Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of difficulties associated with war in the postmodern era.
In this tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer’s Drift, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq receives ground-level lessons about urban combat, communications technology, and high-powered weaponry in an environment where policy meets reality. Over the course of six dreams, the inexperienced soldier fights the same battle again and again, learning each time—the hard way—which false assumptions and misconceptions he needs to discard in order to help his men avoid being killed or captured. As the protagonist struggles with his missions and grapples with the consequences of his mistakes, he develops a keen understanding of counterinsurgency fundamentals and the potential pitfalls of working with the native population.
Accompanied here by the original novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for cadets and junior military leaders seeking to master counterinsurgency warfare—as well as general readers seeking a deeper understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as its predecessor has been a hallmark of military instruction, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa will draw the road map for counterinsurgency in the postmodern world.
Visit a website for the book here: www.defenseofJAD.com
During the height of the Guatemalan civil war, Tomás Guzaro, a Mayan evangelical pastor, led more than two hundred fellow Mayas out of guerrilla-controlled Ixil territory and into the relative safety of the government army's hands. This exodus was one of the factors that caused the guerrillas to lose their grip on the Ixil, thus hastening the return of peace to the area.
In Escaping the Fire, Guzaro relates the hardships common to most Mayas and the resulting unrest that opened the door to civil war. He details the Guatemalan army's atrocities while also describing the Guerrilla Army of the Poor's rise to power in Ixil country, which resulted in limited religious freedom, murdered church leaders, and threatened congregations. His story climaxes with the harrowing vision that induced him to guide his people out of their war-torn homeland.
Guzaro also provides an intimate look at his spiritual pilgrimage through all three of Guatemala's main religions. The son of a Mayan priest, formerly a leader in the Catholic Church, and finally a convert to Protestantism, Guzaro, in detailing his religious life, offers insight into the widespread shift toward Protestantism in Latin America over the past four decades.
Riveting and highly personal, Escaping the Fire ultimately provides a counterpoint to the usual interpretation of indigenous agency during the Guatemalan civil war by documenting the little-studied experiences of Protestants living in guerrilla-held territory.
Terrorism and guerrilla warfare, whether justified as resistance to oppression or condemned as disrupting the rule of law, are as old as civilization itself. The power of the terrorist, however, has been magnified by modern weapons, including television, which he has learned to exploit.
To protect itself, society must understand the terrorist and what he is trying to do; thus Dr. Clutterbuck’s purpose in writing this book: “to contribute to the understanding and cooperation between the police, the public and the media.”
Containing advice on curing rattlesnake bites with amethysts and making saltpeter for gunpowder from concentrated human urine, The Indian Militia is a manual in four parts, the first of which outlines the ideal qualities of the militia commander. Addressing the organization and outfitting of conquest expeditions, Book Two includes extended discussions of arms and medicine. Book Three covers the proper behavior of soldiers, providing advice on marching through peaceful and bellicose territories, crossing rivers, bivouacking in foul weather, and carrying out night raids and ambushes. Book Four deals with peacemaking, town-founding, and the proper treatment of conquered peoples. Appended to these four sections is a brief geographical description of all of Spanish America, with special emphasis on the indigenous peoples of New Granada (roughly modern-day Colombia), followed by a short guide to the southern coasts and heavens. This first English-language edition of The Indian Militia includes an extensive introduction, a posthumous report on Vargas Machuca’s military service, and a selection from his unpublished attack on the writings of Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas.
Essays that explore the growing field of conflict archaeology
Within the last twenty years, the archaeology of conflict has emerged as a valuable subdiscipline within anthropology, contributing greatly to our knowledge and understanding of human conflict on a global scale. Although archaeologists have clearly demonstrated their utility in the study of large-scale battles and sites of conventional warfare, such as camps and forts, conflicts involving asymmetric, guerilla, or irregular warfare are largely missing from the historical record.
Partisans, Guerillas, and Irregulars: Historical Archaeology of Asymmetric Warfare presents recent examples of how historical archaeology can contribute to a better understanding of asymmetric warfare. The volume introduces readers to this growing study and to its historic importance. Contributors illustrate how the wide range of traditional and new methods and techniques of historiography and archaeology can be applied to expose critical actions, sacrifices, and accomplishments of competing groups representing opposing philosophies and ways of life, which are otherwise lost in time.
The case studies offered cover significant events in American and world history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, Indian wars in the Southeast and Southwest, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Prohibition, and World War II. All such examples used here took place at a local or regional level, and several were singular events within a much larger and more complex historic movement. While retained in local memory or tradition, and despite their potential importance, they are poorly, and incompletely addressed in the historic record. Furthermore, these conflicts took place between groups of significantly different cultural and military traditions and capabilities, most taking on a “David vs. Goliath” character, further shaping the definition of asymmetric warfare.
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