The Man Who Would Be King
Kitchen, Reed A.
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In 1888, Rudyard Kipling published The Man Who Would Be King while living in Allahabad in British India. The short story follows two former soldiers on their quest to become kings of Kafiristan, or modern-day Nuristan in Afghanistan. The story was turned into a movie in 1975 starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine and is used at the Naval Postgraduate School as a teaching tool in the Department of Defense Analysis Military Advisor course. How can counterinsurgency theory and hard-won lessons learned from the recent battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan be better captured and then conveyed in a narrative format that will appeal to a wide spectrum of military personnel--from the most junior enlisted to senior officers? This thesis reimagines Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King and sets it in the near future to test the premise that a fictional adventure story might effectively impart counterinsurgency theory and military advising best practices to otherwise busy and easily distracted service members.
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