A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize The Insurgents is the inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars, led by General David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize one of the largest, oldest, and most hidebound institutionsathe United States military. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the postaCold War age: not massive wars on vast battlefields, but asmall warsa in cities and villages, against insurgents and terrorists. These would be wars not only of fighting but of anation building, a often not of necessity but of choice. Based on secret documents, private emails, and interviews with more than one hundred key characters, including Petraeus, the tale unfolds against the backdrop of the wars against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the main insurgency is the one mounted at home by ambitious, self-consciously intellectual officersaPetraeus, John Nagl, H. R. McMaster, and othersamany of them classmates or colleagues in West Pointas Social Science Department who rose through the ranks, seized with an idea of how to fight these wars better. Amid the crisis, they forged a community (some of them called it a cabal or mafia) and adapted their enemiesa techniques to overhaul the culture and institutions of their own Army. Fred Kaplan describes how these men and women maneuvered the idea through the bureaucracy and made it official policy. This is a story of power, politics, ideas, and personalitiesaand how they converged to reshape the twenty-first-century American military. But it is also a cautionary tale about how creative doctrine can harden into dogma, how smart strategistsatodayas abest and brightestaacan win the battles at home but not the wars abroad. Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they also created the toolsaand made it more temptingafor political leaders to wade into wars that they would be wise to avoid.This is a story of power, politics, ideas, and personalitiesaand how they converged to reshape the twenty-first-century American military.
|Publisher||:||Simon and Schuster - 2013-01-02|