Armies of Sand: The Past Present and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness characters ✓ 104

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Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness characters ✓ 104 ´ [Reading] ➷ Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness ➭ Kenneth M. Pollack – Since the Second World War Arab armed forLimiting Arab military effectiveness but patterns of behavior derived from the dominant Arab culture was the most important factor of all Pollack closes with a discussion of the rapid changes occurring across the Arab world and suggests that because both Arab society and warfare are changing the problems that have bedeviled Arab armed forces in the past could dissipate or even vanish in the future with potentially dramatic conseuences for the Middle East military balance Sweeping in its coverage this will be the go to reference for anyone interested in the history of warfare in the Middle East since. Very interesting and informative book Highly recommended to better understand the Middle East

Armies of Sand The Past Present and Future of Arab Military EffectivenessLimiting Arab military effectiveness but patterns of behavior derived from the dominant Arab culture was the most important factor of all Pollack closes with a discussion of the rapid changes occurring across the Arab world and suggests that because both Arab society and warfare are changing the problems that have bedeviled Arab armed forces in the past could dissipate or even vanish in the future with potentially dramatic conseuences for the Middle East military balance Sweeping in its coverage this will be the go to reference for anyone interested in the history of warfare in the Middle East since. Very interesting and informative book Highly recommended to better understand the Middle East

Summary Å PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ Kenneth M. Pollack

Armies of Sand: The Past, Present, and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness ñ Der Arab culture have all been suggested as the ultimate source of Arab military difficulties In Armies of Sand Kenneth M Pollack assesses these differing explanations and isolates the most important causes Over the course of the book he examines the combat performance of fifteen Arab armies and air forces in virtually every Middle Eastern war from the Jordanians and Syrians in to Hizballah in and the Irais and ISIS in The book ultimately concludes that reliance on Soviet doctrine was of a help than a hindrance to the Arabs In contrast politicization and underdevelopment were both important factors. My professional acuaintance Ken Pollack current American Enterprise Institute AEI scholar and former CIA analyst has written an outstanding book that is a must read for anybody wanting to gain a fuller sense of perspective on the current security situation in the Middle East as well as the history going back to the early days of the Cold War ie the immediate post WWWII era The book examines various hypotheses in an effort to explain the underwhelming performance of Arab armies and air forces the navies don t really get any coverage here from alleged over reliance on Soviet doctrine to economic underdevelopment to politicization to ultimately most significantly as it turns out longstanding cultural factors 2011 was the year I arrived in the UAE for my contract assignment with the Abu Dhabi s euivalent of the JROTC programme The extensive American experience in Ira since 2003 has provided a wealth of insight into the Irai officer corps and US personnel can point to Irai generals who range from superb leaders to utter incompetents and everything in between I can personally vouch for this p 35 Finally like many of the Gulf Arab states the post Saddam Irais have had to bring in Western contractors to handle the most sophisticated Western weapons such as their M1 tanks and F 16 fighters which have proven too advanced for their own personnel to sustain Once again I can personally vouch for this Lockheed Martin was doing the arming and maintenance p 36 the neglect of Egyptian enlisted personnel shown by their officers Reminds me of what Richard Demo Dick Marcinko CDR USN Ret AKA The Rogue Warrior founding CO of SEAL Team 6 observed in the early 1980s about the Egyptian officers corps treating their enlisted troops like manservants p 40 Arab military history demonstrates that of all the problems experienced by the Arabs in combat since 1945 a pervasive cowardice has not been among them It puts the lie to the slanders of those who have dismissed the Arabs as cowardly soldiers And most of the IAF soldiers I interacted with trained and mentored didn t strike me as cowards Some were lazy and prone to goofing off but certainly not cowards p 41 Indeed what is truly noteworthy about Irai performance in the Gulf War is not that 200000 400000 deserted or surrendered to coalition ground forces but that after 39 days of constant air attack the destruction of their logistical distribution network their lack of commitment to the cause and their clear inferiority to Coalition forces another 100000 200000 Irai troops actually stood their ground p 53 Soviet doctrine also emphasizes reliance on maneuver to concentrate overwhelming mass at the decisive point of the front the schwerpunkt as the Germans termed it Hey sounds also like the Jominian concept of concentration from the Napoleonic era taught to the West Point students who eventually became generals on both sides of the American Civil War p 243 If you have been paying attention at all to the earlier chapters of this book you will recognize that weapons handling has been one of the big problems of the Arab armed forces since 1945 Yep I and my fellow expat security contractors have consistently observed piss poor and unsafe weapons