A Chance in Hell is one of the most important books written thus far on Army operations in Iraq. The lessons in the book will be obvious and important to lieutenants and captains as well as colonels and generals. It describes the close relationship between company and platoon tactics, brigade operations, and regional and national strategy. It clearly describes the tactics, techniques, and procedures of the population centric approach to counterinsurgency. Michaels demonstrates the criticality of cultural understanding to success at all levels of COIN operations. Finally, and most important, the book highlights the importance of leadership to tactical and operational success. The tough decision making, and the inspiring example of the leaders of the “Ready First” brigade come through as the critical element in the brigade’s success; a success that was the operational tipping point in the war in Iraq.
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