Blood Year: The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 306 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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About the Author
John Pruden is a professional voice actor who records audiobooks, corporate and online training narrations, animation and video game characters, and radio and TV commercials. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, John has a solid creative foundation from which to draw for his intelligent audiobook narrations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B01CYRM4JQ
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; 1st edition (February 9, 2016)
- Publication date : February 9, 2016
- Language: : English
- File size : 2866 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 306 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0190600543
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #773,689 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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First and foremost, Blood Year is a 'mea culpa' from a policy insider who, as much as any other single figure, helped craft US counterterrorism policy from 2005 onward. Kilcullen's "Disaggregation Theory" served as a critical corrective to US policy which had up until its formulation sought to tie the world's jihadists together under the single umbrella of terrorist, magnifying the threat rather than diminishing or defeating it. Yet as Kilcullen is the first to admit, this strategic framework also served to focus the US too closely on Al-Qaeda Central in Pakistan (especially after the start of the Obama Administration in 2009), and ignored the rise of al-Qaeda's erstwhile junior affiliate in Iraq. This, combined with the US invasion of Iraq (which Kilcullen describes as the worst strategic blunder since Hitler's 1940 invasion of the USSR) set the stage for disaster. Kilcullen goes on to chronicle how, with US forces out of Iraq and no longer applying pressure to Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki to maintain an inclusive government, Iraq began a swift descent into sectarian civil war, as well as the rise of ISIS from the remnants of Al-Qaeda in Iraq combined with former Ba'athist officers and Sunni tribes disenfranchised by Maliki's increasingly pro-Shi'a policies.
The result is a swift, incisive read that stands out as the best yet written on the rise of ISIS.
His view of war is that of a military man, yet he is smart enough to know that that doesn't work too well when the wars in question are being lost. He faults both Bush and Obama for their policies and why not? Both have been on the low side of average as US presidents go. Should we expect more from Trump or Clinton?
The book shines when he writes about the details of war. He has an organised mind and converts the fog of war into clear positions and actions that are easy to understand and that one relate to. One can see why those in power would consult him.
He recognises that there are a few short-comings in the way that these wars have been conducted, mostly by the USA. He does not however mention the complete absence of any political strategy that would enable them to be fought and won in a vaguely coherent manner. His answer to the question, "Where to now?" is disappointing but I suspect he is holding back. Why tell ISIS the winning move?
He advocates more and better warfare, but I have my doubts and I suspect he does to. When you are pruning your bush into the shape of an aircraft and it all goes wrong, it is often better to tryagain next spring.
I have reviewed this book with a querulous tone. It is worth reading, but I never got over the feeling that Kilcullen was writing to please a particular audience, but that the facts didn't serve.
David Kilcullen authority on the Middle East is known all over. He has been an adviser to both General Petraeus during the surge, Secretary Rice, to name just a few. He explains in the book the surge. Then he goes to explain how we got from the surge to the present trouble with ISIS. Through that you can see ISIS was a product of a political situation. So even if the west kills all of ISIS, which they are doing quite well right now there is an underlying problem. That problem will create new messes after ISIS is gone if it isn't dealt with. He gives you great detail not listed anywhere else to prove his points. He analysis covers both Iraq and Syria. Anymore you can't discuss one without the other.
A must for sure for any government official.
A similar view about the Iraq intervention is expressed by a concurrent author, American former Army colonel and professor Andrew Rackovich in his book "Americas War," but that writer seems to believe we should let the middle east countries deal with their problems with less western help.
Top reviews from other countries
The author's rank of Lt. Col. is at the sweet spot between field operations and staff headquarters. He writes with confidence and work is well referenced. I did not see any reference to counter-insurgency works originating from Asia in the bibliography.