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eBook The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War ePub

by Fred Kaplan

eBook The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War ePub
Author: Fred Kaplan
Language: English
ISBN: 1451642636
ISBN13: 978-1451642636
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st. edition (January 2, 2013)
Pages: 432
Category: Americas
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 531
Formats: txt mbr doc lrf
ePub file: 1227 kb
Fb2 file: 1482 kb

Fred Kaplan has written a dazzling, compulsively readable book. Let's start with the fact that it is so well written, a quality so often lacking in books describing counterinsurgency.

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These insurgents have names like Nagel, McMaster, Ordierno and Petreus: they are American Officers who plotted to change the way the Amerian Military goes to war in a changing environment.

Kaplan has authored several books on military strategy. His 1983 book on the individuals who created American nuclear strategy in the late 1940s and '50s, The Wizards of Armageddon, won the Washington Monthly Political Book of the Year award. In late 2012, Kaplan published The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, which examines how General David Petraeus attempted to implement new thinking in Afghanistan and Iraq regarding the traditional clear and hold counter-insurgency strategy, and the shortcomings of this strategy, its intellectual underpinnings, and the individuals who defined i. .

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column in Slate and has also written many articles on politics and culture .

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column in Slate and has also written many articles on politics and culture in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York magazine, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and many other publications. A former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Boston Globe, he is also the author of 1959: The Year Everything Changed, Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power. General Petrarus started a campaign to change the Army from a big war approach to a counterinsurgency approach near the on set of the Iraq war. That sounds easier than one might think.

0 0 5 Author: Fred Kaplan. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the post–Cold War age: not massive wars on vast battlefields, but small wars in cities and villages, against insurgents and terrorists

David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize the oldest, stodgiest . His new book The Insurgents tells the story of the rise and fall of the COINdinistas.

David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize the oldest, stodgiest institution in America-the military. Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they also created the tools-made it more tempting-for political leaders to wade into wars that they would have been wise to avoid.

Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they .

Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they also created the tools-and made it more tempting-for political leaders to wade into wars that they would be wise to avoid. Fred Kaplan is the national-security columnist for Slate and the author of five previous books, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestseller), 1959, Daydream Believers, and The Wizards of Armageddon.

But the main insurgency is the one led at home by a new generation of officers-including Petraeus, John Nagl, David Kilcullen, and H. R. McMaster-who were seized with an idea on how to fight these kinds of "small wars" and who adapted their enemies' techniques to overhaul their own army.

The inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars who changed the way the Pentagon does business and the American military fights wars, against fierce resistance from within their own ranks.The Insurgents is the inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars, led by General David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize one of the largest, oldest, and most hidebound institutions—the United States military. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the post–Cold War age: not massive wars on vast battlefields, but “small wars” in cities and villages, against insurgents and terrorists. These would be wars not only of fighting but of “nation building,” often not of necessity but of choice. Based on secret documents, private emails, and interviews with more than one hundred key characters, including Petraeus, the tale unfolds against the backdrop of the wars against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the main insurgency is the one mounted at home by ambitious, self-consciously intellectual officers—Petraeus, John Nagl, H. R. McMaster, and others—many of them classmates or colleagues in West Point’s Social Science Department who rose through the ranks, seized with an idea of how to fight these wars better. Amid the crisis, they forged a community (some of them called it a cabal or mafia) and adapted their enemies’ techniques to overhaul the culture and institutions of their own Army. Fred Kaplan describes how these men and women maneuvered the idea through the bureaucracy and made it official policy. This is a story of power, politics, ideas, and personalities—and how they converged to reshape the twenty-first-century American military. But it is also a cautionary tale about how creative doctrine can harden into dogma, how smart strategists—today’s “best and brightest”—can win the battles at home but not the wars abroad. Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they also created the tools—and made it more tempting—for political leaders to wade into wars that they would be wise to avoid.
Moonshaper
This book is excellent! No matter your background you will love this book. The book isn't just a story of the battles. It is about the war but it is about so much more. If you want to know the story behind the newspaper accounts of the war this is your book. The book is about something more. It talks about an idea and that idea's impact on a large institution and eventually a nation.

