wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Imperial Grunts - two thumbs up!

chocol8fiend was absolutely right about Robert Kaplan's Imperial Grunts - where most books are tolerable brain candy, this is fine cheesecake.

Kaplan's book examines the culture and society of what are arguably the best of America's troops on the front lines in the war on terror: the Army's Special Forces teams and the rifle companies of the Marine Corps. This is not a sociology text, though; Kaplan tells his tale by recounting his experience with spec ops troops and Marines from Colombia to the Philippines, in the embassy at Ulaan Baatar, and in the dust of the Horn of Africa, finishing in the streets of Fallujah during the abortive first battle there. He spares no detail when describing the dead hand of the Cold War's bureaucracy and doctrines, the muddled politics of joint service operations, and the shortcomings of the American media when it comes to its effects on the fighting in such places as Colombia and Iraq. Frankly, I was surprised to learn that Kaplan writes for The Atlantic, which is not known for its sympathy for the red states or the military, and where P.J. O'Rourke sticks out like a sore conservative thumb. There's a lot to be learned from Imperial Grunts, and it says much for Mr. Kaplan's humility that he avoided prefacing his book with the classic salutation from Kipling - because it surely would have fit, and fit well.
Tags: books, military stuff

  • not up for Game 4

    Swung by Red Robin tonight after work to take advantage of the burger BOGO, then went home to do tomorrow's Live at Five only to find the…

  • Out with a bang

    Well...that was something I'd never seen before, despite watching a fair number of baseball games since 1990. Jordan Zimmerman closed out Fan…

  • Not the bucket list

    I don't have a bucket list, because I think it's a stupid idea, especially for somebody like me who had no intention of living to this age to begin…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.