Late in 2004, my Inside the Pentagon colleague Elaine Grossman wrote a story about books. Books on Iraq, counterinurgency, military and Middle Eastern history and the like -- all recommended by U.S. officers and other experts for those preparing to operate in Iraq.
The suggestions may also prove useful holiday reading for others seeking greater understanding of what may sometimes seem a confounding and intractable situation in Iraq, involving complex military, political, economic, cultural and historical dimensions.The story has legs, as they say. It got a lot of attention at the time from a lot of people, but no one, perhaps, took it quite as seriously as Jamie Hailer.As detailed in this story, Hailer read the list and decided that the many out-of-print and hard-to-find books it contained could, and should, be found and sold. So he started his own company "to ensure that the great military history books of yesterday remain available for the students and scholars of today."Hailer's first choice for a book to reprint was David Galula's "Counterinsurgency Warfare" -- because Elaine's story quoted a retired CIA officer who said readers should "run -- not walk -- to the Pentagon library and get in line" for the book, which he called "a primer for how to win in Iraq."And, predictably, the book is sold out on Hailer's site -- but available here.THERE'S MORE: The National Defense University maintains a list of military reading lists here.-- Posted by Dan Dupont