Lieutenant Colonel R. Alan King and his 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion became operations central after the collapse of the Iraqi army and the beginning of the occupation of Iraq in March 2003. While under his command, these civil affairs and psychological operations soldiers were not content to stay in secure offices inside the green zone. Instead, they knew that to do theiLieutenant Colonel R. Alan King and his 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion became operations central after the collapse of the Iraqi army and the beginning of the occupation of Iraq in March 2003. While under his command, these civil affairs and psychological operations soldiers were not content to stay in secure offices inside the green zone. Instead, they knew that to do their job they had to get out and make "house calls," and in the process the 422nd became the most highly decorated civil affairs unit in the history of the U.S. Army, with twenty-one individual awards for valor and five purple hearts. King was particularly well-suited for the new kind of war being waged in Iraq. Armed with his rifle, a Palm Pilot that contained an English translation of the Koran, and an informed and nuanced respect for Middle Eastern culture, King and his team captured or arranged the surrender of almost a dozen of the most-wanted villains from Saddam's regime, including several from the famous deck of cards. He became privy to secrets as weighty as those of Iraq's nuclear weapons program and as light as those behind the outlandish press briefings of the infamous Baghdad Bob. Twice Armed - its title is taken from Plato's maxim We are twice armed if we fight with faith - provides a compelling view of the Iraq war, and the experience from the Iraqi perspective, from one of the war's most decorated officers. The regional expertise that helped King negotiate with clerics and sheikhs also informs his provocative opinions about what it will take to win the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraq, an ancient, mystifying, and deeply religious culture. King has been compared to the legendary T. E. Lawrence, with the press dubbing him “Alan of Arabia,” and this book sheds light on a new and necessary component of modern warfare, one that goes far beyond artillery and armor, and instead tells King's story of cultural interaction and respect that yielded results in his area at the beginning of the war. A trenchant and necessary look at how the winning of the hearts and minds of people in Iraq is as crucial to success as the winning of tactical military goals. ...
|Title||:||Twice Armed: An American Soldier's Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq|
|Number of Pages||:||304 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Twice Armed: An American Soldier's Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq Reviews
The book was an easy but rough read. It felt a little like I was reading a rough manuscript. It's narrative nature ("This happened, then this happened, then this happened, etc.) got a little tedious. I found myself wondering exactly what, or when, the author was describing events or sequences of events several times and we seemed to veer off course occassionally. I felt the last couple of chapters were trying to address too many misconceptions of Islam in as short of a space as possible. In fact, much of the book seemed to be defending Iraqis and their culture while criticizing the methods of military leadership in the invasion and management of the Iraq war. There was a great deal of passion in Col King's words - it was both admirable and moving. His personal account made me reflect with more insight into my own experiences in Iraq in 2005-2006 and rethink my time spent with Iraqi engineers and soldiers. I wish I had had the opportunity to read this book prior to deploying to Iraq. The book is really Col King's perspective and experiences and doesn't dwell on all the happenings surrounding the build-up, invasion, or early operations of the Iraq war. But his perspective and experiences are certainly unique and his story is worth this short read.
Poorly written? Well, last time i checked, he was a soldier, not a professional author...Written by one of the lead US Army officers responsible for establishing a connection with the Iraqi Sheik population during the 2003 Iraq War. Great perspective... the man on the inside shaking hands with Sheiks, establishing a connection between Coalition forces and the local Iraqis on the ground, the man who convinced many of the faces on the infamous deck of cards to turn themselves in, and the man that worked diligently to establish an Iraqi-centric reconstruction effort after the fall of Saddam. "Colonel King" critiques the actions of the United States, especially the de-Ba'athification of the Iraqi military, and the transition of the US from "liberator" to "occupier", and the consequences those actions (and perceptions) had on the reconstruction effort. Read it for content, not for style. You can put lipstick on a pig...
Published 2006, Lt Col King served 16 months in Iraq, 2003/04, and this book offers his suggestions for successfully establishing a democracy in the occupied country. He recommends we remove "Islamic" when we talk about terrorists, and that we respectfully reach into mainstream Muslim communities for info and partners. I ignored the grammatical errors, typos, even the occasional missed paragraph/return. Scenes where he illustrated a simple East vs. West cultural misunderstanding, e.g., interrogations, kept my interest.
Poorly written, but a somewhat interesting account of what was going on on the ground in Iraq right after the U.S. invasion and of how the mission to "win the hearts and minds" failed despite some well-meaning efforts.
Interesting topic and perspective - yet so poorly written as to be distracting.
The author's son (my student) gave me this book to read.