Pentagon Turns to Lawrence of Arabia

The US military has turned to the wisdom of Lawrence of Arabia for guidance on how to win the war in Iraq and understand the mindset of its insurgents.

In the latest list of books recommended to commanders, T E Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his first-person account of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks between 1917 and 1919, is number two out of 100.

Extracts from the memoir and his essays have also been e-mailed directly to senior officers in the field.

Honestly, I think that unless they find something that says ‘Get the hell out of there right now!’ and follow it, it’s not going to do them any good.

Arabs have changed a lot since the days of Lawrence of Arabia, and so have the circumstances. Thinking that reading a book written nearly a century ago can give them insight into the mindset of Arabs, thus enlightening them on how to deal with the insurgents in Iraq is just pathetic.


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