“Missionaries,” Phil Klay’s newest novel on war and geopolitics was an excellent read. Klay is a U.S. Marines veteran, his writing is reminiscent of Tim O’Brien’s war books about Vietnam in the late 1990s.
“Missionaries” is not a story about a single place or ongoing war, but rather, it is a story of the ideology of Western warfare and its means for protecting “interests” around the globe through various tactics. The story goes from Afghanistan to Pennsylvania to Columbia to Yemen tracing the connections and the similarities of these various wars. Some are high-profile and get constant news coverage, while others are more discrete and hidden from public scrutiny.
The book speaks to the tenuous balance of power and the juggling of natural resources and how these connections between markets and demand and local farmers and paramilitary groups are all loosely moving and groaning as each change has a cause and effect with global implications.
This was a very fast read that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat wanting more and more. I really loved this book.