Book Review – “Ashley’s War” – CSTs in Afghanistan

Ashley's War

A recently published book is about the Cultural Support Teams (CSTs) that supported U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in Afghanistan. The CSTs were an innovative attempt to bridge the divide between the U.S. forces combating the Taliban and the female population of Afghanistan.

The CSTs were small teams, usually three per team, of female Soldiers who received specialized training prior to being attached to special operations forces in Afghanistan. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, the author, does a wonderful job of detailing the beginnings of the program, describing the pre-deployment selection and training of the CST members, and the type of operations they were involved in during their Afghan tour. In addition, the author explores the human side of the CSTs – to include the impact of the death of one of the CST members.

Ashley’s War is a good read covering a small part of the Afghanistan conflict and the contribution of female Soldiers attached to SOF teams. Read more about the book at Ashley’s War.


About John Friberg 151 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.