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Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Groundby Robert D. Kaplan
Synopses & Reviews
In this extraordinary book, Robert D. Kaplan lets readers experience up close the American military worldwide in the air, at sea, and on the ground: flying in a B-2 bomber, living on a nuclear submarine, and traveling with a Stryker brigade on missions around the world. Provided unprecedented access, Kaplan moves from destroyers off the coast of Indonesia to submarines in the central Pacific, from simulated Iraqi training grounds in Alaska to technology bases in Las Vegas, from army and marine land forces in the heart of the Sahara Desert, to air bases in Guam and Thailand and beyond.
Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts provides not only a riveting ground-level portrait of the Global War on Terrorism on several continents, but also a gritty firsthand account of how U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen are protecting sea-lanes, providing disaster relief, contending with the military rise of China, fighting the war in Iraq, and crafting contingency plans for war with North Korea and Iran.
Expanding on Kaplan’s acclaimed Imperial Grunts, the first volume of his exploration of the American military, which “offers the reader an enlightened way to understand what is happening in the world” (San Francisco Chronicle), Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts shifts focus to the Pacific, where emerging Asian powers present vexing diplomatic and strategic challenges to U.S. influence. In this volume, Kaplan completes his analysis of army Special Forces and the marines, while also taking readers into the heart of the myriad tribal cultures of the air force, surface and subsurface navies, and the regular army’s Stryker
brigades. Kaplan goes deep into their highly technical and exotic worlds, and he tells this story through the words and perspectives of the enlisted personnel and junior officers themselves–men and women who, as he writes, have “had their national identities as Americans engraved in sharp bas-relief.”
This provocative and illuminating book, like Imperial Grunts before it, not only conveys the vast scope of America’s military commitments, which rarely make it into the news, but also shows us astonishing and vital operations right as they unfold–from the point of view of the troops themselves.
From the Hardcover edition.
A journalist and best-selling author of Imperial Grunts offers a close-up study of the American military on land, in the air, and at sea, furnishing a ground-level profile of the global war on terrorism, as well as how the U.S. Navy protects sea lanes, provides disaster relief, and prepares for a confrontation with China, while the Air Force prepares for war with Iran and North Korea. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
Robert D. Kaplan is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and the author of eleven previous books on foreign affairs and travel, which have been translated into many languages. These books include Imperial Grunts, Balkan Ghosts, Warrior Politics, and The Coming Anarchy. He is the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor in National Security at the United States Naval Academy.
About the Author
Robert D. Kaplan is anational correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and the bestselling author ofeleven previous books on foreign affairs and travel, including Balkan Ghosts, The Ends of the Earth, The Coming Anarchy, and Eastward to Tartary and most recently Imperial Grunts.He is currently the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Naval Academy. He lives with his wife and son in western Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The better they fought, the better relief workers they became — America's African rifles — Alaska to Thailand: the organizing principle of the Earth's surface — A civilization unto itself, swishing through the crushing void — Geeks with tattoos: the most driven men I have ever known — NATO's ragged Southern edge — The Gurkha standard — Tribal mafias — A dependable blue-collar plane — Timbuktu, Soviet Stonehenge, and gnarly-ass jungle — The big glider and the jagged boomerang — The morbid tyranny out of antiquity — Afterward: The non-warrior democracy.
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