The book tells many stories. It reads extremely well. The book is a fast paced story that shows the reader how a successful idea grows from concept to reality. The special part of the book gives the story of how a large organization changes it's ideas from one extreme to the other. He uses General Petrarus's work as a case study on how to do that political game correctly to change course.

General Petrarus started a campaign to change the Army from a big war approach to a counterinsurgency approach near the on set of the Iraq war. That sounds easier than one might think. He implemented this change through a very wide array of activities from holding conferences, rewriting the Army Field Manuals, to continuing his ideas through the critical placement of the right people in the right places. What is even more interesting is to see what happens as this idea grows from one person to others. Then those people expand on it in their own respective way. Through these stories you have a new appreciation of how one person can change the world.

The stories will for sure enhance your knowledge of the war. It also will give you knowledge that might enhance your skills in the workplace. I highly recommend this for all.
Burirus
A good treatis on the resurgence of COIN warfare to the seneior generals in the military. Petraeus gets more credit than he deserves. He got the best non Special Forces students of cointerinsurgencies to write army doctrine that the generals finally would listen to. Unfortunatly vey few of Petraeus' boys had any real SF counterinsurgency expirence and did not,seem to,bother reading established FM 31 series published doctrine on counterinsurgency operations! Since the formation of Special Forces, the regular army failed to,recocnize their unique skills because it did not fit their illusions of the big war! Korea, Viet Nam all had successful ops ignored by the top,brass because it did not fit their limited abilities and limited imaginations! Afghanistn is a prime example of SF running a winning ops then it gets mired in the conventional generals urge to get into another war! The modern wars are hampered by most generals seeing their first combat as a general! There was and is doctrine but since it did not come from the conventional side, it was ignored. Rumsfeld did not want to hear the word insurgency and the military was hard pressed to find a general willing to work with him so the brought back a retired guy, Schoomaker, to placare the whiney petulant Rumsfeld! Iraq was a mistake pushed by idiots and agreed to,by cowards in the Pentagon! Colin Powell stood up and quit, Shinseki told them wat will happen and did and was retired. This book reenforces the lack of imagination of general staffs and the smokescreen of a politically minded Petraeus. If he was so hot on CW, why did he not join SF? Not politically xorrect! He did push the ideas of others, information that was avalible and ignored for,years by comventional generals! Now SF has generals and are crawling into the light ! This will be their downfall, they will be another direct action arm and lose CW skills, any time a special group,join the lemmings they become them!
Kiaile
As a Marine with an '06 tour to Ramadi and an '08 tour to Helmand I found the book interesting, felt it touched on some important points but needed some heavy editing and was way too Army focused. I must also admit the book made it sound as if there is a massive gravy train of conferences, studies, etc. that keep a lot of insiders employed.

Most compelling was the issue raised by Kilcullen at the end about whether a COIN approach ever had a chance in Afghanistan given the challenges faced there, dysfunctional Afghan government, and our relatively short-term focus. I certainly came away from my tour in Afghanistan feeling it was "A Bridge Too Far" and a waste of resources on our part.

I wish there had been an attempt to reach beyond the Army. Kaplan mentioned only in passing General Krulack's three block war focus in the mid-90's which was building the ground work for the Marines and was certainly a precursor to COIN. General Mattis co-signed the COIN manual yet his perspective didn't warrant even a paragraph.

Another criticism is that it was apparent with whom Kaplan spent the most time and he came across as Nagl and Kilcullen's PR agent.

That said, the first and last thirds of the book were well worth reading.
FreandlyMan
This is a must for anyone interested in insurgent/counterinsurgent warfare and for anyone who just wants to know why we keep looking bad every time we get involved in a war or a "policing action". This is not a biography of General Petraeus, It is a story about forcing change. It tells in detail of the secret, non mainstream cabal of U.S. military scholars and staff officers that was founded 60 years ago on West Point's hallowed grounds that believed warfare was changing and took it upon themselves to try to change the Elephant's mind before it becomes someones dinner. They have been working behind the scenes to change the old-school "don't rock the boat" attitude within the U.S. Army and the general staff officers of all our forces before its too late. Its nothing new, the lessons have been there for us to see in history, ...but no one was looking! And worse that that, the upper echelon was discouraging that line of thought with extreme prejudice!
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