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Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the…

av Aaron Cohen

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995219,644 (3.88)1
Documents the author's choice to leave his privileged life in Beverly Hills to become a member of Israel's most elite security force, for which he became an expert in urban counterterror warfare and participated in more than two hundred life-or-death missions.
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Visar 5 av 5
I have read quite a few military memoirs but not many from people who served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

Cohen misses out most of his childhood, choosing to focus on a few things that happened which eventually lead him to military school. This turned out to be just what he needed, he found the discipline turned him around and he decided that he wanted to head off and join the IDF special forces. The rest of the book focuses mainly on the training and selection processes followed by a few operations that he was involved in.

The training and selection part details the quite frankly brutal mental and physical pressure new recruits are put under. Although he doesn't details everything that happens, he does lay it out there, warts and all and some of it doesn't make comfortable reading. He also says that at the time he didn't understand why some things were done the way they were but later appreciated why.

The books is well written with the operational section being a particularly interesting and exciting read. Cohen worked for a military under cover unit, think James Bond and the SAS combined. They specialise in certain areas of under cover work which makes a less rounded special operations soldier but one who can infiltrate the enemy with great effectivity.

My favourite part of the book is the final sections where is discusses the end of his 3 year contract. He says that the contract is relatively short due to the intense nature of the work. He goes on to explain the mental hardship he went through trying to re-adjust to civilian life. This was made even harder because he didn't have an Israeli family to return to like other soldiers but moved back to the USA. This really showed his human side which made a good addition to the book.

Inevitably I didn't always agree with his politics and outlook on life but I didn't expect to. I think it is very hard to understand unless you are put in that situation yourself. The final section on the book was his opinion on what America needs to do to secure it's future with regards to terrorism. While I think he makes some valid points I found this to be a bit too preachy.

I found this to be a solid and quick read and I would definitely recommend it to someone who likes military memoirs. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 19, 2021 |
Excellent book. Great information on how Israel and other countries operate militarily. Seems most governments expect miracles from their people, thenpromptly forget to help them transition back to public life. Its good that the support within the special forces teams continues to be expressed and experienced between the former members. ( )
1 rösta twylyghtbay | Feb 27, 2013 |
I started reading this book on a flight lasting about 2 hours. Before I went to bed that night, I had finished the book. I don't normally finish a book in a day since I have small kids and other things that demand my time, but somehow I found the time to finish this one in a single day.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the book was that you were given an inside look into the mindset of the Israeli military. I have read books about Israel and the wars they fought, but none of them gave you an up close and personal look at the daily life contained within the various units. It was a pretty interesting look into the mindset of the IDF.

The author's unit had a unique mission in that they went undercover in the West Bank and performed surveillance, raids, arrests of militants, and other interesting tasks. In order to survive in this environment, their training was pretty violent. I particularly liked the portions of his training where they taught him how to get over the fear of getting hit. Having to fight his way to the front of a crowded bus, or the various sessions learning the Krav Maga fighting technique were just so interesting to me. I can't even begin to imagine the physical fighting proficiency each of these soldiers had after months and months of training.

I wish there had been more time discussing the various missions within the West Bank, but I suspect there were plenty of things that could not be said without jeopardizing the security of his former unit. His time leading up to his enlistment in the IDF and the time after he was done is also included in the book. I didn't find either of those portions of the book anywhere near as interesting as the time between those two periods. ( )
1 rösta MatthewN | Jun 20, 2009 |
Fascinating look at what's involved in being a member of the Israeli Special Forces. ( )
  lynnm | Jul 23, 2008 |
Aaaron Cohen's memoir of his life in Israel's most elite counter terrorism unit is a fascinating read. On one level he writes about daily life in the army in Israel - combat exercises, firearm training, and the basics of grueling army life. On the other hand he writes about his life growing up in Beverly Hills, the son of producers who see him rarely and barely give him basic parental attention. It's easy to see what he found fascinating about the army - the strict regimented life was something that he surely craved. His story grows more poignant as he writes about his growing yearning to leave the army, his fall into stress, burnout and finally post-traumatic stress induced by his return to Beverly Hills. He clearly had no idea what to do with himself once he was a civilian again. I was interested to see how he emerged from the depression his civilian life caused - Cohen eventually started his own consulting company in the wake of 9/11 and he now coaches police and other US defense organizations in Israel's counter terrorism tactics. I thought this was a great story, a quick read and one that would capture the imagination of many readers easily! ( )
1 rösta kmoellering | Apr 4, 2008 |
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Documents the author's choice to leave his privileged life in Beverly Hills to become a member of Israel's most elite security force, for which he became an expert in urban counterterror warfare and participated in more than two hundred life-or-death missions.

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