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Wrong Turn


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About the Author

Colonel Gian Gentile is an army colonel, a former Iraq War commander, and a professor of history at West Point; he was also a 2010 Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Gentile is a contributor to the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Small Wars Journal, and the World Politics Review. He lives in West Point, New York.


"Here in this timely, incisive, and unflinchingly honest volume, the essential task of dismantling the myths already enshrouding America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan begins. . . . An important book that will give Washington's war-mongers and militarists fits."
Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country

"Colonel Gentile asks us to confront some blisteringly urgent questions. Have COIN tactics ever worked the military magic their proponents claim? Or have they merely provided cover for beating exits from wars that never should have been fought in the first place? . . . Wrong Turn deserves a wide readership by all who must make these supremely important strategy decisions as well as those who will live with the consequences."
David M. Kennedy, professor of history, Stanford University, and editor of The Modern American Military

"Counterinsurgency rises over and over again from the ashes of defeat. It is Gian Gentile's ambition to 'drive a stake through its heart,' and in Wrong Turn he has succeeded brilliantly."
Marilyn Young, professor of history, New York University

"A brilliant and persuasive book . . . offers by far the most convincing explanation extant of why America has not succeeded recently with COIN."
Sir Colin Gray, professor of international relations and strategic studies at the University of Reading

"A lively, provocative and readable book . . . never misses its mark."
Hew Strachan

"Based on his personal experience in Baghdad as well as some fine historical scholarship, Colonel Gentile takes aim at America's current COIN doctrines and shows how ineffective they really are. An exceptionally courageous book, clearly and forcibly written."
Martin van Creveld, author of The Transformation of War

"Gentile finds the common flaw in our failed strategy as evidenced in our last three military misadventures. . . . We did not lose the Vietnam War it was never ours to win. Is Afghanistan becoming a repeat performance?"
Volney Warner, General (Ret), U.S. Army

"How I wish we'd had this telling critique of counterinsurgency warfare before Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It would have been far harder to make those tragic mistakes. A must-read for our national security experts, and U.S. citizens."
Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and former columnist for the New York Times

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