By John A. Nagl

From probably the most vital military officials of his new release, a memoir of the revolution in struggle he helped lead, in wrestle and in Washington

When John Nagl was once a military tank commander within the first Gulf conflict of 1991, clean out of West aspect and Oxford, he may perhaps already see that America's army superiority intended that the age of traditional strive against was once nearing an finish. Nagl was once an early convert to the view that America's maximum destiny threats might come from uneven warfare—guerrillas, terrorists, and insurgents. yet that made him an interloper in the military; and as though to double down on his dissidence, he scorned the normal route to a general's stars and acquired the army to ship him again to Oxford to review the heritage of counterinsurgency in earnest, looking for guideposts for the United States. the outcome could develop into the bible of the counterinsurgency circulation, a booklet referred to as Learning to consume Soup with a Knife.

But it will take the occasions of 11th of September and the botched aftermath of the Iraq invasion to provide counterinsurgency pressing modern relevance. John Nagl's principles ultimately met their warfare. yet whilst his ebook all started ricocheting round the Pentagon, Nagl, now operations officer of a tank battalion of the first Infantry department, deployed to a very unsettled quadrant of Iraq. right here concept met perform, violently. nobody knew how messy even the main profitable counterinsurgency crusade is healthier than Nagl, and his adventure in Anbar Province cemented his view. After a year's demanding struggling with, Nagl used to be despatched to the Pentagon to paintings for Deputy Secretary of safety Paul Wolfowitz, the place he was once tapped through common David Petraeus to coauthor the recent military and marine counterinsurgency box handbook, rewriting center military doctrine in the midst of bloody land wars and assisting the recent rules win reputation in a single of the planet's so much conservative bureaucracies. That doctrine replaced the process wars and the taking into account an army.

Nagl isn't really ignorant of the prices or outcomes of counterinsurgency, a coverage he in comparison to "eating soup with a knife." the lads who died lower than his command in Iraq will hang-out him to his grave. by way of struggle, there are just undesirable offerings; the query is barely which of them are larger and which worse. Nagl's memoir is a profound schooling in smooth war—in idea, in perform, and within the usually tortured dating among the 2. it truly is crucial examining for someone who cares concerning the destiny of America's infantrymen and the needs for which their lives are positioned in danger.

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He was a very calm intellectual type. ” “He always gave me more latitude as a battalion commander then I probably deserved. He did not micromanage me. All he did was give me a mission and the tools to get it done. I will say that I love him like a brother . . ” “He was always in the middle of the fight. ” COLONEL DAVID PERKINS (2ND BCT) “Perkins was a very practical and pragmatic commander. If something helps his ability to fight, he takes an interest. ” “A great commander. ” “He is so likeable and so intelligent that he sometimes intimidated people.

Anyone looking for a detailed account of the inside workings of Saddam’s regime and his military is urged to pick up a copy. Author’s Note: Throughout this book I refer to battalions and brigades because I believe it enhances the clarity of the battle descriptions. In fact, battalions in this war were actually task forces and brigades are more properly referred to as brigade combat teams (BCT). At its home-station an infantry battalion consists of several infantry companies. In combat, though, infantry battalions often receive attachments of armor companies from pure armor battalions, and the armored units have infantry attached to them.

He amazed everyone with his warrior mentality. ” “He pushed the idea that if there was a chance to train for war you took it. ” “Every interaction I had with him was positive, even if he had the right to be upset. ” “If he called me to come halfway around the world to change his tires, I would be on my way before he hung up the phone. ” LIEUTENANT COLONEL PHILLIP DECAMP (4-64 ARMOR) “A hyperactive guy with a great heart. ” “He was a very smart guy with a lot of energy. He drove his staff hard and his commanders harder, but he had great people who were impossible to burn out.

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