March 12, 2009

The Economist on Kilcullen and Ricks

The Economist reviews books by two of my colleagues at CNAS, Tom Ricks and Dave Kilcullen (who, to be fair, have been friends and mentors for much longer than the two weeks I've worked at 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue).

Ricks get a thumbs down; Dave gets a thumbs up. Money quote:

Mr Kilcullen is a reluctant warrior. Many of those fighting the West, he argues, are “accidental guerrillas”, driven to making common cause with violent extremists by the perceived need to defend themselves against American intervention. The invasion of Iraq, he says, was a grievous self-inflicted wound. Having learnt, impressively but painfully, how to do a better job of fighting insurgencies, America should not rush into more such wars. The watchword, he says, should be “never again”. But nor should it give up its hard-won expertise. It may need it in future.

Tom, meanwhile, is drowning his sorrows by sitting in a bathtub with all the filthy lucre he's managed to make off his last two books. (It must be nice to write a book and have people read it.)

In other news, why the hell can I not buy Neko Case's new album off iTunes yet?