Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Battle Ready by Tom Clancy with Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz

Battle Ready by Tom Clancy with Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz is the memoirs of General Tony Zinni USMC Retired the American soldier probably most famous for being write about the troop levels needed in post-Saddam Iraq. Zinni was an adviser to a South Vietnamese Marine unit in Vietnam where he was badly wounded from their he moved through various posts in the United States Marine Corps's ranks. Perhaps most interesting was his time running a security detachment on Okinawa [a US base at the time] at the height of the racial troubles in the 1970s. He was involved in the protection of the Kurds after the first gulf war as well as the American involvement in Somalia. He would eventually lead Central Command during the late 1990s then attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

The book seems to be based on oral interviews that Clancy ties together. This makes it rather disjointed. The narrative will stop for several first-person remarks from Zinni in italics then continue. The book seems almost like a PR exercise at times. We're being constantly told how outspoken he was but there really isn't anything controversial. He seems to have been on the "winning" side of most arguments.

He glosses over incidents such as the mistaken attack on a pharmaceuticals manufacturer after the US embassy bombings. Shrugging it off by saying it was good intelligence. We don't really learn much about him personally. There isn't even the often brief discussions of wife and family that are normal for military memoirs.

The last 20 pages lays out his perspectives on low-intensity conflict as well as future threats and the necessary changes the military will have to go through. This is excellent I only wish it could have been more of the book.

Recommended with caveats.

Is available through Abebooks.

No comments: