October 19, 2009

Name: Old Blue
Posting date: 10/19/09
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog: Afghan Quest

The Counterinsurgency Training Center – Afghanistan (CTC-A) is growing, and its role in propagating the doctrine of counterinsurgency, or COIN, across many organizations is growing. Students of counterinsurgency from every branch of the United States Military, all of our NATO and Coalition allies, and most importantly Afghans from government, the Afghan Military, Afghan National Police and even non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being trained in counterinsurgency every week. Some of this training is conducted on site at the CTC-A, while other training is carried directly to the units and organizations in the field.

The curriculum is reviewed each month in a constant process of refining the presentation of materials to keep the training relevant to the current conditions in the theater. New tools are reviewed carefully for applicability. Pathways to better integration with civilian and military organizations and capabilities are sought, examined carefully, and advice is given on implementation. Partners are discovered, encouraged, educated and assisted. Relationships are cemented and expanded to include new organizations and capabilities. Lastly, through discussion and interface during training including diverse groups, personal contacts are forged that continue to drive productive partnership development.

Innovative doctrinally-based approaches to counterinsurgency training and implementation are being developed and fielded in conjunction with other organizations. Methods for operationalizing doctrinal frameworks and concepts are being sought, developed, tested and fielded. The CTC-A is a center for COIN thought that does not depend on solutions being pushed forward by offices in the United States, with solutions tuned to the specific environment of Afghanistan. The staff at the CTC-A are constantly learning, acquiring as much knowledge as possible to drive insights into such developments.

In that spirit of continuous education and professional development, an Honorary Library has been established at the CTC-A. Donations of books are sought which will be available to students and staff alike to spur further learning about counterinsurgency, history (especially Afghan and Central Asian history) and related topics. It is very easy to donate and become a part of this learning. Simply follow this link and the name of the wish list is “COIN Library – Kabul.” Donations of used books from the wish list can be mailed to:

COIN Library
c/o Scott Kesterson
Camp Phoenix
APO AE 09320

Your contributions will help to keep the minds of the counterinsurgent trainers and students bright as they work together to resolve a very complex insurgency. This is a way that you can support forwarding counterinsurgency doctrine, training and implementation in Afghanistan and have a direct impact on the success of the mission here. Please consider making a contribution to the fight and arming counterinsurgents with knowledge. Sometimes, a counterinsurgent’s best weapons do not shoot.


On the way:

Order Date: October 19, 2009
Order #: 105-3154093-1872267
Recipient: Scott Kesterson

Delivery estimate: October 26, 2009 - November 10, 2009

* 1 of: The Carpet Wars
Sold by: Trophy Books

Order Date: October 19, 2009
Order #: 105-6591811-9932226
Recipient: Scott Kesterson

* 1 of: The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual
* 1 of: Outliers: The Story of Success
* 1 of: The Afghanistan Wars: Second Edition (Twentieth Century Wars)
* 1 of: The Women of Afghanistan Under the Taliban
* 1 of: The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global
* 1 of: Guerrilla Warfare

Let us know if there's more we can do to help you. Thanks for your service - it is appreciated beyond words.



I have posted your message and link on my FB page. Will be sending in my order shortly.

Went to the Amazon page and was drawn by curiosity to the Sarah Palin discussion under her upcoming book. Thought of posting a reference to your need there, and then hesitated. It seems to be quite the hotbed of contentiousness on several sides of the political spectrum. I would not want to draw your good work into all that. On the other hand, you would likely get quite a few books in the mail.

What do you think? Will do my order and wait to hear about the other.

Blessings on you, your troops and your efforts.

sorry, posted when I was trying to edit. See that I ordered the young reader's version of Three Cups; hope you can still find a use for it.

Here you go. Included a James Michner novel from the 60's. Many things the same.

Order #: 103-0942077-9417063

Shipping estimate for these items: November 3, 2009 - November 7, 2009

1 "The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin"
Idries Shah; Paperback;

1 "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time ( The Young Reader's Edition)"
Sarah Thomson; Paperback;

1 "The Post-American World"
Fareed Zakaria; Paperback;

1 "The Art of War (Shambhala classics)"
Sun Tzu; Paperback;

1 "The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia"
Frances Wood; Paperback;

1 "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes"
Amin Maalouf; Paperback;

1 "Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan"
James A. Michener; Paperback;

1 "Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Central Asia"
Rafis Abazov; Paperback;

1 "The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity"
Tariq Ali; Paperback;

May I recommend several online publications:

USMC Small Wars Manual NAVMC 2890

-though old, this manual is invaluable.

Mao Zedong, On Guerrilla Warfare.

-Surprised? You shouldn't be. Always good to read winners. Mao's text on guerrilla warfare is essential, especially Chapter 2.

Your order has shipped (#103-0942077-9417063)

a week or more ahead of schedule.

I saw Trinquier, but not Galula--I presume you already have that one? Also, I recommend Taber's "War of the Flea" and Lawrence's "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom." A little less known is "The Memoirs of General Grivas," as haughty as the EOKA writer may have been. It's still a good insurgent perspective.

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