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One More Bridge to Cross: Lowering the Cost of War Paperback – Illustrated, November 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Posterity Press (NC); Illustrated edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963869531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963869531
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In 'One More Bridge,' Poole puts together the ingredients of how to fight and win in the 21st Century." -- Infantry Magazine, Fall 2003

"John Poole ... [weaves] tactical lessons into ... exciting set of books. I would highly recommend them to all NCOs and officers." -- Gen. Anthony C. Zinni USMC(Ret.), 26 March 2004

"Overemphasis on rank, technology, and long-range warfare have created a deficiency in individual and small-unit skills in the U.S. military." -- Command Magazine, September 1999

"[A] must for all those who have to meet the reality of the battlefields of the 21st century." -- Fort Myers Pentagram, 30 November 2001

"[I]t shows U.S. military leaders how to operate more effectively, while taking fewer casualties." --Military Illustrated, November 1999

"John Poole's work ... can do a great deal to save ... lives. The combat techniques and training methods he offers are greatly advanced over those in the official Marine Corps technique manuals (U.S. father of 4th-Generation Warfare theory)." --William S. Lind, 1999

"'One More Bridge to Cross' shows how to combine human compassion with ground warfare." --Amazon.com, 6 June 2006

"Every grunt leader from squad to division should [re]read this book ... until they hang up their rifles (most heavily decorated GI from Vietnam War)." -- Col. David H. Hackworth U.S. Army (Ret.), 2000

"Small unit leaders would do well to read this ... book.... [It] is great. It addresses the squad not as a subset of the platoon, but as the team that makes everything happen." --ArmyBasic.org, 2002

From the Publisher

One More Bridge to Cross shows how to combine human compassion with ground warfare. To win a guerrilla, terrorist, or 4th-generation war, the U.S. military must win the hearts and minds of the people. To win the hearts and minds of the people, it must project less force. To project less force, it must have better light infantry. Eastern military and paramilitary organizations use the experimental, "bottom-up" approach to small-unit training. Western armies use the doctrinally driven, "top-down" approach. One produces progressively better tactical technique; the other produces situationally dismissive, totally predictable, and technologically-dated procedure. To win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, read this book.

More About the Author

Through an inverted military career, H. John Poole has discovered a few things that more promotable people miss. After spending his first two years as a combat commander, he did his last seven as an enlisted tactics instructor. That allowed him to see why U.S. troops have always had so much trouble with counterinsurgency. Their tactical techniques are quite simply outmoded. Those techniques are so unlikely to surprise anyone as to be 'premachinegun' in format. This oversight on their commanders' part and how it can be corrected forms much of the framework of Poole's work.

Since retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1993, Poole has has traveled extensively in the Communist and Islamist worlds and written eight other U.S. tactics manual supplements. He has also conducted multiday training sessions for 39 U.S. battalions, 9 schools, and 7 special operations units. As most U.S. intelligence personnel know too little about the Eastern thought process and evolution of squad tactics, these supplements also provide currently deployed GIs with a rare glimpse into their enemy's mind.

