(Normally, we start the year with our “Most Intriguing Event of the Year”. But since Lone Survivor hit theaters across the country on January 10th, we’re devoting this week to that topic.
To read all of our Lone Survivor posts, please click here. The most important post is “A List of the Mistakes and Differences Between Lone Survivor (Film), Lone Survivor (Book) and Reality” so read that first if you are new to the blog or this topic.)
If a counter-insurgency lesson happens on a hill-side in Afghanistan, and Americans don’t care, did anyone ever really learn it?
As the most popular memoir and film about Afghanistan, Lone Survivor now has the subtle distinction of being the single most popular piece of media about Afghanistan…period. (To everyone who comments, “Why are you still writing about this?” That’s one reason why.) Since Lone Survivor has lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) counter-insurgency lessons embedded in the narrative, the book and the movie will have a profound effect on American’s understanding of counter-insurgency warfare.
Most viewers of Lone Survivor won’t realize that sound counter-insurgency practices actually saved Marcus Luttrell’s life on that hillside on that fateful June day. While I don’t fault Peter Berg for trying to tell a tight story centered almost entirely on the battle, this focus skews Americans’ understanding of COIN. Worse, some of Berg’s decisions (like the final battle) will irrevocably mislead Americans on how politics works in Afghanistan.
Read the Remainder at On Violence.
Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!