Skip to comments.What They Are Reading: ‘My Life With the Taliban’
Posted on 01/03/2011 5:58:35 PM PST by Pan_Yan
Many military organizations maintain professional reading lists and require their officers to read books selected from it by senior officers.
Some units have formal requirements, say, a book a quarter. Other units take it a notch further, and hold round-table sessions or so-called officer calls to discuss their reading. Typically, these books cover leadership, tactics or military history, although now and then an unexpected title appears.
Many readers, whether or not they are directly involved in the wars, might be interested in these lists and recommendations. At War will dig up several of them, and, on occasion, post reviews.
Why? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been intensive intellectual challenges for almost all foreigners involved. Since each war began, the Westerners fighting them have changed equipment, tactics and doctrines, and struggled to understand the social and martial forces that confront them, and to understand insurgencies and counterinsurgency more broadly.
For starters, the commander of Task Force Shadow, Lieutenant Colonel Brad Ninness, agreed to share his list of required books. Below is a portion the titles assigned to the battalions officers since they arrived in Afghanistan early last year. The first two books are about organizations. The latter two, in different ways, cover the recent history of Afghan conflict.
1. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
2. The Heart of Change, by John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen
3. Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords in Afghanistan, by Antonio Giustozzi
4. My Life With The Taliban, by Abdul Salam Zaeef
(Excerpt) Read more at atwar.blogs.nytimes.com ...
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