Leadership in Modern War (Hardback)
From WW2 to the War Against ISIS
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How would you react under fire? Fight or flight? What if you were in charge of a squad of men, with their lives in your hands? The next decision you make could be fatal for you and your comrades or could be devastating to your enemy. The wrong decision could haunt you for the rest of your career and beyond.
The decisions taken by commanders in the field are analyzed in a detached manner by historians. But what, for example, was the thought process of a reconnaissance tank officer operating far ahead of any supporting troops in the Second World War, or a machine-gunner trying to differentiate friend from foe in the Gulf War? How might a British infantry officer in the Iraq War deal with the situations he faced in combat, or a platoon commander in the War Against ISIS, where the enemy had no fear of dying and even embraced it? How do you come to terms with the consequences of your decisions, the right ones as well as the tragically wrong ones?
James Brooks presents defining moments such as these to put you in the shoes of the decision-maker. You can decide when to cross a bridge in Taliban territory, whether to land a helicopter under fire to rescue Marines in danger, and how to lead a command center targeting ISIS through air strikes. These decisions, compared with what the veterans did themselves, teach more about humanity than they do about the tactics of war and serve as lessons for the decisions we face in everyday life.
In a career that traced the rise and fall of ISIS from 2014 to 2021, James served in the US Marine Corps as a scout sniper platoon commander, intelligence officer, and counter-propaganda mission lead. After two deployments to the Middle East and a year-and-a-half fighting ISIS propaganda online, James returned to his hometown to teach a subject called “Perspectives in Modern War” to high school seniors. Building from the stories of his own service, as well as those of the men and women he fought alongside, in Leadership in Modern War James captures these lessons and explores just what it is like to be on the front line facing your foe.
Warfare has changed in the twenty-first century, but the enduring lessons of conflict remain the same. It is brutal and unforgiving – but it is also character-defining.