I'm in the middle of a very dry, very academic paper in the journal Iranian Studies called "Informal (In)security in Urban Afghanistan", by Stefan Schutte, but I'm really giving serious thought to quitting halfway. I never quit reading things in the middle. Draw your own conclusions.
I've also just begun David Ucko's The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars, which was a birthday gift from my very gracious co-bloggers. I know books like this make SNLII and Gentile crazy; more of The Dominant Narrative!
The most recent issue of Parameters has been going back and forth to work with me for the last two weeks; I'm about to start on "Insurgent Mistakes: Playing for the breaks," by Lincoln B. Krause. Also see that issue for the 50th recitation of Gian Gentile's ideas about the pernicious influence of the COINdinistas. (Or don't. I promise you've already read that article.)
Something I recently read that's getting a lot of play among people who are interested in the training/advising/mentoring angle in Afghanistan: "Getting the most out of the ANA, so we can do less." It was written by Jeff Haynes, a retired Marine colonel and former commander of Regional Corps Advisory Command-Central, and has some interesting and controversial ideas about how to improve training for the ANSF.
And one more from the FPRI crowd: "What Afghans Want," by Andrew Garfield. I recently read an op-ed that was based on this longer piece, so I'm looking forward to it.
Finally, just so you guys know I read about other stuff, too (a good friend of mine recently chuckled that he thought his interests "are a little broader than [mine]" when defending his interest in Harry Potter and Twilight; while I disagree with his specific choices, I winced at the underlying suggestion that I'm not interested in anything but war!): last week I finished Malcolm Gladwell's newest, What the Dog Saw. If you think the book sucks, or if you think Gladwell sucks, or if you think pop science/economics/behavioral psychology sucks, that's fine -- just don't quote bleedin' Steven Pinker at me.
Ok, that's enough for now. Compadres?
Well, I raided the library at Gulliver's when we were there for dinner so here's what I'll be reading:
La Guerre Probable, by Vincent Desportes and
Writing to Change the World, by Mary Pipher (because Reviving Ophelia was so amazing, if you're still wondering what those teenage years were all about, it really does help).
If the Kalyvas actually came in the mail today then I'll be reading that too.
Plus, I need to read all sorts of boring documents but I won't bore you with the details.