On January 19, 2018, 12 Strong, a film telling the true story of U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan starring A-List actor Chris Hemsworth of “Thor” fame, will be released in theaters nationwide. UMass Dartmouth Professor Brian Glyn Williams (History), an expert on the subject of U.S. military involvement in the Afghanistan, Iraq and the Islamic world, served as an advisor to the movie’s cast.
“It was an honor to interact with a team that was so dedicated to retelling the story I have told in my own book The Last Warlord, including director Nicolai Fuglsig, executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Chris Hemsworth, and the actor Navid Negahban who plays the pro-American Afghan warlord General Dostum whom I lived with in Afghanistan,” Dr. Williams said. “I was heartened by their efforts to accurately recreate both the terrain and the ‘human terrain’ I know so well and was delighted to assist in the goal of achieving maximum authenticity. The whole cast and crew did a magnificent job of faithfully capturing the honor and courage of the band of Afghan and American warriors who I had the pleasure of getting to know while researching my book.”
Over the course of his career as a field researcher in war zones, Dr. Williams has lived with Afghan warlords, journeyed across the remote tribal zones of Pakistan where Bin Laden was killed, and visited the frontlines with ISIS alongside Kurdish troops. Among Williams' books is Afghanistan Declassified, which was commissioned by the Pentagon and explains the history and culture of the country for U.S. forces being deployed there. In 2015, the Grammy-winning British rock band Muse release an album inspired by Williams' book Predators: The CIA’s Drone War on Al Qaeda.
Dr. Williams has served as a field analysis in Afghanistan for the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center and US Army’s Afghan-based Information Operations.