Friday, August 11, 2006

The Sling and the Stone on War in the 21st Century by Thomas X. Hammes

The Sling and the Stone on War in the 21st Century by Thomas X. Hammes is a superb book on how to defeat insurgency and terrorist threats. The author suggests that instead of preparing to fight mechanized forces such as China the US should be more concerned about creating forces which are able to defeat insurgencies. He describes insurgencies and as the fourth generation of warfare. His analysis on the different aspects of insurgency and counterinsurgency are accurate and well thought out. One criticism is that he believes that Mao was the first to come up with the idea of a guerrilla campaign. This is highly inaccurate there have been insurgencies for over 2400 years.

The Department of Defense's technology fetish is analyzed and is described as stupid. Much is made of the concept of the revolution in military affairs and the unwillingness of its supporters to consider American failures since Vietnam.

The book also contains a list of recommendations that the military can use to become more adaptable. The policy changes make sense we can only hope someone is listening.

Very highly recommended.

For more Iraq book reviews take a look at My Iraq bookshelf.

For reviews take a look at My Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Partisan and Guerrilla Warfare bookshelf.

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