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Fred Kaplan’s ‘Insurgents,’ on David Petraeus - NYTimes.com


Fred Kaplan s Insurgents on David Petraeus NYTimes com

Source: www.nytimes.com

Stashed in: Military!, Pants on fire!, Petraeus

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Most alarming was the atmosphere of intellectual dishonesty that swirled through the highest levels of America’s war on terror. The Pentagon banned American officers from using the word “insurgency” to describe the nationalist Iraqis who were killing them. The White House decided that if it refused to plan for an occupation, somehow the United States would slide off the hook for running Iraq. Ideas mattered, and many of the most egregious foul-ups of the era stemmed from abstract theories mindlessly applied to the real world.

There is no one better equipped to tell the story of those ideas — and their often hair-raising consequences — than Fred Kaplan, a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter. Kap­lan writes Slate’s War Stories column, a must-read in security circles. He brings genuine expertise to his fine storytelling, with a doctorate from M.I.T., a government career in defense policy in the 1970s and three decades as a journalist. Kaplan knows the military world inside and out; better still, he has historical perspective. With “The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War,” he has written an authoritative, gripping and somewhat terrifying account of how the American military approached two major wars in the combustible Islamic world. He tells how it was grudgingly forced to adapt; how it then overreached; and how it now appears determined to discard as much as possible of what it learned and revert to its old ways.

Net-Net was that Petraeus was very good as manipulating language, right?

quite brilliant it seems...Clinton like?

That's what I was thinking. Very much like Clinton, who was so good at it that he is now beloved by many.

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