Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II

Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II Cover

Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II

By United States Army; John a. Nagl (Foreword by)

University of Chicago Press, Hardcover, 9780226841700, 44pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2007

Description
" American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis like American soldiers or not. "
The U.S. military could certainly have used that bit of wisdom in 2003, as violence began to eclipse the Iraq War's early successes. Ironically, had the Army only looked in its own archives, they would have found it that piece of advice is from a manual the U.S. War Department handed out to American servicemen posted in Iraq back in 1943.
The advice in "Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq during World War II," ""presented here in a new facsimile edition, retains a surprising, even haunting, relevance in light of today's muddled efforts to win Iraqi hearts and minds. Designed to help American soldiers understand and cope with what was at the time an utterly unfamiliar culture the manual explains how to pronounce the word Iraq, for instance this brief, accessible handbook mixes do-and-don t-style tips ( Always respect the Moslem women. Talk Arabic if you can to the people. No matter how badly you do it, they will like it. ) with general observations on Iraqi history and society. The book's overall message still rings true dramatically so more than sixty years later: treat an Iraqi and his family with honor and respect, and you will have a strong ally; treat him with disrespect and you will create an unyielding enemy.
With a foreword by Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl reflecting on the manual's continuing applicability and lamenting that it was unknown at the start of the invasion this new edition of "Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq" will be essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of Iraq and the fate of the American soldiers serving there.


About the Author
Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl commands the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor at Fort Riley, Kansas. He is the author of "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam," also published by the University of Chicago Press.


Praise For Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II

"The University of Chicago Press has a hot book on its hands, with some solid advice for U.S. military in Iraq: .. . ''American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis . . . like American soldiers or not,'' the book admonishes. The advice, which sounds like it could be lifted from a lesson book from the war on terror, was actually written 65 years ago during World War II."—Jodi S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune

-Greg Jaffe

"The University of Chicago Press has a hot book on its hands, with some solid advice for U.S. military in Iraq: .. . ''American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis . . . like American soldiers or not,'' the book admonishes. The advice, which sounds like it could be lifted from a lesson book from the war on terror, was actually written 65 years ago during World War II."—Jodi S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune


-Jodi S. Cohen

“A historical oddity that sheds a certain unintended light upon our current woes.”—David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times
-David L. Ulin

“In 1943, the Army published this junior Baedeker to help U.S. grunts who were utterly unfamiliar with the land in which they were serving. In prose notable for its E.B. White economy (and Saturday Evening Post-style ingenuousness), the guidebook urges soldiers to respect the traditions and mores of their hosts. After all, says the anonymous author, ‘American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis (as the people are called) like American soldiers or not. It may not be quite that simple. But then again it could.’”—Christopher Shea, Boston Globe
-Christopher Shea


“The essential message is to show respect. . . . Why wasn’t this the ‘commander’s intent’ when Americans returned to Iraq sixty years later?”—George Packer, New Yorker online
-George Packer

“The surprise hit book of the summer.”—Al Kamen, Washington Post

-Al Kamen

"Those despairing of American policymakers'' mistakes in Iraq . . . may find some solace in this amazing little booklet. . . . It''s a treasure chest of information. And the bottom line for the piece couldn''t be clearer: we didn''t used to be so stupid."—Harper''s
-Scott Horton

"Leaders, soldiers, and historians alike will
-LTC Steve Leonard

"If only U.S. military personnel from 2003 on had something similar. . . . The 44-page booklet is the most succinct summation of Iraqi culture for Americans anywhere anytime."