Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Twice Armed: An American Soldier's Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq Hardcover – September 15, 2006
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Twice Armed, by R. Alan King, attempts to explain the challenges, errors, and strategy for ultimate success in Iraq based on its author’s personal experiences as a civil affairs battalion commander and deputy director of the Office of Provincial Outreach, Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). King devotes the first 11 chapters of Twice Armed to describing his personal experiences during the ground war and the initial occupation of Baghdad and in subsequent stability operations…While King’s personal experiences are certainly entertaining, the final two chapters and postscript comprise the “so what” of the book. They contain King’s thoughts about what went wrong for the United States in Iraq and what must be done to win there and against the broader ideology driving Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups…His thoughts are insightful and give Twice Armed particular relevance as the United States continues the fight in Iraq…
Unlike the authors of many recent books published about the Iraq war, King was there, in uniform; he has sufficient credibility and experience to make his book authoritative. Moreover, he was involved in many critical aspects of the ground war and subsequent stability operations, including the cease-fire talks during the first Fallujah battle and confrontations with Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. King’s in-depth understanding of Islam and Christianity lends additional credibility to his arguments…While Twice Armed is somewhat civil-affairs-centric, it offers unique insights into dealing with the Iraqi population that could contribute to an eventual successful effort. It should be a must-read for all field grade officers bound for duty in Iraq.
"It offers unique insights into dealing with the Iraqi population that could contribute to an eventual successful effort. It should be a must-read for all field grade officers bound for duty in Iraq.”
From the Inside Flap
Twice Armed is the remarkable memoir of a U.S. Army soldier’s experience capturing some of the most wanted former Iraqi regime leaders and terrorists on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority during the war in Iraq. Lt. Col. R. Alan King experienced close combat and survived deadly ambushes, but his success as a war fighter was mostly due to his nuanced understanding of an ancient, mystifying, and deeply religious culture. Twice Armed illustrates how the author negotiated with numerous sheiks and clerics, eventually earning their confidence and trust. A tough-as-nails soldier armed with a Palm Pilot and a Qur’an, Colonel King captured or accepted the surrender of almost a dozen of the most-wanted Iraqi personalities from the former Saddam regime, including a number from the notorious “deck of cards.”
Like T.E. Lawrence more than eighty years before, it was Colonel King’s understanding, respect, and willingness to practice the customs of the Middle East that allowed him to slip behind the shroud of cultural secrecy that has protected Iraqi society for thousands of years. He was made the honorary sheik of one of the largest tribes in Iraq, which afforded him special privileges and enabled him to sit in on tribal negotiations. Powerful sheiks approached him to intervene with the Coalition and to negotiate the surrender of most-wanted tribe and family members on their behalf.
Colonel King also learned secrets of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program from the former chairman of Iraq’s atomic energy agency, a figure who was among the top 100 most wanted personalities from the former regime. On the lighter side, he spoke with Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (a.k.a. “Baghdad Bob”), learning the secrets behind al-Sahaf’s outlandish press briefings. By the end of major combat operations, the unit the author commanded had become the most highly decorated civil affairs battalion in the history of the U.S. Army. The 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the highest award that can be bestowed on a military unit, along with twenty-one awards for valor and five Purple Hearts.
In addition to being a war memoir with a genuinely unusual perspective, Twice Armed provides an on-the-ground look at how the Iraqis perceived the Coalition’s actions and what has led to the growth of the insurgency today. It shares inside accounts from the former elites of the events of the war as they unfolded from the night the Coalition crossed the border, to the fall of Saddam’s regime, through the challenges of the reconstruction, and finally, to the transfer of sovereignty.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Seldom has there been such a riveting and insightful memoir that captures history right off the front pages of recent history. This book gives us a different view then what we have been getting from the TV or the newspapers or even from the White House. His dealings with local people show a sensitive social and religious tolerance that makes for good diplomacy and good soldiering. Men like King are certainly not common in the ranks. They should be treated as rare and valuable government assets but too often they are ignored. It amazes me that our leadership chooses to ignore such men and continues to pursue policies and actions based on their limited blinded understandings of the real world.
It gives me some hope that perhaps there are other military minds out there who are making a difference. My fear is that we have lost the righteous momentum for solving the huge problems in Iraq and now are scrambling for any escape from this dangerous arena.
I enjoyed reading Lieutenant Colonel King's accounting of his experiences in Iraq and his views on the situation there. I highly recommend his book for all American's to read. They might come away with a much broader and knowledgeable view of what is going on in Iraq and perhaps why things are as they are. This book deserves the MWSA"s top book rating of FIVE STARS! A MUST READ BOOK!
Lt Col King isn't Ernie Pyle, but he does have his moments. His description of an ambush and feelings about losing an Iraqi bodyguard, Fallah, is heartfelt and moving. It hits you where you live, which is more than can be said about a lot of memoirs coming out of Iraq. Nevertheless, the book is choppy and he often doesn't provide the context that would help the reader understand what he's doing and why. Twice Armed also needed a better editor and proofreader. Typos are understandable from a small publisher, but they're frequent enough to become distracting.
That said, Lt Col King is one of those honest-to-goodness soldiers who makes you proud of your military, proud of your country, and angry that more people don't share his understanding of the challenges before us or his commitment to overcoming them. Twice Armed won't win him any writing awards; he'll have to settle for being a great American in the truest sense of the word. Either way, we owe him a debt of gratitude for writing the book, relating his experiences, and sharing his thoughts. Read it. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Also worth reading: Waging Peace by Rob Schultheis, a writer who embedded with a Civil Affairs Team from the 425th Civil affairs Battalion.
Most recent customer reviews
Alan King and his colleagues present an often overlooked, misunderstood and yet extremely important aspect of post conflict...Read more