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Terrorism, Afghanistan, and America's New Way of War by Norman Friedman

Jacket: Hardcover
Pages: 304 pages
Publisher: Naval Institute Press (April 30, 2003)
Genre: 9/11
ISBN: 1591142903

Comments about the author: Norman Friedman is an internationally known strategist and naval historian living in New York City. A monthly columnist for Proceedings magazine, he is the author of twenty-eight books, including the recent award-winning Seapower as Strategy and The Fifty-Year War.

Review: Like many others, the attacks on 9/11 simply made no sense to me. They were not military targets. It was just a senseless attack on American civilians for no other reason than living the American life. What it did bring to light was the new way of war that the United States would have to fight. Not one of a well defined enemy with visible targets, but one of uncertainty. No longer would there be massive buildups of troops and machinery poised against other large groups of troops and machinery. In this book, Norman Friedman gives a great insight into how and why the United States will be engaging in battle.

The first 20 pages of this book gave me a real scare. It mainly gives an account of the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks. It brought back all the memories of that day for me. It then went on to describe how unprepared the United States was for this type of attack. Norman Friedman takes on the daunting task of explaining the unexplainable. Why is the United States over in Afghanistan? Why do terrorists hate the American Way?

Friedman's background in military history is extraordinary. He uses his vast knowledge as an historian and scholar to bring to light, in very easy to follow wording, an extremely complicated situation. Some of the best reading I found in this book was the way he explains many different points in the notes at the end of the book.

It would be fair to say that this book is not an easy read. However, it is certainly a very good read and I highly recommend this book to anybody wanting to know how our military will be (and currently is) fighting this war on terrorism. Friedman describes the tactics our military uses in this urban warfare. He also does not allow the reader to forget that this is a very quickly changing war. The United States military tactics are constantly changing as the enemy changes their tactics. As the terrorists and insurgents learn how to be more sophisticated, the United States military will evolve and remain ahead of the curve. After reading this book, my confidence in the United States military has only increased. They will remain steadfast in their determination to remove the terrorist threat to our homeland.

— Reviewed by: Bob Morse
Senior Systems Programmer
Brown University


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