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Navy SEALs and the Winning of al-Anbar
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781591141389
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Era: Iraq War
  • Number of Pages: 288
  • Subject: History
  • Date Available: October 2008
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$29.95 List Price
$23.96 Member Price
Full Description:

In this ground-breaking book, bestselling author and former U.S. Navy SEAL Dick Couch reports on the actions of the SEAL Task Unit during the Battle of Ramadi in Iraq's al-AnbarProvince between 2005 and 2007. Couch details the previously unrecognized importance of the SEALs in winning the fight to control Ramadi. Calling the Battle of Ramadi one of the most significant military engagements in the global war against terrorism since 9/11 and the most sustained and vicious engagement ever fought by SEALs, he describes the success of special operations forces and Navy SEALs fighting side by side with conventional forces. Couch identifies the SEALs' ability to adapt and evolve in this deadly urban battle space and their code of brotherhood as the keys to their success on the battlefield. Among the many examples of this extraordinary brotherhood is the story of PO2 Michael A. Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Ramadi.

When he began researching The Sheriff of Ramadi, Couch thought he would be writing about the SEALs' courage in the face of a losing cause. Instead, what he discovered was a startling success story in the war against al-Qaeda. It was a battle won with a strategy of deploying Navy SEALs alongside regular forces in a joint operation to fight a major battle against terrorists in the urban war zone of Ramadi. Based on this success story, Couch argues that the lessons of Ramadi call for using this strategy more widely to win the ongoing war against al-Qaeda and their allies

Dick Couch, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served on active duty with the Navy Underwater Demolition and SEAL teams for five years. While a platoon leader with SEAL Team One, he led the only successful POW rescue operations of the Vietnam War. In 1972 he joined the CIA and retired from the Naval Reserve in 1997 with the rank of captain. He has frequently appeared as a military expert on nationally syndicated TV and radio programs. In addition to many bestselling novels, he is the author of several works of nonfiction about the Navy SEALS and the Green Berets, including Chosen Soldier, Down Range, and The Warrior Elite.

Praise for Sheriff of Ramadi

"There remains a long road ahead in Iraq; there will be continuing challenges and our work is not done. And yet it is beyond doubt that the gallant soldiers, Marines, and SEALs who have fought there deserve to look back on their efforts with a great sense of professional pride and accomplishment. Increasingly, the American public has come to understand that something important began to change in Iraq in late 2006 and throughout 2007. Thanks to the careful research and insightful analysis of Dick Couch, we now have a much deeper understanding of a pivotal battle that began the process of expelling al-Qaeda from its strongholds." — Senator John McCain in his Foreword for The Sheriff of Ramadi 

"I had never worked with warriors of such high caliber.  I think that opinion was shared at all echelons, from colonel to private.  My soldiers and junior leaders came to respect the Big Tough Frogmen and would do anything for them.  The losses that the SEALs suffered in Ramadi cemented that relationship in my mind.  Anyone who shed blood, sweat, and tears in Ramadi with us will always be a part of our band of brothers." — COL Sean MacFarland, Commander, 1st BCT, 1st AD

"The Sheriff of Ramadi is an important work, a good read by an excellent and combat experienced author .. The lessons learned in Ramadi are worthy of study by soldiers, sailors, Marines, politicians and the general public alike."  —Vice Adm. Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.), President of the Naval Historical Foundation 

See Related Items:

The Iraqi Perspectives Report

Seal Team One

Proceedings story - Ramadi from the Caliphate to Capitalism

Dick Couch is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served with the Navy Underwater Demolition and SEAL Teams in Vietnam. He is the author of twelve other books, including The Warrior Elite, Chosen Soldier and SEAL Team One. A resident of Ketchum, ID he is a frequent guest on radio and TV talk shows. He has lectured the Air Force Academy, the Naval Special Warfare Center, the JFK Special Forces Center and School, the FBI Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, The Joint Special Operations University and The Academy Leadership Forum. Recently he served as adjunct professor of Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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Events and Conferences

