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The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa: With E. D. Swinton's "The Defence of Duffer's Drift"

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Overview

Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of ...

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The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa: With E. D. Swinton's

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Overview

Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of difficulties associated with war in the postmodern era.

In this tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer’s Drift, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq receives ground-level lessons about urban combat, communications technology, and high-powered weaponry in an environment where policy meets reality. Over the course of six dreams, the inexperienced soldier fights the same battle again and again, learning each time—the hard way—which false assumptions and misconceptions he needs to discard in order to help his men avoid being killed or captured. As the protagonist struggles with his missions and grapples with the consequences of his mistakes, he develops a keen understanding of counterinsurgency fundamentals and the potential pitfalls of working with the native population.

Accompanied here by the original novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for cadets and junior military leaders seeking to master counterinsurgency warfare—as well as general readers seeking a deeper understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as its predecessor has been a hallmark of military instruction, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa will draw the road map for counterinsurgency in the postmodern world.

Visit a website for the book here: www.defenseofJAD.com

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Editorial Reviews

T. X. Hammes
"The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa lives up to the classic it is patterned after.  Like Defense of Duffer's Drift, Burgoyne and Marckwardt's new book provides a ready made series of vignettes and discussion points for the small unit leader.   Maneuver warfare is based on the mental link between the commander and his team.  That link is built in peacetime training, exercises and Tactical Discussion Games.  Both books provide material for commander's to teach their people how  to think through a problem - and in doing so teach the commander how his people think.  Professionals need to own both volumes."
Army Times

“The new ‘Defense’ is a respectful and relevant update to ‘Defence’. . . . Their contemporary tale could enlighten anyone who thinks the Boer is a bore. While Swinton seems quaint, the officers are current and quick.”—J. Ford Huffman, Army Times



— J. Ford Huffman

Army Magazine

“A timely, necessary tactical guide for junior officers today. . . . Majors Michael L. Burgoyne and Albert J. Marckwardt have written, arguably, the most practical book to come out of Iraq yet.”—Army Magazine

Small Wars Journal

“This captivating book brings to light the intricacies and imbroglios of counterinsurgency warfare for the tactical leader and soldiers on the ground. . . . Yet another fine addition to the lessons of counterinsurgency at a warfighter’s disposal, and should be read by all ranks and branches throughout the services.”—Small Wars Journal

Army Magazine

“A timely, necessary tactical guide for junior officers today. . . . Majors Michael L. Burgoyne and Albert J. Marckwardt have written, arguably, the most practical book to come out of Iraq yet. . . . A significant contribution to soldiers present and future.”
Army Times
The new ‘Defense’ is a respectful and relevant update to ‘Defence’. . . . Their contemporary tale could enlighten anyone who thinks the Boer is a bore. While Swinton seems quaint, the officers are current and quick.”

— J. Ford Huffman

Small Wars Journal

“This captivating book brings to light the intricacies and imbroglios of counterinsurgency warfare for the tactical leader and soldiers on the ground. . . . Yet another fine addition to the lessons of counterinsurgency at a warfighter’s disposal, and should be read by all ranks and branches throughout the services.”
Thomas E. Ricks

“This is a terrific and illuminating piece of writing, one of the best things to come out of the Iraq war. It reads to me like a history of the conflict as it would be told by a smart American platoon leader. It should be in the rucksack of every soldier heading to Iraq, and also should be read by anyone who cares about this war. If you want to support our troops, buy it right now.”
John T. Fishel

“When I was still a ROTC cadet or a very junior officer—I forget which—I read The Defence of Duffer’s Drift for the first time. It really did not make that much of an impression on me then. Now, around 40 years later and a lifetime of studying Counterinsurgency (COIN) and other Small Wars, I read it again in conjunction with Mike Burgoyne and Jim Marckwardt’s update of E. D. Swinton’s classic of British imperial warfare. These two (at the time) U.S. Army Captains have written a modern classic that not only ranks with its model but should be read alongside it, alternating chapters (dreams) from the one to the other. The experiences of 2LT Phil Connors and Lieutenant Backsight Forethought share the commonality of learning from tactical mistakes that have strategic consequences. While their situations are different and B.F.’s approach to his human terrain would have spelled disaster for Connors, the requirement that Swinton, Burgoyne, and Marckwardt impose on their protagonists—to understand their operational environment—remains the essence of the junior officer’s task in COIN and other Small Wars.”
Dr. Ed Coss

“Counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare is a complex and fluid endeavor that requires a way of warfighting that is different from the conventional methodology with which most civilians and recruits are familiar. This book by Michael Burgoyne and Albert Marckwardt allows the reader to learn what is required of soldiers in a COIN environment, from security measures, to application of force, the treatment of non-combatants, the value of cultural understanding, to dealing with Clausewitz’s elements of friction and chance. The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa is a must read for any young soldier going in country or any civilian hoping to understand more thoroughly the challenges faced by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The work offers the opportunity to learn real lessons without having to experience them the hard way. Burgoyne and Marckwardt have done a marvelous job of making the lessons come alive and illustrating the need and value of informed, adaptive informed leadership.”
Army Times - J. Ford Huffman

“The new ‘Defense’ is a respectful and relevant update to ‘Defence’. . . . Their contemporary tale could enlighten anyone who thinks the Boer is a bore. While Swinton seems quaint, the officers are current and quick.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226080932
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2009
  • Pages: 178
  • Sales rank: 578,540
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael L. Burgoyne is a captain in the United States Army who was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2005. Currently, he is a student at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. Albert J. Marckwardt, also a captain in the United States Army, served in Iraq in 2005 and 2007. He now serves as aide de camp to the commanding general at Fort Stewart, GA. Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl is currently the President of the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by John A. Nagl

The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa

Preface

Acknowledgments

List of Acronyms and Terms

Prologue

The First Dream

The Second Dream

The Third Dream

The Fourth Dream

The Fifth Dream

The Sixth Dream

The Defence of Duffer’s Drift

Background Information

Glossary

Preface

Prologue

First Dream

Second Dream

Third Dream

Fourth Dream

Fifth Dream

Sixth Dream

Appendix: Web Site Information

Bibliography

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2009

    Great read...even for a civilian

    I am probably not the authors' ideal reader; however, I have a general interest in the topic and this book was very captivating and informative, especially from an insider's perspective. The historical contexts were great and the modern-day and future implications were compelling. The glossary of terms was helpful and I had a lot "a-ha" moments when coming across familiar acronyms that I had never bothered looking up before. Great reed, highly recommended. Thank you to the authors for their service.
    The website has some really good things, too - http://www.defenseofJAD.com

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Suitable only for serious tactical students

    This book is a primer for use in a classroom on combat. Its message is clear: we learn from experience, and here's how experience evolves. The primer is set up as a mythical tactics situation, in a mythical Iraqi town, and exemplifies how the combat mistakes of an unschooled "shavetail" result in horrific combat losses. Unfortunately, the book's extensive use of acronyms made it infeasible for all but the most experienced combatant of the last 10 years.
    Jisr al-Doreaa is based on the format of a rediscovered classic from the Boer War a century earlier: The Defense of Duffer's Drift. The same lesson is taught: the inexperiences of combat lead to disaster, while the wily veteran can achieve success. That book comprises the second part of the current publication.
    The two are suitable to (a) teach tactical principles in today's counter-insurgency (COIN) dominated theatres, and (b) teach the need for realistic and thorough training other than "point and shoot" when dealing with a guerilla population. As literature, however -- it has no heart, no deep character, and lacks heart.
    Instead, the more casual reader seeking the "smell of gunpowder" should read a combat classic such as Kyle Marlantes' Matterhorn, which examines combat, tactics, AND character growth, in the framework of the Vietnam Jungles.
    e-Reader version of this book could only render the maps adequately on the NookColor, which has the pixel density necessary to achieve the sharpness of the maps -- essential to the book's understanding.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Novella

    With a forward from John Nagl, the US' counterinsurgency expert, and endorsements from the award winning journalist/author, Tom Ricks this book comes with great expectations. The good news is that the book delivers. The best part of this piece of fiction is the deep insight presented into the reality facing America's young military leaders. Well crafted characters, vivid environments and excellent story telling.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2009

    The Defense of jisr al-Doreaa

    It was a wasste of my money. The authors should have read Graham Greene's The Quiet American. Actually, every American should read it and then they will know that we should not be going to war with pitiful countries. We refer to the last five.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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