Military Operations from Kosovo to Kabul

Military Operations from Kosovo to Kabul

James Nelson
ARRSE Rating
2 Mushroom Heads
In this highly unusual role for a lawyer, the author found himself in 1998 having to learn on his feet at a frightening pace as the newly promoted senior legal advisor to the charismatic General Sir Mike Jackson, the commander who led the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps into strife-torn Kosovo to restore some sort of normality in the aftermath of the NATO bombing campaign. A peace deal was finally signed, only for Russia to intervene at the eleventh hour. The author was asked to provide rules of engagement for NATO to eject a stubborn Russian unit from Pristina by force, amongst fears of starting World War III, one of the few occasions when he thought perhaps civilian legal practice might not have been such a bad idea after all. Ten years later the author was back at HQ ARRC, promoted to Colonel. The culture shock on this occasion was not so much, spending six months in Afghanistan as being professionally embedded in a large American military legal office led by a hyper energetic US officer from the 'deep south'. Unlike the short, sharp Kosovo experience in central Europe, this war in central Asia was the longest in the history of the USA, although for the British it was just the latest in a succession of operations going back two centuries to the 'Great Game'. Trying to apply the law, balancing the need for aggression with compliance with Western notions of human rights, and vain efforts to win over the hearts and minds of a proud but impoverished people historically blighted by conflict proved to be unimaginably fraught. _Military Operations From Kosovo to Kabul_ is one experienced soldier's fascinating account of these historic events, seen on the ground from the perspective of a legal professional, seldom associated with fighting wars.

I was really pleased when this book arrived in the post, this is something different, I thought to myself. I was right, a book about a lawyer's experiences written by a lawyer, proofread and edited by lawyers, I deduced. Likewise, I really HAD to read the book, however it was no easy task fighting through law speak and 3 to 7 letter acronyms, there are pages full of them. I'm sorry to say, if there were any good stories to be had, it looks like the lawyers cut them all out, just in case.
Every chapter I kept thinking, he will get to the meat in a minute, but he never did. This story just didn't flow nor grab the attention at all. They say a definition of a lawyer is someone who puts your money where HIS mouth is, save yourself a few bob and don't buy it. I struggled on just in case it produced the goods, especially as this was an unusual subject. However hard I tried, it just didn't come together. Usually, If a book hasn't hooked me by chapter three, I bin it. I find it guilty of misrepresentation and for the murder of some poor tree out there .

I believe that this is the worst review that I have given to a book on ARRSE, the year has ended with a whimper, I gave it two mushrooms just for the fact that it got published .Such a shame.

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