handling amongst the Emiratis and Irais alike p 245 A common Middle Eastern joke is to explain that the Arabic word for tomorrow bokhra carries a similar connotation to the Spanish ma ana but without the same sense of urgency Ditto for their use of inshallah At other times however they did a superb job with the Egyptians in 1973 and the Irais in 1987 1991 leading the way I could easily add the Jordanians in 1948 the Syrians in 1973 and at least part of the Irai security forces in 2015 2017 emphasis added Yep the IAF troops I initially trained the only Emiratis I knew of who were willing to engage in manual labor were those of partial Western parentage and or lived in the US for a significant amount of time Conversely I ve found this attitude to be less prevalent amongst Irais Jordanians and Egyptians p 415 It isn t found in the formal curriculum You won t find a class in any Arab school called Conformism 101 Instead you will find it in the teaching method itself in how students are taught to think to learn and to behave Going back to my aforementioned Al Bayari experience again we tried to improve on this but with only limited success But then again their cultural well mannered rigid obedience of authority was a tad selective when it came to expat teachers instructors vs Arab authority figures p 424 426 In recent decades there has been some movement toward reforming the educational method in some parts of the Arab world with the larger reform agendas of Saudi Arabia atar and the UAE singling out education as key targets for fundamental transformation However such efforts have still been modest so far and it remains to be seen how far the changes will go and whether they will lastAmerican instructors in the Middle East had to go to great lengths to design special programs to allow real give and take between the students and teachers Like I was saying p 439 While it is possible that powerful socializing institutions such as the armed forces can teach their members to think and act differently from the wider society it is not the norm Throughout history most militaries have trained their troops in ways that tended to mirror that of their wider society When that happens military training reinforces the behavioral patterns inculcated by civilian education formal and informal In the case of the Arab states since the Second World War their military training overwhelmingly mimicked the family childrearing and school teaching practices of their wider society In this way military training in the Arab armed forces reinforced the behavioral patterns emphasized by the dominant societal culture As a side note before diving in every one of the aspects of Arab military training I describe below often backed up by various historical examples is something that I have had repeatedly confirmed to me by American or Western trainers and often experienced myself in Ira Jordan Egypt Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during my 30 years of experience with Arab militaries p 440 For the most part operations in Arab militaries are conducted by the book Arab armed forces teach their soldiers and officers there is only one right answer to any military problem and only one right way of handling a situation This right answer is then practiced constantly until it can be performed unthinking from memory This approach is employed in battle regardless of other factors such as terrain mission the forces available or the enemy s strength and disposition Arab military personnel are typically taught that the school solution is not one they are expected to figure out on their own on the spot Instead the correct approach will be told them by higher authority Arab soldiers and junior officers are generally taught not to act on their own but to wait for orders from their superiors p 441 Arab soldiers and officers almost universally have been taught only a small range of specific skills narrowly related to their mission Just as Arab schoolchildren are taught to consider different subjects discrete and unrelated so too Arab military personnel have been taught to consider the different elements of modern armed forces to be discrete and unrelated Arab armed forces generally suffer from having too little practical field exercises to hone their skills Like Arab schoolchildren Arab military units are taught skills but haven t always been allowed to practice them Instead skills and operations are typically demonstrated to them by instructors and the trainees are made to practice only the simple sub elements that would have to be combined into involved procedures in battle Field exercises tend to be insufficient or nonexistent among most Arab armies while Arab pilots regularly log far fewer flying hours than their Israeli or NATO counterparts p 442 At every level Arab drills and maneuvers are heavily scriptedEven worse Arab soldiers and officers are freuently graded on how they perform their specific task and not whether they accomplished the overall goals of the exercise p 443 In general Arab training has rarely if ever attempted to simulate the real problems of battle by unexpectedly changing familiar activities introducing novel forces or situations or otherwise surprising the participants Instead training drills remain absolutely unchanged from one iteration to the next and training maneuvers followed the same scripts time and again with little variation 17 Indeed American trainers in Ira in 2003 2011 and 2014 2017 complained endlessly about these problems and their frustration in trying to get the Irais to change their ways p 444 In virtually all of the Arab militaries training manuals are typically Arabic translations of British Russian and increasingly American manuals that are rarely read or taught let alone put into practice Case in point the Emiratis misinterpretation of the British Army