The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

Book Reviews: Empire in the Sands; The Quranic Concept of War.

Empires of the Sand is a bold attempt to redefine the historical understanding of what forces were responsible for shaping the current Middle East from 1789 to 1923.  The Karsh’s contend that the European powers, as is widely accepted by most prominent scholars, were not the primary force behind the current tensions and issues that exist in the region. Instead, that the Middle Eastern powers were willing and active participants in establishing their current boundaries and bare the primary responsibility for its internal problems and volatile nature.  The European powers played a secondary role and without their support and assistance in defining the geographic boundaries of the region it would be less stable and divided into smaller and more contentious states.  I believe that while brilliant in presenting their data that they and their argument are historically inaccurate and biased.  I found the book one sided to the European powers while continually condemning the Arabs and Turks.  While they bear significant responsibility for their failures that led to the current state of the Middle East, this literary effort tries too hard to relieve European Colonialism of its role.


MAJ William Prayner, USA 


In the absence of real Islamic military doctrine, The Quranic Concept of War is the equivalent of the U.S. Army’s FM 3-0 Operations for Muslims searching for “divine guidance” on how to fight.  Allah K. Brohi, late Advocate-General of Pakistan, described Brigadier Malik’s work as “a comprehensive survey of the Quranic Approach to the Principles of War and Peace.”  According to the author the book outlines “a philosophy of war that is supreme and distinctive in all its angles and aspects.”  I did not make a direct connection between this book and terrorist ideology, but apparently many others have.  Publishers Mark Hanna and Patrick Poole said Malik’s book has “critical significance in the ideological foundations of the international jihadist movement” and indicated summaries of the book in various languages have been found on captured and killed insurgents in Afghanistan.  United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Myers, who reviewed Malik’s book for the Winter 2006-2007 issue of Parameters, said “Anyone charged or interested in the defense of reason and freedom of conscious [sic] should study the Quranic Concept of War for its intellectual and strategic ramifications.” 


MAJ Patricia McPhillips, USA 

April 24, 2009 - Posted by | A652, books | , , , , , , , , ,

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