Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
An Insurgency Reading List From Max Brooks, Author Of 'World War Z'
Too often the impulse when going through a reading list is to critique it, and point out the holes. I’ve been guilty of this myself.
But I think the more fruitful approach is to look for the books you didn’t expect and to wonder why they were included. What does the picker see that you perhaps didn’t?
I mention this because I was reading Max Brooks’ list on books on insurgency and he makes an important distinction with his categories: First, he looks at the insurgents themselves, too often overlooked. Only then does he turn to the counterinsurgents who lead most military reading lists on the subject. Then he turns to the scholarly studies. Then he has a history list. And finally, he tops it off with 60 suggestions from other people.
And yeah, I would have included The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa.
In other reading list news, here’s a holiday season offering from the estimable War on the Rocks.
‘We constantly have them on our minds’ — A little-known agency searches all over for the remains of MIA service members
The 80-minute ride each day to the site in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, through mostly unspoiled forestland and fields, reminded Air Force Master Sgt. Aliah Reyes a little of her hometown back in Maine.
The Eliot native recently returned from a 45-day mission to the Southeast Asian country, where she was part of a team conducting a search for a Vietnam War service member who went missing more than 45 years ago and is presumed dead.
Reyes, 38, enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and has spent more than half her life in military service. But she had never been a part of anything like this.
A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."