December 26, 2007

Christmas Gifts for a Counterinsurgent

Abu Muqawama got some pretty sweet Christmas gifts yesterday, and he wanted to share a few of the titles with you all.

1. Hugh Kennedy's The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In

Abu Muqawama is pretty excited to read this military history of the Islamic conquests. In the one hundred years after the death of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Islamic armies conquered a land mass greater than that of the Roman Empire. How?

2. The Russian General Staff's The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost

Translated and edited by Les Grau, Abu Muqawama flipped through this book a few weeks ago and thinks this book will be a valuable companion to The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan and The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet Afghan War.

Right now, though, Abu Muqawama is reading No Country for Old Menbefore he sees the movie. So far, the book is fantastic. But then, Abu Muqawama has always liked Cormac McCarthy.

(Abu Muqawama also received a great bottle of Scottish gin from one cousin and a nice bottle of single malt scotch from another. That has nothing to do with counterinsurgency, of course, but it does make an evening spent reading about Afghanistan a lot more enjoyable.)