Some of you may know that before I dedicated myself to solving the world's energy problems I spent two decades in the military and academia. The product of those years is my new book Beer, Bacon and Bullets: Culture in Coalition Warfare from Gallipoli to Iraq.Technorati Tag: Gal Luft and Energy.
Beer, Bacon and Bullets argues that cross-cultural differences can have deadly repercussions when they arise in the midst of a life-or-death struggle and prevent allies struggling in a common cause from properly coordinating their efforts. The book covers the history of military cooperation from WWI to the current military struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the book I reveal how:
• German and Turkish officers collaborating in World War I resented each other more than they resented their enemies and how it was the Ottoman sultan (inspired by the German Kaiser), not Osama bin Ladin, that declared the first jihad against the West.Order it here
• Chinese generals in World War II were so obsessed with saving their pride that they were willing to sacrifice millions of their soldiers and suffer painful defeat rather than heed the advice of their American allies.
• American officers in Desert Storm bent over backwards to accommodate the cultural idiosyncrasies of their Saudi hosts. Shocking revelations about demands to remove American sewage from Saudi soil, restrictions on US female soldiers and mass conversion to Wahhabi Islam of US personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia).
• Israelis’ failure to read the mind of their Lebanese allies ended in the Sabra and Shatila disaster and how lack of cultural sensitivity created shiite animosity from which Israel suffers to this day.
Praise for Beer, Bacon and Bullets:
“A book of tremendous erudition, but done so well that your eyes will glide effortlessly across its pages. Given our nation's increasing reliance on coalition war-making, this is a vital issue for all Americans.”
Dr. Kenneth Pollack, Brookings Institution
“Soldiers who participate in coalition operations know the supreme importance of culture. Here, at last, we have a brilliant piece of scholarship that explores the truth they discover often painfully, as they work in coalitions. A rich, ironic, and wonderfully lucid mixture of history, anthropology, and policy analysis. A tremendous book.”
Professor Eliot Cohen, Johns Hopkins University
Executive Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
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Gal Luft is executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) a Washington based think tank focused on energy security and co-founder of the Set America Free Coalition, an alliance of national security, environmental, labor and religious groups promoting ways to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. He specializes in strategy, geopolitics, terrorism, energy security, natural resources and economic warfare. Newsweek Magazine called him a "tireless and independent advocate of energy security," the business magazine Poder called him "one of the most recognizable figures in modern energy and security issues," and Esquire Magazine included him in its 2007 list of America's Best and Brightest. Dr. Luft has published numerous studies and articles on security and energy issues in various newspapers and publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, Commentary Magazine, Middle East Quarterly, LA Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He is co-author of Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century (2009) and
Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice (2009.)