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Surviving the International War Zone: Security Lessons Learned and Stories from Police and Military Peacekeeping Forces 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1439827949
ISBN-10: 143982794X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Having served as an International Police officer for the United Nations Police Task Force in Bosnia and Kosovo and as an instructor at the Specialized advanced Training Unit of the High Institute of the Baghdad Police College in Iraq, Rail here relates stories from his experiences and combines them with the personal stories of other soldiers and police who have served in such conflict zones as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, Haiti, and Liberia that are intended to provide lessons on surviving in a foreign war zone.
—In Research Book News, booknews.com, February 2011

About the Author

Dr. Robert R. Rail was an International Police Officer for the United Nations Police Task Force in Bosnia and Kosovo. As a war zone officer, Bob performed a wide variety of enforcement assignments including patrol, general peacekeeping activities and riot response. He has been a physical confrontation advisor and resource training provider to personnel for NATO and OSCE. Dr. Rail has been a resident instructor at the Specialized Advanced Training Unit of the High Institute of the Baghdad Police College and was awarded a second doctorate degree for his exceptional abilities as an international police instructor. He has received numerous other awards for his work in the international community. An internationally respected and acclaimed instructor, he is a frequent contributor to publications, television, and radio programs and conducts both training and consulting services for universities and corporations worldwide. He is the author of four other books, including: The Unspoken Dialogue; Defense Without Damage; Custodial Cuffing and Restraint; and Reactive Handcuffing Tactics, all available from Varro Press.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (October 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143982794X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439827949
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,285,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By William J. Wilhite on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating, enthralling read! Like a lot of other boomers, I spent most of my adult life wondering what value, if any, the UN actually had beyond serving as an international circus arena where politicians slandered one another at will. This book changed that misconception. Some of the stories made me laugh while others had such an emotional impact that I had to put the book down and give my brain time to wrap itself around what I had just read. You cannot read this book and not be affected by it.
"Surviving the International War Zone" is a refreshing revelation. It is a compilation of stories written by the author and fellow UN Peacekeepers from all over the globe who served alongside him in various war zones. The stories are not written by news services, journalists or governmental representatives . These are short stories of the survivors of war seen through the eyes of ordinary men and women whose common thread is a shared military or civilian police background. Ethnic customs vary widely, but the peace keeping officers must deal daily with the hope, sorrow, love, hate, pride, despair, hunger, rage, horror and desperation seen on the faces of children trying to survive one more day in the snow covered rubble of their bombed out village. It is these stories of one-on-one interaction with the innocent victims of insanity that demonstrates the true importance of UN missions. Many of these wars are ethnic conflicts that have gone on for hundreds of years, and will most likely continue to bring suffering to nameless families for hundreds more. Stopping wars with military force is certainly a necessary step, but the most important and lasting action is the sharing of one's self with the victims. Taking the time to listen to, share a meal with, maybe offer whatever help is available to the individuals. At least for a short time, offering a brief illusion of security, and, above all, hope.
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Format: Hardcover
From Forward to Conclusion, the book is fascinating and riveting. The unabashed stories of contributing authors provides readers an "inside" view of what it is to become a Peacekeeper and the myriad of experiences they encountered. There has never been such a comprehensive recapitulation of what its like to work and live in civilian-oriented global law enforcement communities. Until now few people would know of this work or comprehend its necessity. The authors give intricate insight not only to experiences, but how they adjusted or adapted to various environments and the struggles to survive. In reading the various stories a picture emerges as to how shocking a change it is for a police officer to abandon home lives, family and friends to enter complex and mystifying cultures. Social adaptations are equally complex and forbidding. After several decades of international peacekeeping missions, little attention is given to police officers who sacrifice themselves in order to assist in the rebuilding of war torn nations and societies. Preparation, education and training for such assignments are practically non-existent. The complexity of returning home after EOM is yet another compelling aspect, oftentimes deeply troubling leaving each officer to fend for themselves as there is no support mechanism, no fanfare, parades, medals and the like when compared to Military operations. Yet to become a United Nations Peacekeeper may well be the pinnacle achievement in a police officer's career. This book serves to open the door to an otherwise opaque global responsibility. Much can be learned from it with the hope that awareness of this incredible service will be realized and those who have served and serve still are respectfully recognized. Dr. Rail has opened the door for such possibility.

Dr. William Budd, PhD., Chief of Police (retired), UNMIK Veteran
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Format: Hardcover
For this edition of The Peacemaker's Bookshelf I have selected a new book written by Bob Rail entitled Surviving the International War Zone. Bob was a police officer for many years before he became involved in international peacekeeping. As an international police officer assigned to some of the most violent conflict zones in the 20th and 21st century, Bob has seen every kind of violence one human can do to another. And, he has developed a deep appreciation of the power of peace, rather than war, to help people move through violence to a better life for themselves and their families.
Surviving the International War Zone is a series of stories, essays, and observations from Bob, his wife Janet, and many of his colleagues. The stories are sometimes humorous, seen from the perspective of the now rather than the then. Mostly, they show how men and women assigned to keep people who really, really hate each from killing everything in sight, managed to keep peace and their personal sanity.
The book is designed to impart wisdom to those who will be working in a war zone and those who must plan for those who go. There are pearls of wisdom on every page as Bob and his colleagues share the learning curve they went through to survive desert heat that was measured with a meat thermometer, snipers, street gangs, and terrorists. What is so interesting is that the contributors Bob selected come from all over the world. Germany, Zimbabwe, Norway, Russia, Spain and other countries are all represented in the book. Each of these men and women share their personal perspective on living and working in a war zone from their cultural as well as professional backgrounds.
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