure to become SEALs (sea-air-land commandos).

Based on interviews with hundreds of special operations soldiers, The Commandos takes the reader behind the veil of official secrecy that surrounds these forces to examine how they really fight and live. Waller also discloses the details of some of the secret forces’ operations:

  • the commando’s secret planning to assassinate Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War
  • the behind-the-scenes political battles of their generals to launch covert operations in Iraq and Kuwait
  • the commando raids, clandestine infiltrations, and daring combat behind the enemy lines during the first Gulf War
  • their war to psych out Saddam and his army
  • Delta Force’s dangerous hunt for Saddam’s Scud missiles

With the Cold War over, surgical operations and low-intensity conflicts may be America’s battles of the future. If so, special operations commandos may well be the warriors of the future. This is their story.