This book is a must read for all ranks. Today's military is falsely secure in its ability to prosecute military operations via the use of high tech weapons and combat support systems, while continuously failing to realize that the human dimension is where warfare truly lies. Such a false sense of security may
result in a preventable number of deaths of our servicemen - especially today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More money, more fancy contract competing complicated weapon systems and competing battle rhythms do not equal success. Such upper level stresses are impacting the Warfighters ability to fight and survive.
Since it is unfortunate that the United States population is a "quick fix" society and is easily manipulated by today's, often slanted, media reports which endangers the lives of service men and women, Poole's book quickly provides insight into what commanders, troops, media reporters and citizens of this country need to understand about our technologically inferior enemies. And, that as long as the United States remains a Super/Mega Power, technologically inferior forces will attempt to find gaps and exploit them in order to limit/stunt U.S. resolve.
John Poole takes the reader into the Eastern Mindset of warfare. Although the concepts he centers on pertain mostly to Far East Asia (i.e. China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam), those concepts have spread into Central and South West Asia as specified in this book which is well cited. The major take-away in The Tiger's Way, is the enemy's employment of deception and carefully choosing battles that are intended to be already won before execution, with the most important concept being that the enemy will let you see what he wants you to see.
So why is The Tiger's Way a must read for reporters? John Poole cites examples in how an enemy would use deception against U.S. armed forces to use weapon systems against innocent civilians and slow/deter the momentum of the U.S. resolve. This book also provides areas that reporters/investigative reporters might want to research to get as accurate a picture as possible into how a technologically inferior foe will attempt to defeat the United States.
Why is this a must read for Commanders? Commander's can see how staff exercises, command over tasking, limited free play and a reluctance to allow subordinates into developing their own initiative and decision making skills can contribute to their demise. This book also illustrates how U.S. forces are fighting today's threats like the linear fighting Brits tried to fight the Indians who employed guerilla tactics during the Seven Years War. The enemy sees us, while we cannot see him and the ENEMY CHOOSES THE TIME AND PLACE TO FIGHT.
Why is The Tiger's Way important for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs)? NCOs now have a tool they can use to develop training plans, and to develop initiative in their subordinates who have to be on the front lines for combat and rear area security operations. It's simply not enough that every Marine is a rifleman.
Why is this a read for other military personnel?
C2- John Poole's The Tiger's Way emphasizes, and explains how the enemy desires to eliminate Command and Control without high tech equipment and by disrupting U.S. forces decision making processes.
Intel- Intel types are provided insight into the importance of debriefing personnel, and teaching other small unit personnel how to debrief their own personnel in order to force the data to intelligence sections for accurate threat assessments. Enemy Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) are addressed that can assist an Intel Collections Manager in answering intelligence gaps. Indicators are provided too, or sought, by various collection tools to identify, target and eliminate a threat. The importance of a strong human intelligence collection capability is stressed as being significantly more important than high tech systems which can be deceived or avoided.
Logistics & Force Protection - Logistics types are given some ideas on how to protect their own logistics assets i.e. convoys, rear area security personnel, etc.
Fires- Fires personnel will understand what the enemy may very likely attempt to do in order to avoid being decimated by artillery or close air support.
Maneuver/Grunts- Warfighters will have an idea of what types of patterns to look for leading up to an enemy attack, or hostile intelligence collection effort. Warfighters will also understand that their collected and forwarded observations on site will provide members of the staff and supporting elements the needed data to properly ascertain and eliminate a threat. In other words, all warfighters are intel collectors and it is their job to forward the data to aid in putting an end to the conflict. Last, Poole's well cited book provides direction to other resources which are rare and difficult to find, information that is most important to the people who are actually doing the fighting. Another well written book by John Poole is Phantom Soldier which provides even more resources to facilitate further research.
Finally, The Tiger's Way is an intelligence product that provides insight into today's enemy threat and reducing uncertainty. Most intelligence products focus too much on terrain, weather and other quantitative issues and often ignore the human element to warfare. This book addresses what is ignored, and what ultimately kills our people.