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Book Review Neil Petgrie

Battle for Hurungwe, by John Padbury is essential reading for those interested in the Rhodesian conflict, irregular warfare and national strategy. It is a personal but professionally produced work covering the development of a capable intelligence operator in a small war, but with much wider lessons for all of us. Politics and war are much the same thing, it is just that one more obviously involves weapons and bloodshed than the other. 

However, it is John's realisation that managing the political battle by involving the people more closely, can swiftly turn a lost cause into a winning strategy that is most instructional. The rub is, that the politicians will have to cede more power to the people in order to win. John and those he worked with did exactly that in their area of operations in Hurungwe, but it was too late and the Smith government were not sharp enough to see how this could be more widely applied. If the aim of war is to win, then John shows how working with the people, involving them in their own defence and managing their own affairs, will pay off handsomely. 

As the West crumbles, its authority waning and the power elite losing their grip, the time will come when Battle for Hurungwe will be required reading for those looking to shore up what is left of our civilisation by extending democracy, not constraining it. The Swiss have shown how the use of the tools of direct democracy, taking heed of the people's grievances, needs and aspirations, makes for a cohesive, prosperous and stable nation. A perceptive, gripping and one-off read. 

Well done John

Neil Petrie

Author One Vote Away - Saving The West

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