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Book - "No Way Out"


Book - No Way Out - The Battle of Shok Valley

No Way Out: A Story of Valor
in the Mountains of Afghanistan

by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer

Berkley/Penguin, 328 pages


The book No Way Out is about Operation Commando Wrath - a battle that took place in the Shok Valley of Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on April 6, 2008. The engagement is sometimes referred to as "The Battle of Shok Valley"

A combined force of U.S. Army Special Forces and Afghan Commandos were inserted by Ch-47 and UH-60 helicopters to conduct an operation to kill or capture an insurgent commander - Haji Ghafour.  The mission went very wrong from the start.  The objective area was in extremely difficult terrain at 10,000 feet and the Special Forces team and Afghan Commandos were surrounded from the very start of the mission once on the ground.

Units. The Afghan 201st Commando Kandak participated in the battle - led and advised by the Special Forces detachment 3336 and two other ODAs. The Special Forces detachment in the fiercest part of the fight was ODA 3336 from the 3rd Special Forces Group. There were about 120 members of the combined US Afghan force.

The Enemy. The insurgent forces numbered about 200. They belonged to the insurgent group known as Hezeb Islami al Gulbadin or HIG.

Silver Stars.  Ten Special Forces Soldiers and their combat cameraman were awarded Silver Stars for their participation in the battle. The Silver Star is the 3rd highest award that can be awarded to any member of the United States Armed Forces. The detachment's Air Force Combat Controller was awarded the Air Force Cross.

Outcome of Battle.  The SF teams and Afghan Commandos were successfully exfiltrated under fire.  The insurgent leader was not captured, over 100 of the enemy were killed, six Green Berets were wounded, one interpreter was killed, and the Afghan Commandos had casualties as well.

The book can be purchased on at the link below:

No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan

Book Reviews

March 12, 2012. Book Review of No Way Out.  Publishers Weekly.

March 9, 2012. "Near-disaster in battle tells a cautionary tale".  Charlotte Observer.

News Reports about the Battle of Shok Valley

September 2010. "Cliffhanger".  Air Force Magazine.

September 30, 2010. "Recovery in his sights: Amputee graduates from sniper course". Fort Hood Sentinel.

May 20, 2010. "Danger Close: ODA 3336 in the Shok Valley".  Defense Media Network.

October 6, 2009. "SF team sgt. lauds Afghan aid in Shok Valley".  Army Times.

March 11, 2009. "Combat controller receives Air Force Cross, Purple Heart". U.S. Air Force News Release.

March 10, 2009.  "Airman Honored for Bravery During Fierce Battle".  NPR.

January 27, 2009. "Specialist Michael Carter - Someone You Should Know".  Blackfive Blog.

December 15, 2008. "Fierce battle above Shok Valley earns Silver Stars".

December 15, 2008. "Narrative from Shok Valley Battle in Afghanistan".  Army Times.

December 12, 2008. "Soldiers Honored With Silver Stars Following Extraordinary Battle in Afghanistan".  PBS Newshour.

Videos about the Battle of Shok Valley

Shok Valley Video.  The video is about ODA 3336 and Afghan Commandos insertion into Shok Valley.

Video of Shok Valley Battle

News Report on Silver Star Awards Presentation.  Click here to view the video and listen to the interview of members of the Special Forces detachment.



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