February 12, 2008

Small Wars Journal: The Magazine

Allegedly, this blog is meant to be a resource for folks wanting to learn more about counterinsurgency. So there's really no excuse or reason why we have not done a better job highlighting the new issue of Small Wars Journal's magazine -- available via the same Small Wars Journal website you check every day.

Abu Muqawama only recently got the time to actually read some of the articles in the magazine, and he started with Ben Connable's Culture Warriors: Marine Corps Organizational Culture and Adaptation to Cultural Terrain. For those of you out there who grew up in the Army and know next to nothing about the history of the Marine Corps, this article might be of some interest. For those of you who grew up in the Army, know next to nothing about the Marine Corps and have an interest in guerrilla warfare, this article is a must-read. Last week, T.X. Hammes was telling some story about Red Mike Edson and Chesty Puller, and Abu Muqawama was like, who the %$#@ is Red Mike Edson? I mean, we've all heard of Chesty Puller, but Abu Muqawama had no idea who Red Mike Edson was until T.X. told his story. (Our Marine readers are now horrified.) From the perspective of a COIN enthusiast, the entire history of the Marine Corps and small wars is fascinating. It also makes one wonder which histories of the Marine Corps Gen. Conway has been reading when he says the Marine Corps is getting away from its "historical mission" when it fights small wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Connable, by the way, has been one of the real leaders in the fight to make cultural and language education a part of every soldier and Marine's pre-deployment training. He is a true "COIN All-Star," to borrow afghanistanica's phrase, and we here at Abu Muqawama salute him.