Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 120

growing populations suddenly facing acute scarcities. Data from diverse regions were highly suggestive. As Parker reports, the seventeenth century was marked by a one-third decrease in cultivated land in China, a twenty percent population decline in Ireland, the loss of 30 percent of the population in Germany between 1618 and 1648, as well as comparably sharp population drops in Poland, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire. He concludes, “These staggering losses were not caused by the Little Ice Age alone, however; it required the misguided policies by religious and political leaders to turn the crisis caused by sudden climate change into catastrophe.” Overall, this work is compelling both as a historical study and as a cautionary tale about the fate of civilizations in general. To be sure, Parker scrupulously avoids any explicit suggestions about climate and the twenty-first century. Indeed, if anything, the reader might wish for a lengthier and more focused examination of climate in the seventeenth century. Much of the evidence presented is necessarily fragmentary and in many chapters weather and climate appear only fleetingly as factors of interest. Of course, the fact that weather plays a role in shaping human events is hardly startling. Thus, the reader might hope that the author would say even more about the way broad climatic trends can shape the course of global civilization. Despite its many strengths, this excellent survey of the seventeenth century feels vaguely incomplete. Even so, Parker is to be applauded for yet another superb contribution to the historical literature. Robert F. Baumann, Ph.D., Fort Leavenworth, Kansas THE LIEUTENANT DON’T KNOW: One Marine’s Story of Warfare and Combat Logistics in Afghanistan Jeff Clement, Casemate, Havertown, Pennsylvania, 2014, 264 pages, $32.95 T he wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have produced many superb memoirs. The overwhelming majority of these volumes have focused on the perspectives of infantrymen or special operators. One view which has been essentially missing is that 118 of the logistician. As is normally the case, anything logistics oriented tends to be neglected. As Nathaniel Greene said in a letter to George Washington in 1778, “Nobody ever heard of a quartermaster in history.” Marine Jeff Clement provides the seemingly overlooked perspective of the logistician in his outstanding memoir, The Lieutenant Don’t Know. In it, he primarily focuses on his experience as a truck platoon commander for Alpha Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 6 (CLB-6) in 2010. During that year, his unit was deployed in Southern Afghanistan operating principally in the Helmand Province. Its extremely difficult mission was to provide logistical support to the combat units in the most demanding of environments. For those unfamiliar with the role of the logistics units in Afghanistan; Clement’s memoir will unquestionably be an eye-opener. Clement details the day-today challenges he and his marines faced in providing logistical support. In the quest to deliver food, water, ammunition, fuel, and recover vehicles, the logistical convoys had to deal with the constant threat of emplaced improvised explosive devices and ambushes along their movement routes. As the author mentions numerous times, it was never a question of if they would get hit, but when it would occur. Tied to the above is the author’s discussion on how he personally dealt with the challenges he faced. Throughout the volume, he is candid with his thoughts on decisions he made and just as importantly, ones that were not made. If he felt mistakes were made, he takes respons