Dragon Days: Time for "Unconventional" Tactics


DoD's focus has now shifted from Europe to Asia and SW Pacific. This book describes the extent of Islamist and Communist expansion there and how to reverse it. As both takeover tries involve drugs and are otherwise similar, only one solution is needed. Instead of occupying nations or training armies, the Pentagon must blanket the area with tiny law-enforcement-assistance teams. This takes more police and Unconventional Warfare (UW) ability than any U.S. grunt or special operator currently has. Part One details ...

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DoD's focus has now shifted from Europe to Asia and SW Pacific. This book describes the extent of Islamist and Communist expansion there and how to reverse it. As both takeover tries involve drugs and are otherwise similar, only one solution is needed. Instead of occupying nations or training armies, the Pentagon must blanket the area with tiny law-enforcement-assistance teams. This takes more police and Unconventional Warfare (UW) ability than any U.S. grunt or special operator currently has. Part One details the subversion. Part Two shows what teams must know about criminal investigative procedure. Part Three has the UW techniques to escape encirclement. As such, this book may be America's only UW tactical-technique manual.

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Editorial Reviews

Quantico Sentry
Poole ... offers two studies in 'Dragon Days': how a rising superpower may be hiding its Maoist expansion behind Islamic insurgency, and what America's armed forces must do to curtail either.
Military Officer
Part One of Dragon Days shows how China has been hiding Maoist expansion behind Islamic insurgency. DoD must deploy foreign-aid workers in the law enforcement sector to help indigenous police and soldiers reestablish local security. Part Two contains their criminal investigative procedures, while Part Three has their unconventional warfare techniques.”
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA)
[P]erfect ... for the counterinsurgent.... [An entire] collection of ... [the author's] supplements to official manuals would be helpful to most deployed soldiers.
Aerospace Daily and Defense Report
'Dragon Days: Time for Unconventional Tactics,' ... details the need for such units [squads with enough tactical skill to survive alone] in the current 4th-Generation Warfare being waged by terrorists to the benefit ... of China.
(Naval) Proceedings Magazine
Marines, Soldiers, and other personnel who directly face 4GW threats will benefit from reading 'Dragon Days.' The author has researched and developed an impressive book on unconventional warfare tactics and techniques that should not be ignored.
Mil. Officers Assn. of America (MOAA) Magazine
This book is packed with background on China's increasing involvement with Muslim insurgencies and terrorist activities in Asia, the Pacific, and Middle East. He [the author] also convincingly argues that American forces must fight like guerrillas to defeat guerrillas, and includes detailed chapters on ... [stalking] attack, rural and urban escape and evasion, and how best to [enhance] ... terrain.
Fort Knox Turret
'Dragon Days' explains how to successfully counter terrorist groups.... Fighting terrorists ..., Poole points out, is more like police work than a military operation. I highly recommend this book.
Poole, who is an undisputed expert in both 4th-Generation Warfare and the Asian culture ... teaches [the] tactics and techniques ... [of] unconventional warfare.... If you are a leader, at any level, you need to read this book and utilize it to train your warriors for the ongoing global war on terrorism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780963869548
  • Publisher: Posterity Press (NC)
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: 162 illustrations
  • Pages: 484
  • Sales rank: 921,641
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet 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 outmaneuvering their immediate adversaries. Their tactical techniques (like football plays) are quite simply outmoded. These U.S. small-unit maneuvers are so unlikely to surprise anyone as to be "premachinegun" in format. This oversight on the part of their commanders and how to compensate for it forms the framework of Poole's work.