Since 2000, Poole has gone to Mainland China (twice), its hermit neighbor, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, and Tanzania. Over the course of his lifetime, he has been to the following Caribbean nations: Bahamas, Turks & Cacos, Caymans, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Antigua, Guadaloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad, and Aruba. He has lived in Mexico and Panama and revisited both places on several occasions. He has also been through every other Central American country except Belize. As for South America, he has traveled within the last year to Venezuela, and previously throughout Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Between early tours in the Marine Corps (from 1969 to 1971), Poole worked as a criminal investigator for the Illinois Bureau of Investigation (IBI). After attending the State Police Academy for several months in Springfield, he was assigned to the IBI's Chicago office.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Accurate and powerful historical examples complement this analysis.
Matthew Dodd
Most great military theorists (including Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and John Boyd) have emphasized the importance of moral factors.
A definite read for anyone interested in military tactics and training.
James E. Gardiner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Shay on December 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Poole is a man with a mission-to raise the level of skill of American fighting units-and he has made me a disciple. Poole is well known in infantry circles for his thick manual of small unit technique called _The Last Hundred Yards: The NCOs Contribution to Warfare_. I have seen well-thumbed copies lying about in a battalion at Camp Lejeune, so I am not just taking the author's word for it.
This book, _One More Bridge to Cross: Lowering the Cost of War_, gives the ethical, religious, psychological, social, and professional military underpinnings of the above-mentioned practical handbook of ground unit technique. Gunny Poole is an original and an inspiration. I call him Gunny Poole in our e-mail and phone conversations, even though he left the Marine Corps for the first time at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He then re-enlisted as an enlisted man, retiring finally as a Gunnery Sergeant-a role and rank held in reference throughout the Marine Corps.
I need to tell you that Gunny Poole is a deeply religious Roman Catholic. The religious dimension of this book is probably its most significant and persuasive aspect. His religious teaching on military matters-which I agree with 100% coming from a different, but non-Catholic Biblical tradition-is that our religious ethics teach that the point of fighting in a just cause is *to win, not to kill*. Not only are the lives of our own service members precious, according to our religious teaching, but so are enemy lives, both civilian and combatant. The irreplaceable key to winning with minimum casualties, both ours and enemy, is SKILL. So small unit skill and small unit leader skill are religious imperatives. In almost any fight, especially one that goes on for a while, skill trumps technology.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Johan Ström on November 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
One More Bridge to Cross is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about serious soldering at its most basic level. John Poole has very accurately broken down old military or for that matter conflict theories down to the level that does make a difference - the individual soldier and the things he fights for. When reading the book I kept nodding my head in consensus and admiration for the exact, precise and yet simple way Mr Poole discusses and tries to teach us common sense. Because that's what it is all about. No-nonsense and common sense. I as a captain in the Swedish Army recognize much of our (Swedish) way of training, leading and using our limited military assets in the Common-Sense Style. My current assignment is as an instructor at the Army Combat School. Therefore I will make this book mandatory reading for the young Swedish Army Cadets that I'm responsible to train in small-unit tactics.
I am convinced that in time every military institution will include John Poole's work in their teaching and training, just as well as we learn from Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz. He might even be one of our times great military theorists.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dodd on August 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you want to read a military book that many senior defense and defense-related leaders would not want anyone to read and openly discuss, then read this thought-provoking gem from John Poole.
This book is a well researched analysis of the American (western) approach to and conduct of war, and its moral, physical, and political consequences. Accurate and powerful historical examples complement this analysis. Poole argues that despite all the claims of American military superiority at all levels, the U.S. military has grown so dependent on technology and massive ammunition expenditures that it has let its individual and small-unit skills and experiences atrophy and be lost.
If you believe that the U.S. military is by far the best in the world, then Poole's perspectives will challenge your beliefs. Read what he has to say about our World War II adversaries, think about what he says happened to us in Korea, follow his logic about what happened in Vietnam, remember our approach to and conduct of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, reflect on his discussion about our efforts in Somalia in 1993, and then see if you notice any common trends extending into our operations in Afghanistan. Scary stuff.
Fortunately, Poole also gives some common-sense advice to reverse the dangerous course we are following to tactical inferiority. This advice is exactly what many senior defense and defense-related leaders fear the most, for it would shatter the status quo in which they rose to power and have fought so hard to maintain.
Poole packs a big and important message into a small book that is as thought-provoking to the American taxpayers as it is to the American fighting men and women.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wiley B. Howard Jr. on October 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
One More Bridge to Cross addresses something that often gets forgotten- the training of our souls and establishing a natural moral compass when engaged in combat will instinctively take over as chaos ensues. Fight or flight instincts take over on the battlefield. If training is not effective and becomes a part of ones character, it's left behind in lieu to what already exists in one's moral fabric. This book is about avoiding killing when the opportunity exists in order to minimize loss of life and limb. It's about applying only the appropriate amount of force in order to meet mission requirements. Before going into combat we train mentally and physically with a quick skim over the morality of war, and the mental, physical and moral costs of war without ever realizing what war actually may entail.

So what happens when human beings ignore training of the compass? We have incidences like Abu Ghraib, WWII soldiers say they were only following orders when exterminating Jews, Serbs and Muslims of the Balkans revenge killing each other, Palestinians and Israelis going tit- for-tat, Special Forces Operators being accused of needlessly killing detainees, news reporters concerned about getting stories out without considering their uninformed or biased approaches. All of the above named actions contribute to the continuation of war.

Service members who are not mentally prepared for this reality may become susceptible to mental and emotional illnesses i.e. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. They may feel guilt ridden for something they have actually done correctly, but do not realize that they had taken appropriate measures because faith in themselves and their training were not reinforced.

Again, war is the ultimate clash of HUMAN WILLS.
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