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Expeditionary Eagles: Outmaneuvering the Taliban


Drugs have played a greater role in the Afghan War than most Americans dare to believe. One of the oldest drug cartels in the region--the Haqqani Network--has been responsible for many of the most visible Kabul attacks. With white heroin now flooding America, one has to come up with a better defense strategy for the place growing 90% of the poppies. Only with less smuggling of morphine bricks out and ordnance pieces in, can the problem be solved.  All traffic along the 14 entrance highways must be more closely inspected to curtail their movement. No amount of commando raiding or standoff bombardment is going to lessen their flow. Nor will a Taliban-inclusive coalition government. During the Soviet-Afghan War, it was the Pak Army controlling all trucking into Afghanistan, and Pak Intel. using ill-gotten funding. Whoever is controlling those trucks now may be facilitating the smuggling (like IR-painting the authorized trucks and then shipping whatever they want). Herein lies a detailed study of Pakistan's drug and militant madrasa networks. Also described is how a lone U.S. squad could--without a single artillery round or drone missile--rely on deception to defend a roadside outpost against hundreds of attacking narco-insurgents.

What People Are Saying:

“The Afghan War is still salvageable.... Only with less smuggling of drugs out and ordnance in, can the insurgency be limited.”- Goodreads.com, Jan. 2018

“Expeditionary Eagles offers an interesting strategic analysis of the war in Afghanistan plus, as always in John Poole's books, innovative small-unit tactics and techniques.”- Stanford Univ. Library, Jan. 2018

“[A] wealth of background information ... [on] the cast of characters [in Afghanistan] to include tribes, villages, Pakistan, India, China, and Taliban.  This book provides ... insight into Taliban tactics and ... [their] nuances.... Unlike many other commentaries, Poole does a nice job [of] documenting the impact of the heroin industry.... [He] proposes alternative small unit tactics [for U.S. troops].... ‘Expeditionary Eagles’ is [still] a good way for someone to get up to speed on Afghanistan in a quick and comprehensive way.”
- "Military Magazine", August 2014

“[E]xciting read about [current] events. . . . A longtime student of the Eastern mindset and small-unit tactics, its author has the perfect background for some helpful advice on how quickly to win in Afghanistan.”
— "Military Officer Magazine", December 2010

“Poole has produced another superb work that offers insightful and well-researched guidance on . . . confronting the Taliban. . . .[This book] should be required reading for our military and policy makers.”
— Gen. Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Ret.), former head of CENTCOM

“'Expeditionary Eagles' offers an interesting strategic analysis of the war in Afghanistan plus, as always in John Poole’s books, innovative small-unit tactics and techniques.”
— William S. Lind, father of 4th-Generation Warfare theory

"If favorable circumstances are to be miraculously created in Afghanistan prior to President Barack Obama’s promised July 2011 withdrawal date, soldiers, Marines, and their leaders will have to mine every gem of insight possible from Expeditionary Eagles:  Outmaneuvering the Taliban." — The Counter Terrorist, December 2010/January 2011

“In deference to all good things at Quantico and TRADOC (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command), doctrine may partially [be] to blame for U.S. squads not keeping pace with tactical innovation worldwide,” Poole writes in his most recent book, “Expeditionary Eagles: Outmaneuvering the Taliban.”
Aviation Week, 8 November 2010

“ ‘Expeditionary Eagles’ is an exciting book, posing new and fruitful ideas about countering the Taliban, and including events as current as June 2010. A longtime student of the Eastern mindset and small-unit tactics, the author has an exceptional background, providing a basis for the helpful advice on how to quickly win in Afghanistan.”
Leatherneck, “Book of the Month” September 2010

“America . . . suffered a serious setback in Vietnam. . . . [It] is headed down that same road due to an arrogant belief in technology. John Poole’s latest book is a warning sign along that road. Heed it and go on to victory [in Afghanistan], disregard it and return to Saigon in 1975.”
— Kim Bernard Holien, Professional Military Historian

“John Poole insightfully concludes that Afghanistan’s irregular warfare and insurgency characteristics defy conventional solution. . . . [He] asserts that a people-centric/bottom-up approach is essential. . . . He believes that what we do . . . to help . . . [the residents of every Afghan village and neighborhood] help themselves is critical.”
— Maj.Gen. John H. Admire, USMC (Ret.), former commander of 1st Marine Division

“An extraordinary addition to the literature of the Afghan War . . . [with] concrete measures for winning the struggle. Conventional methods will not suffice. . . . We must interdict the heroin . . . then defeat the Taliban village by village with [resident] combat action platoons instead of overwhelming firepower. . . . [A]nother must read for generals and privates.”
— Col. Robert V. Kane U.S. Army (Ret.), publisher emeritus, Presidio Press

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
Part One: The Full Extent of the Problem
Chapter 1: What Lies behind All the Afghan Turmoil?
Chapter 2: The Afghan Taliban’s Karachi Home
Chapter 3: The Pakistani Taliban’s Islamabad Offensive
Chapter 4: Al-Qaeda’s Hidden Influence
Chapter 5: The Drug Barons
Part Two: Lessons from History
Chapter 6: Foreign Destabilization of Afghanistan
Chapter 7: Unresolved Issues within Pakistan
Chapter 8: Reasons behind the Soviet Failure
Chapter 9: Still Probable Conduits and Depots
Part Three: The Martial Part of a 4GW Equation
Chapter 10: Changes in How the Taliban Fights
Chapter 11: The Drug Runners’ Modus Operandi
Chapter 12: Present U.S. Strategy
Chapter 13: Drug Interdiction Tactics
Chapter 14: New Techniques on Offense
Chapter 15: New Techniques on Defense
Chapter 16: The Village Contingent Option
About the Author
Name Index

Excerpt from the Foreword
This document offers the best blueprint for final victory that I have seen. It greatly details what must concurrently happen in Pakistan. Then, it simply shows how more extensively to implement the President’s ongoing guidance. For those who have not kept up with the evolution of small-unit tactics, such a widespread deployment of junior enlisted personnel may seem overly risky. Unfortunately, war is inherently risky. Unless, it has a good chance of finally succeeding, any number of casualties is too many. I also have seen the potential of this generation of young Americans. And I too can confirm the success of the CAP program in Vietnam. The author knows that some bitter fighting may occur at isolated locations. As such, he has provided some very lethal defensive techniques in Chapter 15. Those techniques should be enough to dissuade any number of Taliban from following through on their ground assault. And they will do so without any chance of collateral damage to civilians. As with all of Poole’s previous intelligence and tactics supplements, Expeditionary Eagles should be required reading at every level throughout the U.S. security establishment. — Maj.Gen. Ray L. Smith USMC (Ret.), former commander of Camp Lejeune


ISBN: 978-0-9818659-2-8

Paperback: 340 pages, 75 illustrations