It is that time of year again — the new year fast approaches. Instead of the typical “best of” end-of-year list, I am offering this year a list of the movies (or television shows — I am not picky) that I would like to see Hollywood tackle in the coming year. There are still so many stories that need telling out there, and books that could benefit from the big screen treatment. With that in mind, here goes!

John Walker Lindh, “American Taliban”

The Battle of Qala-i-Jangi

Shortly after September 11th, 2001, when only a handful of CIA, British, and American Special Forces personnel roamed Afghanistan searching out al-Qaeda leaders, an uprising occurred at a Northern Alliance prison for captured Taliban and foreign fighters in northern Afghanistan. The resulting battle lasted for almost a week in late November/early December 2001, and led to the first CIA fatality in the Global War on Terrorism (of paramilitary officer Johnny “Mike” Spann).

The fighting between the hundreds of prisoners and the handful of Northern Alliance fighters, British and American forces, and CIA personnel saw incredible acts of heroism and harrowing close calls. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Stephen Bass, attached at the time to the British Special Boat Service (SBS), was decorated with a Navy Cross for his actions, while Army Special Forces officer Major Mark Mitchell also received a Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism. Infamous “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh was one of only 86 captured prisoners to survive the battle.

The story of a prisoner uprising, in which the captured fighters took control of the prison armory, outnumbered their captors, and engaged in a ferocious revolt against outnumbered-yet-determined allied Afghan, American, and British forces, needs to be told. It is one of incredible heroism and fortitude in the face of long odds.

Chinooks in Afghanistan

Robert’s Ridge (The Battle of Takur Ghar)

In March 2002, as U.S. military forces launched Operation Anaconda, a short but fierce engagement played out over 17 hours on the top of Takur Ghar mountain in southeastern Afghanistan. American special operations forces (SOF) battled with a group of al-Qaeda fighters, and in the ensuing fighting, seven Americans lost their lives. A number were also wounded.

As in many such engagements, great heroism was demonstrated on the American side as U.S. SOF tried desperately to save their own after an insertion helicopter was hit by small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, knocking Navy SEAL Neil Roberts out of the aircraft as it took off. Air Force Combat Controller John Chapman would later also find himself fighting alone on top of the mountain, as rescue efforts tried one after another to reach Roberts (and later Chapman).