Hammes is a career Marine Corps officer, and with this selection, he argues that the U.S. has adapted poorly in response to the new generation of guerrilla warfare. Fourth-generation warfare, as Hammes calls it, is what American forces encounter in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israelis find in Palestine, and it is the way of the future: guerrilla warfare characterized by political acumen and patience, using communications networks and strategic strikes to demoralize and exhaust conventionally superior militaries. For many military strategists, including those presently running the Defense Department, this new world order amounts to a call to newfangled technological arms, but for Hammes, smart bombs and spy drones are not the answer. The solution is to study our enemies as they have studied us and build a networked, flexible, and, here's the kicker, less hierarchical military structure that employs humans to fight the humans fighting us. As few as five years ago, such analysis would have had limited appeal, but in today's political climate, this concise, surprisingly readable book will attract a broad readership. Brendan Driscoll
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Military Review, March/April 2007
“Can a two-and-one-half-year-old book be reviewed as a classic? It can, and should, if it says the kinds of smart, prescient things that Hammes had to say in 2004. The Sling and the Stone was written to appeal to a vast and diverse audience. It provides numerous jewels of information for the general reader as well as senior military leaders, military operational planners and supporters, interagency personnel, and U.S. political leaders who are looking for a provocative read to aid them in making informed decisions in support of U.S. national security. Since its first publication, this visionary book has ignited others in public and private life to read, research, write, and advocate for the United States to change its defense posture in order to meet the challenge posed by the advent of 4GW. Many of Hammes’ ideas have now been adopted by the military and are currently in practice in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other ideas are being studied extensively within the Washington Beltway. U.S. homeland security and counterinsurgency doctrines have also been strongly influenced and shaped by this book. Hammes has truly been a catalyst for change … Hammes’s book is truly an enlightening must-read for Military Review’s readers, particularly those attending career military schools. It should remain so for many years to come.”
Parameters: U.S. Army War College Quarterly, Autumn 2005
“This is a stimulating – nay, provocative – book that should cause military readers and all associated with the security of the United States to question their fundamental assumptions. It is also a gutsy book because the author, a serving officer, asserts in effect that the Secretary of Defense, his team in the Pentagon, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are wrong in the way they are fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He further contends that the United States stands a good chance of losing its wars in the future unless the forces confront the realities of warfare in this century.”
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