Promoting the Surge on the Daily Show

Word is that no current television show better boosts sales of serious books than Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on Comedy Central. And they manage to book a pretty wide range of guests — from Pervez Musharraf to Robert Dallek.

And yet it was still somewhat astonishing to see Lt. Col. John Nagl appear recently to talk about the Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, and how its tactics are being applied in Iraq. It wasn’t necessarily surprising that the typically anti-Iraq war and anti-administration daily show would book such a guest, but more that the Pentagon would be so savvy as to accept.

But John Robb at Global Guerrillas says its only the latest example of “the masterful way in which the Petraeus team has been able to influence the public’s perception of this war” and he notes Nagl’s appearance pushed sales of the Counterinsurgency Field Manual into Amazon’s top 100 sales ranking. (Now, four days after the broadcast, it’s at around 220.)

Watch the interview below:

If you’re looking for more books on the subject of counterinsurgency, see what Pentagon officers recommend on the subject in this piece by Elaine Grossman at Inside the Pentagon.