Note: Written by the Applied Memetics staff.
I first heard of Who Will Teach the Wisdom after listening to a SOFREP Radio interview with Tim Bax, a veteran of the Selous Scouts and RLI Commandos who fought in the Rhodesian Bush War. The interview drew me in as I listened to Tim speak with humility of his experience fighting unconventional wars against communist insurgents. I shared his assertion that the famed “unconventional” warriors of special operations forces were growing terribly conventional, as their use has grown more common as a balm to cure all maladies. He argued that no special operations warrior of the past or present could outmatch the U.S. SOF community in tactics, technology, and skill. “They simply are the best.”
Even the knowledge of modern day SOF warriors is without parallel, but without the ability to properly apply that knowledge, it is as useless as trying to swat flies with a sledgehammer. Wisdom is the ability to adapt and appropriately apply knowledge and skill to each individual situation. The question Bax poses is, who will teach that wisdom?
In writing this book, Bax sets out to do just that. While his first book, “Three Sips of Gin,” is part autobiography and part military history, “Who Will Teach the Wisdom” is a scholarly examination of Bax’s experiences in counterinsurgency warfare—an Aristotelian dialogue from “one old soldier” to a new generation of warriors. Using vignettes that recount his evolution from a newly minted officer candidate to a seasoned Selous Scout, Bax teases out the characteristics that provided the wisdom that enabled him and his comrades to wage a successful counterinsurgency.