Old Advice to Soldiers re: Iraq Still Relevant

Lt. Col. John Nagl, USA, found an old treasure full of practical advice that could have saved the US some headaches if heeded: Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II, a handbook first published in 1943. I found it at the bookstore today. One statement that jumped out for LTC Nagl (and for me): “Americans success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis like American soldiers or not.” NPR story. Chicago Tribune.

From the latter:

“Some of the guidance in this little book is eerie to anyone who has fought in Iraq recently,” [Nagl] wrote in the introduction. “It is almost impossible, when reading this guide, not to slap oneself on the forehead in despair that the Army knew so much of the Arabic culture and customs, and of the importance of that knowledge for achieving military success in Iraq, six decades ago — and forgot almost all of those lessons in the intervening years.”