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

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


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A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

The inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars whoagainst fierce resistance from within their own rankschanged the way the Pentagon does business and the American military fights wars.

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 institutionsthe United States military. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the postCold 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 officersPetraeus, John Nagl, H. R. McMaster, and othersmany of them classmates or colleagues in West Points 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 personalitiesand 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 strategiststodays best and brightestcan 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 toolsand made it more temptingfor political leaders to wade into wars that they would be wise to avoid.


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