John A. Nagl at the Pritzker Military Library
Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl, author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, will speak this coming Saturday, July 14, at 10:00 am at the Pritzker Military Library in downtown Chicago. According to the library’s website “Nagl, recently returned from Iraq and now commanding a battalion, will share his observations, experiences and thoughts while discussing the recently updated Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife.” (You can read Nagl’s new preface to the book online.) See the Library’s website for more details about the event.
Invariably, armies are accused of preparing to fight the previous war. In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl—a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and the current conflict in Iraq—considers the now-crucial question of how armies adapt to changing circumstances during the course of conflicts for which they are initially unprepared. Through the use of archival sources and interviews with participants in both engagements, Nagl compares the development of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice in the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960 with what developed in the Vietnam War from 1950 to 1975.
Nagl also contributed a foreword to our edition of the The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual as well as a foreword to our republication of Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq during World War II.