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Archive for the ‘Fred Kaplan’ Category

Here’s an interesting weekend non-fiction book review!  (Remember even Pastors need a break with lesiure reading!)

dark-territory-the-secret-history-of-cyber-war

Fred Kaplan. Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, March 1st, 2016. 339 pp.

Dark Territory is the second work by the author that I read and while in my opinion it was not the same quality as his previous work titled The Insurgents I think it is important to realize that this is not because I thought Dark Territory was bad but because The Insurgents was on a league of its own.  In Dark Territory the author Fred Kaplan turn to the subject of cyber warfare.

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As usual each Friday I try to post a review of weekend readings that pastors and others can read that serves as break from their spiritual readings.  Tonight’s book was one that was a great exercise of other parts of my mind.

The Insurgents David Petraeus by Fred Kaplan

Fred Kaplan. The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, January 2nd, 2013. 432 pp.

What an amazing book.  I have so many good things to say.  But first a brief summary:  The author Fred Kaplan takes a look at the US Army’s wrestling with the idea and practice of counterinsurgency after the post-Vietnam era.  Kaplan makes the point that after the Vietnam War the leadership at the Pentagon never wanted to fight another counterinsurgency again.  Instead the military as a whole focused on the more traditional concept of warfare such as big tank battles, heavy artillery and mechanized heavy infantry.  A lot of this was due to the ongoing Cold War with the threat of Russia and the Eastern Bloc.  It was also what was most familiar to many of the Generals and Admirals.  But the collapse of the Soviet Union and the defeat of the fourth largest tank army during Desert Storm soon reduced the likelihood of the traditional warfare that the US wanted.  Unfortunately after Vietnam the Army has stopped thinking, teaching and training for counter-insurgency.  It didn’t even have a manual for that kind of warfare among its publications!  This book focuses primarily on how this mentality hurt the US military and also on the men and women who tried to change the Army’s way of fighting war.  It concentrate largely on the war in Iraq though it does give a brief look at Afghanistan.  Having recently read a number of books on military history I must say this book was one of the best military history nonfiction I read in the first half of 2016.

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