Get 2 top 10 audiobooks free with a LoveReading exclusive

LoveReading has teamed up with Audiobooks.com to give you the chance to get 2 free audiobooks when you sign up. Try it for 30 days for free with no strings attached. You can cancel anytime, although we're sure you'll love it. Click the button to find out more:

Find out more

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam

by John A. Nagl

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam Synopsis

Invariably, armies are accused of preparing to fight the previous war. In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife , Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl - a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and the current conflict in Iraq - considers the now-crucial question of how armies adapt to changing circumstances during the course of conflicts for which they are initially unprepared. Through the use of archival sources and interviews with participants in both engagements, Nagl compares the development of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice in the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960 with what developed in the Vietnam War from 1950 to 1975. In examining these two events, Nagl - the subject of a recent New York Times Magazine cover story by Peter Maass - argues that organizational culture is key to the ability to learn from unanticipated conditions, a variable which explains why the British army successfully conducted counterinsurgency in Malaya but why the American army failed to do so in Vietnam, treating the war instead as a conventional conflict. Nagl concludes that the British army, because of its role as a colonial police force and the organizational characteristics created by its history and national culture, was better able to quickly learn and apply the lessons of counterinsurgency during the course of the Malayan Emergency. With a new preface reflecting on the author's combat experience in Iraq, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife is a timely examination of the lessons of previous counterinsurgency campaigns that will be hailed by both military leaders and interested civilians.

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam Press Reviews

Nagl's study is especially relevant today, and one that military leaders and interested citizens at all levels should read. It suggests how to encourage the spirit of innovation - a spirit that helped the British Army succeed in Malaya and that is currently transforming America's Army in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and around the globe. - From the Foreword by General Peter J. Schoomaker Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife has become must reading for high-level officers in Iraq because its lessons seem so directly applicable to the situation there. - National Review Online

Book Information

ISBN: 9780226567709
Publication date: 4th October 2005
Author: John A. Nagl
Publisher: University of Chicago Press an imprint of The University of Chicago Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 280 pages
Categories: Asian history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Military history,

About John A. Nagl

Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl is a Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Nagl led a tank platoon in the First Cavalry Division in Operation Desert Storm, taught national security studies at West Point's Department of Social Sciences, and served as the Operations Officer of Task Force 1-34 Armor in the First Infantry Division in Khalidiyah, Iraq.

More About John A. Nagl

Share this book