Understanding our Involument
Unique , General Stanley McChrystal has personalized the 3 wars that we are presently involed. We see how from a young boy his destiny was to be person in charge.His desired to have open and transparent communication was his biggest asset.
The inflection of his voice and timing adds to the excitment and drama of the story
NO, much of what is presented must be thought about ,reflected on, so you understand the General's involement.
With our present administration's foreign policy, this book explains the questions of why. I don't feel this soldier was listen to by our administration . The culture, prior events,and tribes of the area, General Stanley McChrystal's account is current and honest- A rare attribute today.
Gen. McChrystal was and still remains a great leader in our military. This was a great book for military enthusiasts. But for someone who loves learning about and from great leaders, I really enjoyed this look into lesdership and details on Iraq & Afghanistan operations.
My main takeaway from this book (perhaps not intended by the author) is that the US's involvement in the Middle East is an endless game of whack-a-mole, which it is unless the military strategy is coupled with a strategy to win the war of ideas - one that addresses the root cause of Islamic extremism, which is Wahhabism. The "Ruhr Valley" of Wahhabism lies within a certain region of Saudia Arabia, home to the religious institutions where extremist thought is manufactured and disseminated. Of course, the US will never have the "street cred" to have any frontline or visible role in dismantling Wahhabism the way it helped to dismantle Nazism in Germany, but it must do what it can to support moderate elements within Saudia Arabja.
Anyway, the Epilogue at the end of this book was my favorite part - a summary of Gen. McChrystal's nuggets of wisdom on leadership learned over a lifetime of great service to our nation, spoken in his own words. I plan to listen to this Epilogue again and again.
Overall a solid book, not as much of a whitewash or score-leveller as many security sector memoirs. Uniformly respectful, perhaps too much so. Narration was jolty, sometimes calm and languid, others intense, almost frantic, in same paragraph and sometimes in same sentence.
An excellent narrative and narration. He was one of the longest serving and most effective commanders. He provides interesting insights into the people and leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan. He offers a more nuanced view of Karzai. He also gives some context for the machinations of Pakistan. The US asked for help from that country several times but, because of shortsighted politics, dropped aid and support when that help was no longer needed. Hence Pakistan's pragmatic approach is to manage a conflict rather than ensure victory.
It's a shame that McChrystal's military career had to come to an end as a result of a hatchet job done by Rolling Stone magazine (as if anything else should have been expected). I imagine he was probably glad to finally go home to his wife but effective military commanders should not be forced out so easily.
I really enjoyed Gen. McChrystal opening and closing the book himself. His views on the very wars I fought in. It makes me feel better, now understanding some of the decisions that were made while I was there fighting. The narrator was superb. Thank you for your service and I hope this helps future military leaders understand what it takes to lead.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in leadership lessons learned and traits to model earned through a life dedicated to service and to developing and leading individuals, teams, and organizations.
In addition, I recommend this book to anyone interested in an eye opening perspective on what political and social forces were behind the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is one of the most amazing books I've ever read/heard....poignant lessons on leadership woven into a powerful narrative about an Army officers life beginning in shadows of the aftermath of the Vietnam war through the battles against terrorists around the world in the first part of the 21st century.
The objectivity of the narrative is powerful; there is little political commentary, instead what is offered is a view from a person with tasks to perform and objectives to achieve.