drill manuals via the silly concepts of Salute to the Left Right p 450 of military training could condition them to act differently from the manner encouraged by the society at large Arab military training does not do so Instead Arab military programs modeled as they are on the educational methods of the larger society reinforce these patterns of behavior The result are soldiers and officers conditioned to act and think in certain ways ways that reflect the values and priorities of the dominant culture p 491 An important difference between Shi a and Sunni Islam is the concept of ijtihad meaning independent reasoning or interpretation Most schools of Sunni Islam argue against ijtihad insisting that the uran should be taken literallyIsraelis for that matter claim that this instills a greater willingness among Shi a to think for themselves rather than simply waiting for an authority figure to tell them how to act Say a bit like Catholicism vs Protestant Fundamentalism p 514 When a man or less often woman comes to power of any kind in the Arab world it is expected that he will bring his relatives clansmen tribesmen and coreligionists co ethnicists in with him and give them plum positions within the hierarchy he controls As the one saying goes Birds of a feather flock together or as Dr Steve Lamy at the USC School of International Relations likes to say People seek cognitive consistency and avoid cognitive dissonance p 520 Indeed globalization has had a profound impact on the Arab world already It made the Arab Spring possible and it is now reshaping Arab culture Thus economic change bred political change that is now evolving into cultural change There is a growing willingness of people to speak their minds The younger generation is less willing to blindly follow authority figures More are willing to take action to change their circumstances a trait that Hizballah Da ish and other new model Arab armies have doubtlessly benefited from Experts on the Arab world note that childrearing practices are changing in response The available data consistently show fewer parents viewing obedience as their primary goal and saying they encourage independence and use praise and reasoning to shape their children s behavior according to Gregg Other anthropologists have found that better educated parents are becoming concerned with the success of their children in school rather than just instilling loyalty to the extended family In other words the politics economics and even the culture of the Arab world is changing and changing in some remarkable ways Thus the fact that these three features of the Arab states conspired to cripple Arab armed forces in the past should not be taken as a sign that they will continue to do so in the future At some point they may no longer produce the same patterns of behavior that were so deleterious to Arab military effectiveness in the prior era It will likely take several decades but if the trend lines for change in the Arab world bear out someday they may even benefit Arab armies in combat Going back to my stint in the UAE and Ira I saw some tentative hopeful signs of this as wellor as the Arabs themselves might say Inshallah Summary Å PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ Kenneth M. Pollack

Kenneth M. Pollack ☆ 4 characters

Kenneth M. Pollack ☆ 4 characters Since the Second World War Arab armed forces Sand The PDF #8608 have consistently punched below their weight They have lost many wars that by all rights they should Armies of eBook #9734 have won and in their best performances only ever achieved uite modest accomplishments Over time soldiers scholars and military experts have offered various explanations for this of Sand The PDFEPUB #234 pattern Reliance on Soviet military methods the poor civil military relations of the Arab world the underdevelopment of the Arab states and patterns of behavior derived of Sand The Past Present MOBI #181 from the wi. Look at any of many military campaigns undertaken by Arab forces since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire outcomes range from mediocre to pathetic How could so much time effort money foreign support and cultural emphasis on feats of arms result in such consistently dismal performance Why have Arab armies repeatedly failed in their military endeavors This is the Riddle of the Sands what explains so little return on so great an investment Ken Pollack s brilliant history of Arabs at war is a simultaneously compelling detailed original undertaking and for those who care about US foreign policy reuired reading for the informed publicKen Pollack s very long and distinguished career centers on study of armed conflict in the Middle East He began publishing on the topic in 2002 and continued academic research in Near Eastern Persian Gulf affairs which he supplemented with numerous visits to the region including to Ramala during the recent conflict as a US military advisor to Irai forces In short he s well ualified to assess and judge Arabic military competenciesBecause Armies of Sand is methodical meticulously researched and all aspects of the matter have been exhaustively accounted for it s long Obviously it takes time to investigate the claims and valid possible counter claims Importantly for the general reader Armies should help clarify exactly what comprises vital national interests and whether or not further costly investments in Middle Eastern and specifically Arab military adventures are worthwhile In sum in the hands of a lessor author this topic would be a tedious jargon laden academic tome and be consigned to the reuired reading list for mid grade military officers aspiring for advancement and it s not that at allSince writing Arabs at War 2002 Pollack s books dealt with policy matters At least one of them The Gathering Storm developed a highly contentious