The Insurgents - David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War
- United States
More informationBased on previously unavailable documents and interviews with more than one hundred key players, including General David Petraeus, The Insurgents
unfolds against the backdrop of two wars waged against insurgencies in
Iraq and Afghanistan. But the main insurgency is the one led at home by
a new generation of officers-including Petraeus, John Nagl, David
Kilcullen, and H. R. McMaster-who were seized with an idea on how to
fight these kinds of "small wars" and who adapted their enemies'
techniques to overhaul their own army. Fred Kaplan explains where their
idea came from and how the men and women who latched onto this idea
created a community (some would refer to themselves as a "cabal") and
maneuvered the idea through the highest echelons of power.
is a cautionary tale about how creative ideas can harden into dogma,
how smart strategists-"the best and the brightest" of today-can win
bureaucratic battles but still lose the wars. The Insurgents made the
U.S. military more adaptive to the conflicts of the post-Cold War era,
but their self-confidence led us deeper into wars we shouldn't have
fought and couldn't help but lose.