Guest Lecturer
7:15pm, Class of 2013 Moral Courage Lecture, Alumni Hall, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD Read More
Guest Speaker
Senior Leaders Conference, 160th Special Ops Aviation Unit (Airborne), Ft. Campbell, KY Read More
Customer Reviews
3 Reviews
Average Customer Reviews
4.67 Stars
SOF/ GPF integration at its best!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
By: LT Robert Ramirez
Driven from strongholds in Fallujah, Al Qaim and Haditha; in 2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Iraqi insurgents had reconstituted in the Anbari capital of Ramadi, ceasing power from the tribal sheiks, holding the population hostage through murder and intimidation and AQI?s strict interpretation of Sharia Law and setting the stage for the Battle of Ramadi, the tipping point in al-Anbar. In this insightful book, former Navy SEAL Dick Couch gives a credible and historical narrative of the pitched battle for Ramadi through first hand accounts from Naval Special Warfare Task Unit operators and their Army Brothers, who together fought, sweat and bled for the relative peace and rule of law that now presides in al-Anbar, Iraq. Couch opens with ?Frogman History 101? and explains how the role of the Navy SEAL has evolved since their predecessor?s, the Underwater Demolition Teams, cleared obstacles for major amphibious assaults in both the Pacific and European theatres in World War II. Fast forward to 2006, Couch is in the middle of the desert, far from the traditional operational environment of the Navy SEAL, interviewing the SEAL Squadron Three, Task Unit Ramadi Commander (CDR) who revealed that there was a battle brewing when he arrived and his SEALS were going to fight. This SEAL Task Unit CDR simply approached Colonel Sean MacFarland ?the Sheriff of Ramadi? and asked, ?How can we help?? The real story in the Sheriff of Ramadi is how Special Operations and Conventional units put differences aside and cooperated and enhanced each other?s capabilities to defeat AQI and win over the tribes and ultimately the population in Ramadi. At the heart of this book is a question that the Special Operation Forces (SOF) Community is grappling with currently: What role does SOF play in a counter insurgency? --- Supporting or supported. Couch begins the book with the premise that Anbar was a losing fight but admits that in writing The Sheriff of Ramadi, he learned that the fight was being won from the bottom up. As for the SEALS, in Ramadi their adaptability, aggressiveness and tactical proficiency allowed them to meet and destroy the enemy in the seams of the battlefield, between contested battle spaces where the enemy had taken advantage of holes in the conventional army?s coverage. In this case, SOF?s role was to support the conventional COIN strategy. Ultimately Couch doesn?t address the question at large and it will remain a contested subject, at least in the SOF community. In all, The Sheriff of Ramadi was an insightful look at how Ramadi was won and how US SOF supported conventional forces to help win the peace in al-Anbar province. This book is recommended to all SOF personnel, Marine Battalion Leadership and Army Brigade Combat Team leadership who anticipate working with each other in the Sand Box. The lessons learned in Ramadi should not be ignored and never be forgotten.
Great case studies on counter-insurgency Ops
Thursday, April 16, 2009
By: Joel Rudy, Maj, USAF
Dick Couch expertly documents the contributions of the Navy SEALS during the Battle for Ramadi between 2006 and 2007 with some mention of the SEALs other operational contributions in western Iraq in 2005. The book offers fantastic primer case studies in Coalition operations; foreign internal defense operations; integrating command and control between special operating forces and conventional forces; and counter-insurgency operations.
Sheriff of Ramadi
Thursday, December 4, 2008
By: John Coliins,M. D.
Dick Couch achieves several things with Sheriff of Ramadi. He gives the lay person in the form of an enjoyable read, insight into the complexities of conducting counterinsurgency operations in a profoundly different and diverse culture, and describes how well the SEAL teams adaptet to a totally different mission,integrating with other forces, both coalition and Iraqi. He also provides a detailed analysis and chronology of those forces' growth and amazing accomplishments, both military and humanitarian. Sheriff of Ramadi should be required reading for politicians and "talking heads" whose sound bites provide so little and often distorted information compared to this erudite account of such a positive period in our Iraq experience.


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