Since retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1993, Poole has has traveled extensively in both Communist and Islamist worlds. He has also written 10 other tactics/intelligence supplements and conducted multiday training sessions for 40 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 provide currently deployed GIs with a rare glimpse into their enemies' intentions. Since 2000, Poole has done research in Russia, Mainland China (twice), North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India (three times), Pakistan (three times), Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Tanzania, and Venezuela. Over the course of his lifetime, he has further traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and most of the Western Hemisphere. He has lived (or been stationed) in Mexico, Panama, Vietnam, and Japan. 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, he worked out of the IBI's Chicago office.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Part One: Return of the Dragon
Chapter 1: The Sino-Islamist Connection
Chapter 2: Burma, Thailand, and Malaysia
Chapter 3: Southern Philippines and Indonesia
Chapter 4: Cambodia and Laos
Chapter 5: Nepal and Bangladesh
Chapter 6: India and Sri Lanka
Chapter 7: Pakistan and Afghanistan
Part Two: A Viable Containment Strategy
Chapter 8: What Hasn't Worked in the Past
Chapter 9: The Law Enforcement Dimension
Chapter 10: A Thorough Investigation
Chapter 11: Pursuit and Arrest
Chapter 12: The Sting
Chapter 13: The Only Defense Is Unconventional
Part Three: Prerequisite Unconventional Warfare Skills
Chapter 14: Finding an Enemy Weakness
Chapter 15: Obscure Approach
Chapter 16: Disguising the Attack
Chapter 17: Precluding a Counterstroke
Chapter 18: Rural Escape and Evasion
Chapter 19: Enhancing Rural Terrain
Chapter 20: Urban Escape and Evasion
Chapter 21: Enhancing Urban Terrain
About the Author
Name Index
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In Dragon Days, John Poole attempts two seemingly disjointed studies back to back. The first is to see what, if any, strategic link may exist between the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the most prominent Muslim militant movements. The second is to show how tactically to limit the expansionist progress of either. Strategy and tactics are seldom discussed in the same breath. Yet, Poole has discovered evidence of a PRC strategy that is only visible through easily ignored details. This strategy involves the destabilization of free nations to garner not only their natural resources, but also the shipping lanes back to China. Whether or not this hypothesis is adequately supported, Poole’s solution to it has tremendous applicability to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever else U.S. troops may find themselves in future years. Just as Iraq and Afghanistan have become 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) counterguerrilla exercises, so too will most 21st Century deployments. That’s the enemy’s best, and perhaps only, way to win.

Poole reasons that to beat guerrillas, U.S. infantrymen and special operators must learn to fight like guerrillas. All will additionally need advanced Escape and Evasion (E&E) training. Those two skill sets comprise a full two-thirds of what is generally considered to be “unconventional warfare” (UW). GIs trained in UW could simply “slip away” whenever surrounded. This would give them the capability of anchoring isolated Combined Action Platoons (those with one squad each of U.S. troops, local police, and indigenous soldiers). Presently, a detachment of Americans in such a predicament would have to be saved through heavy bombardment. With thatbombardment would unavoidably come collateral damage and the “loss of hearts and minds” that has so often led to defeat in the past. If its members were additionally trained in police procedure, they could function as foreign aid workers in the law enforcement sector instead of unwelcome occupiers.

Though the new threat is most visible through a strategic assessment, its solution lies in good enough small-unit tactics to counter the expansionists’ local effort. Overt power projection by the United States will only make things worse. This is the lesson of Vietnam, Beirut, and Somalia. Standoff surveillance and firepower may still appear to preserve U.S. lives, but they no longer suffice to win wars. U.S. service personnel know their job to be risky. What they demand in return for their sacrifice is the assurance that their lives will not be spent on a losing effort. With UW and police training, Americas finest could easily weather the additional danger of a tactics-oriented strategy. More importantly, they might collectively manage a reversal to the downward trend in world stability that more conventional, “centralized” approaches have so far failed to achieve.

I therefore recommend this book highly to all U.S. infantrymen and special operators. The “tactical techniques” of UW are new to the literature and not covered by any government manual. They should serve as a welcome supplement to the mostly conventional skills that those who must ultimately win the War on Terror already have.—Maj.Gen. Ray L. Smith USMC (Ret.), former commander of Camp Lejeune.

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