John Nagl was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University who wrote his PhD thesis about counter-insurgency. He read every classic book on the issue, his favorite being T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” which warns that fighting a guerrilla war is “messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife.” But Nagl is not just a scholar of counter-insurgency. He is a major in the U.S. Army and is currently third-in-command of a tank battalion in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq. My profile of him is in this week’s issue of The New York Times Magazine.
UPDATE. If you have too much time on your hands, you can listen to me talk about Iraq and counterinsurgency on the following programs:
—Leonard Lopate. (Scroll to “Peter Maass.”)
—NPR Weekend Edition. (Scroll to “U.S. Counterinsurgency Expert.”)