Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice

John A. Nagl

Headmaster, The Haverford School -
Lt. Col., US Army Retired -

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Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice (Audio)

John NaglA retired lieutenant colonel of the US Army and a Rhodes Scholar, John Nagl was an early convert to the view that America’s greatest future threats would come from asymmetric warfare—guerrillas, terrorists, and insurgents. But it would take the events of 9/11 and the botched aftermath of the Iraq invasion to give counterinsurgency urgent contemporary relevance. After a year’s hard fighting as operations commander of a tank battalion of the 1st Infantry Division in Anbar Province, Nagl was tapped by General David Petraeus to coauthor the new army and marine counterinsurgency field manual, rewriting core army doctrine in the middle of two bloody land wars.  In a book described by Robert Kaplan as “an instant classic,” Nagl distills the lessons of his experiences.  Nagl received his Ph.D. from St. Antony’s College, Oxford. He is former president of the Center for a New American Security, the ninth and current headmaster of the Haverford School in Pennsylvania, and author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife. 

Please join host Ron Granieri as he welcomes John Nagl for a discussion of modern war in theory and practice, and the ramifications for today’s ongoing conflicts.  Each month, Geopolitics with Granieri features a conversation—some might say an interrogation—with guest scholars on subjects in the news, and includes substantial audience participation. The program runs on one Tuesday of every month. Ron Granieri is Executive Director of FPRI’s Center for the Study of America and the West.

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Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice