Non-Fiction

W.I.A. (Wounded in Action)

Title: W.I.A. (Wounded in Action)
Author: Thomas C. Robison
Genre: Non-Fiction Sub-Category: Biography
Reviewed by: Bob Flournoy

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1453596402

Based on actual events and set against the historical backdrop of America’s longest war, Wounded in Action tells the compelling and gripping story of courage and determination of one of the Army’s most elite combat soldiers as he faces the realities of surviving near fatal wounds and struggles to overcome the life changing devastation inflicted on his mind and body from the explosion of an enemy landmine.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Robison, T. Clement

Follow Me: The Life and Adventures of a Military Family

Title: Follow Me: The Life and Adventures of a Military Family
Author: Elizabeth Carroll Foster
Genre: Non-Fiction Sub-Category: Memoir
Reviewed by: Charlene Rubush

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1450207545

On September 6, 1949, the author was a bride and clueless as to the twists and turns her life would take as the wife of a US Army officer. Her husband served sixteen months at the end of WWII and completed his three-year obligation in the reserve forces. Meantime, he tried to complete college and enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard while at the University of Oklahoma. The Guard unit was recalled to service with the 45th Division at the outbreak of the Korean War.
Elizabeth was ill-prepared for the kind of life she would experience as a military wife, the frequent moves from pillar to post while rearing four children, the separations from her husband, and parting from her friends and making new ones. Without a support system, she learned that military wives depended on each other.

It wasn't an easy life, but it offered many exciting adventures and presented friendships in many places. Her children adapted well to the nomadic lifestyle, despite transferring from school to school in midterm. Would she have made the commitment had she known what it entailed? She would have because it was a life of wonderful adventures shared with her husband, her children, their dog, and many, many friends.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Foster, Elizabeth Carroll

Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, The

Book Title: The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus
Author: Robert Schaefer
Reviewed by: Edward Cox
Genre: Non-fiction Sub-Category: History

ISBN (for Amazon store): 031338634X

The shocking events of the Moscow airport terrorist attack make it clear that the North Caucasus insurgency is still strong – despite the Kremlin’s announcement in 2008 that the conflict was “over.” Find out why Russia has been promised a “year of blood and tears” in 2011 and what this means for the Sochi Olympics in 2014. For the first time, a military expert on both Russia and insurgency offers the definitive guide on activities in Southern Russia, explaining why the Russian approach to counterterrorism is failing and why terrorist and insurgent attacks in Russia have sharply increased over the past three years.

The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad is a comprehensive treatment of this 300 year-old conflict. Thematically organized, it cuts through the rhetoric to provide a contextual framework with which readers can truly understand the "why" and "how" of one of the world’s longest-running contemporary insurgencies, despite Russia's best efforts to eradicate it.

A fascinating case study of a counterinsurgency campaign that is in direct contravention of US and Western strategy, the book also examines the differences and linkages between insurgency and terrorism; the origins of conflict in the North Caucasus; and the influences of different strains of Islam, of al-Qaida, and of the War on Terror. A critical examination of never-before-revealed Russian counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns explains why those campaigns have consistently failed and why the region has seen such an upswing in violence since the conflict was officially declared "over" less than two years ago.

The book's features include: information drawn from the North Caucasus Incident Database (NCID), compiling every violent incident in the region over a two-year period; charts showing the complex strategies of the insurgency and the Russian counterinsurgency campaigns; declassified intelligence reports; as well as maps and a bibliography. Presented through the lens of counterinsurgency theory, this incisive analysis explores the historic roots of each issue, the key players, and the farthest-reaching effects. It is the first doctrinal analysis (classified or unclassified) produced on the conflict in over 10 years and is already being used as a textbook at the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies at the Marshall Center.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Schaefer, Robert

Hearts and Minds: Uncovering the Wars of Ideas and Images Behind the Global War on Terror

Title: Hearts and Minds: Uncovering the Wars of Ideas and Images Behind the Global War on Terror
Author: Timothy S. McWilliams
Genre: Non-Fiction Sub-Category: History
Reviewed by: Terry Shoptaugh

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1460961544

During the Global War on Terror, multiple wars of ideas and images played out as belligerents and various competing political interests sought to influence multiple public spheres toward their desired political goals. At the same time, the international media played a vital role in framing the issues, debates, and events in the arena of ideas that accompanied the conflict. These wars of ideas and images had profound effects on domestic and international public opinion, which not only influenced events and operations during the conflict, but also threatened the outcome. This study traces these wars of ideas and images from the prewar debates following September 11, 2001 through military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. It not only examines how belligerents and various competing political interests sought to shape public opinion toward their political objectives during the Global War on Terror, but also examines both media performance on the battlefield and the media’s role in shaping public opinion, policy, and events during the war. As a foundation for understanding media’s role in modern wars of ideas, this study also provides a crucial examination of media’s influence on U.S public opinion and policy during important events in U.S. history, to include a fresh examination of media performance and influence during the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. This study is essential for anyone wanting to understand the wars of ideas and images that accompany military conflict and international crisis, the challenges of reporting combat, and the media’s power to influence public opinion and policy. Thoroughly researched and meticulously cited, this important multi-discipline study significantly contributes to the history and understanding to today’s conflicts.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McWilliams, Timothy S.

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