reputation likely based on casual reading and or filtering through an ideological prism as contrasted with careful study of the ideas and proposals themselves In Armies of Sand Pollack returns to his original interest attempting to define factors underlying the haphazard and inferior performance of Arab arms Remember as Pollack writes In war an army doesn t need to be perfect it just needs to be better than its opponent So why the deficiencies from 1948 onwards Because the author is careful and strives for exactitude and maybe out of concern that a broad critiue of Arab military performance is potentially problematic each and every major possible contributing factor is stated restated and stated yet again Contending explanations are fully described and documented by numerous citations from the scholarly literature For context Arab military performance is compared and contrasted with examples from non regional conflicts to find possible systemic trends in relevant military doctrine level of industrial development or lack thereof extent of politicization of the military hierarchy and the most fraught potential explanation Arab culture itself Pollack s book is current through the publication date and includes discussions of both Hizbollah and Da ish ISIS as non traditional Arab military actorsOf course other experts have studied the problem of Arab military mediocrity including general gtaff officers and planners in Egypt Jordan Lebanon Libya Saudi Arabia Syria and Ira Many explanations have been proffered for bungled military efforts and Pollack addresses them all Is it rigid application of Soviet military doctrine No Perhaps it s political contamination of the armed forces eg the military is permeated with second guessing political hacks acting as commissars maybe the army is preoccupied with regime protection against internal enemies or fixated on assuming or maintaining power itself Nope Could it be lack of education or under development Not reallySo what remains Few readers will complete Armies of Sand without accepting the author s conclusion the major problem is Arab culture itself Since this is an obvious third rail argument it s treated with due care and occupies a significant number of pages The author acknowledges that explanations overlap and combine to produce the unsatisfactory outcomeWhat is Arab culture This is a topic Pollack acknowledges as potentially incendiary so he is careful to avoid folk theories and anecdotes The author uses the term thusly in the anthropological sense of learned shared values and patterns of behavior developed by a community over the course of its history Culture is both the practice of how things are done in a society and the values that suggest how things should be done by the members of that society p 355 He explicitly ualifies and clarifies Please note that simply by pursuing the topic of Arab culture I will be dealing with with what are inevitably stereotypes I view this as unavoidable Without uestion all Arabs as individuals act differently from one another and the notion of culture is least useful in understanding the behavior of individuals No scholarly work regarding culture can claim to accurately predict the behavior of individuals in specific circumstances Nevertheless I accept the notion that culturally regular behavior does exist and that it is an important influence on the behavior of both individuals and groups and that as such it is too important an element of human behavior to be ignored footnote 20 p 574 So as Sherlock Holmes noted to Watson when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains however improbable must be the truth and Pollack carefully logically diligently and scrupulously considers all other possibilities leaving this explanation which he subjects to rigorous examination as the overarching cause This fault is acknowledged not only by respected Arabic military and academic sources but also in various specific UN reports dealing with Arabic cultural shortcomings and their impact on social development education etc Naturally other factors Pollack cites contribute but culture is the prime culprit in deed and in factSpecifically what cultural factors contribute to military under performance According to Pollack these include Conformity do what everyone else in your tribe or unit is doing Centralization of authority non delegation of decision making Passivity and deference to hierarchies discouraging individual initiative by lower level commanders Group loyalty something akin to suashing individual initiative to maintain fealty to the group Information manipulation ie nobody wants to report bad news to the boss Atomization of knowledge preventing combined arms operations Personal courage manliness An ambivalence to manual labor and technical work contributing to maintenance issues with modern armaments This is certainly a dour listing of problems as pertains to military performancePollack writes in an engaging almost collouial fashion and avoids use of discipline specific jargon tedious academic pretension and bombastic posturing Armies of Sand is supremely well organized and comprehensively referenced The book s only shortcomings are use of arcane map symbols NATO unit designations are used but not explained in figure references and lack of an abbreviation glossary Some chapters are replicative of Arabs at War but use of that material makes Armies a stand alone work Armies of Sand is a standout performance by an accomplished historian It s utility for the specialist reader is obvious but its insights will inform and hopefully guide decision makers in various disciplines as well as serving the lay student of military history It compares favorably with Clausewitz and other master students and interpreters of the military art It s the capstone of a brilliant career for Ken Pollack