At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp. A Pentagon investigation later concluded that there was no reason for Outpost Keating to have been there in the first place.
THE OUTPOST is a tour de force of investigative journalism. Jake Tapper exposes the origins of this tragic and confounding story, exploring the history of the camp and detailing the stories of soldiers heroic and doomed, shadowed by the recklessness of their commanders in Washington, D.C. and a war built on constantly shifting sands.
Jake Tapper is the senior White House correspondent for ABC News. He is the host "Political Punch with Jake Tapper," a web show the gives an inside look at the White House, and appears regularly on "Good Morning America," "Nightline," and "World News with Diane Sawyer." Prior to joining ABC News, he was the national correspondent for Salon.com and was a columnist for TALK Magazine. He has written for The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The Weekly Standard, among many other publications. He is author of Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency. He lives in Washington, D.C.