The Best Defense

The Best Defense

Phil Klay's 'Redeployment': Probably the best book I've read on the Iraq War

If you served in Iraq, or want understand what it was like for many people, you owe it to yourself to read Phil Klay's book Redeployment. I bought the book months ago but really didn't feel like revisiting the war. Recently I finally picked it up, and was amazed at how good it is. It also just won the National Book Award for fiction. Pretty good for a Marine!

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The Best Defense

First person refugee: Can a video game teach military personnel empathy? (Vol. 3)

By Jim Gourley

Best Defense video games critic

Telling the same old war story can also wear out the game makers themselves. That was Pawel Miechowski's sentiment when he pitched the idea for This War of Mine to his company 11 Bit Studios. In the game, you play as a civilian trapped inside a besieged city, forced to scavenge for food and supplies to keep your group alive. Miechowski got the idea for This War of Mine after reading a newspaper story recounting a Bosnian man's tale of survival during the war there in the 1990s.

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The Best Defense

What I learned about destroying ISIS -- from being kidnapped by its predecessors

By Jill Carroll

Best Defense guest columnist

Much of the discussion about the Islamic State (IS) and how to defeat it is a search for answers to the wrong questions. We need to start asking the right questions before we can find a long-term strategy that has a chance of success.

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The Best Defense

Adm. Dave Oliver's appreciation of how Rickover created the nuclear Navy

One of the best books I read all summer was an advance copy of a study of Adm. Rickover, father of the nuclear Navy. Against the Tide is written by retired Rear Adm. Dave Oliver, a former sub commander. At times it reads like a thriller, at other times like a great study of management practices. It is even funny at times.

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The Best Defense

First person refugee: A journalist takes his 'Call of Duty' sons to a real war (2)

By Jim Gourley

Best Defense video games critic

Swedish journalist Carl-Magnus Helgegren was equally confused by his two sons' passion for Call of Duty, but when they approached him about buying last year's edition of the game, the Swedish journalist and documentary filmmaker's parental instincts overrode his academic curiosity. Helgegren had traveled to Israel to cover the conflict in Palestine in 2009. On his blog, he wrote that he remembered that trip as he and his sons discussed the game. "I started thinking. I thought I knew what war was. That was before I went and worked on the West Bank in 2009." Helgegren decided to offer the kids a deal. He would buy them the game if they still wanted it after going to Israel and visiting areas affected by the conflict.

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