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Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam Audio CD – Audiobook, Jun 2012


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455162779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455162772
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,412,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Nagl's study is especially relevant today, and one that military leaders and interested citizens at all levels should read. It suggests how to encourage the spirit of innovation - a spirit that helped the British Army succeed in Malaya and that is currently transforming America's Army in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and around the globe." - From the Foreword by General Peter J. Schoomaker "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife has become must reading for high-level officers in Iraq because its lessons seem so directly applicable to the situation there." - National Review Online" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl is a Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Nagl led a tank platoon in the First Cavalry Division in Operation Desert Storm, taught national security studies at West Point's Department of Social Sciences, and served as the Operations Officer of Task Force 1-34 Armor in the First Infantry Division in Khalidiyah, Iraq. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. R. Brew on 6 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
A well written contribution to the rapidly expanding stockpile of Counter-Insurgency literature available today. The focus on the organisational learning and behaviour remains particularly insightful and highly relevant in addressing the core focus. Nagl's experience as not only a COIN thinker but a COIN practitioner no doubt contributed to the quality of this study. 'Learning to eat Soup with a Knife' is a must read for military personnel, academics and anyone with a strong interest in field of Counter-Insurgent Policy.

On a final note to the general reader, the depth and style of analyse in this work is likely to go beyond the needs for everyday conversational knowledge and would not be largely useful for historical overview of either conflict. Nevertheless at a time where COIN is at the forefront of Policy, Nagl's work highlights timeless principles that remain relevant today and have the potential to provide useful insight in many modern conflicts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy Evans on 13 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is principally one of organisational culture and organisational learning set in the historical context of `small wars' / counter insurgency. It compares how the British Army successfully evolved to counter insurgency in Malaya with the US experience in Vietnam. The paperback edition has the advantage of the authors reflections after a tour as a battalion operations officer in Iraq. This however is a book with value beyond a military context.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By L. Comber on 24 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
Colonel Nagl's book is an excellent study though inevitably is bears traces of its original existence as a Oxford University doctoral study.
I have no problem with the Vietnam section but in regard to what Colonel Nagl has written about the Malayan Emergency, the argument is advanced that the army was running the intelligence behind the counterinsurgency
operations. However, the supreme intelligence agency was the Malayan Police Special Branch which was responsibile for political, security and
operational intelligence. The army did not run its own agents and General Templer, the British High Commissioner and Director of Operations, made it quite clear on several occasions that the Special Branch was the supreme intelligence organisation. Although indeed some 30 or so military intelligence officers were eventually (around 1952) attached to the Special Branch, they were not in charge of intelligence, and they acted under the direction of the senior Special Branch officer to whom they were attached. Their role was limited to passing on operational intelligence obtained by the Special Branch to the army in a form that the army could readily understand. The reader should therefore bear this important qualification in mind in reading Colonel Nagl's otherwise commendable contribution to counterinsurgency warfare.
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By Dyntan17 on 26 Feb 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK folks, I couldn't eat soup with a knife, although I have tried a whole fish with one hand. This is a good read and led me to do some further research at the national sound archive in London
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nagls analysis on the british and american experiences in Malaya and Vietnam are very relevant for european armed forces undergoing transformational processes in the post-afghanistan era. As the american forces are transforming to meet the threats of the 21st century, many european countries still lack the institutional framework for comprehensively dealing with these threats. Nagls book is a must in this perspective.
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