Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgentby H. John Poole, Ray L. Smith (Foreword by), Michael Leahy (Illustrator)
Over the last 15 years, our deployed troops have experienced many things. Though the war in Afghanistan is still going, their hard-won lessons have yet to be assimilated by the Stateside bureaucracy. To help, Militant Tricks recounts America's progress in Iraq and Afghanistan from the standpoint of East Asian battlefield deception. Both countries were part/b>
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Over the last 15 years, our deployed troops have experienced many things. Though the war in Afghanistan is still going, their hard-won lessons have yet to be assimilated by the Stateside bureaucracy. To help, Militant Tricks recounts America's progress in Iraq and Afghanistan from the standpoint of East Asian battlefield deception. Both countries were part of the Mongol Empire for over 200 years and thus prone to every sort of ancient Chinese illusion. Militant Tricks also contains the tactical "techniques" with which to counter a Muslim urban offensive. While some of these nontraditional techniques were risked during the Baghdad Surge, they may all too soon be forgotten.
- Posterity Press (NC)
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- 45 illustrations
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- 8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)
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Appearances Can Be Deceiving in Southwest Asia Too
While ostensibly crude, the Muslim militant's method has never been defeated. Through multiple deception and continual mutation, it has so far bested Russia in Afghanistan and Chechnya, Israel in Southern Lebanon and Gaza, and the United States in Beirut and Mogadishu. To finally defeat that method, every deployed (or about-to-be-deployed) GI must become thoroughly familiar with its latest configuration. That will take a good, hard look at all that has happened over the last year.
In Iraq, U.S. forces have won every firefight and killed thousands of Islamic fighters. (See Map 1.1.) Unfortunately, wars are not won by occupying nonstrategic ground or killing opposition soldiers. They are won by destroying the enemy's "strategic assets." Eastern insurgents don't have many strategic assets. Whatever they need, they can generally take from a well-supplied adversary. To make matters worse, they have the edge in a 4th-generation-warfare (4GW) environmentone in which combat/tactics, religion/psychology, politics/media, and economics/infrastructure all come into play. In a densely populated area, they are virtually immune to electronic surveillance and precision bombardment. Every time their pursuer overreacts, he damages local infrastructure and loses popular support. As such, Eastern insurgents develop a full portfolio of battlefield feints.
What has, or has not, occurred in Iraq deserves a closer look from this perspective. Marco Polo did, after all, warn of the diabolical mysteries of Upper Persia. Could U.S. forces have "won" every firefight in Iraq and still be losing the war? They were equally lethal andnever driven from the field in Vietnam.
Within the context of Eastern intrigue, Iraq's future looks far less certain than one might think. The U.S. military has had trouble countering its new foe's propensity for chaos and deception. To do so now, it must identify, analyze, and compare every one of his strategic initiatives between September 2004 to September 2005. For many, there was a hidden objective, subtle diversion, and secret maneuver.
The Muslim Militants' So-Far-Successful Equation
The Iraqi "insurgency" is not the first regional jihad against a "high-tech" invader. Its architects have drawn on the lessons of Southern Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. Their initial strategy is the same as it was thereto create chaos. By so doing, they hope to bankrupt the occupier, discredit the government, and manipulate the people. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the opposition has done whatever it could to disrupt the everyday workings of that country. It has crippled the infrastructure, discouraged foreign aid, and terrorized the population. All the while, it has managed to create the impression that someone else was to blame. For the U.S. to succeed in Iraq, it must first discover how this "projection" of complicity has been accomplished.
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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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