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Norfolk
04-08-2008, 09:07 PM
Reading the 1986 edition of FM 100-5, Operations. Not exactly Small Wars material, but interesting to go back and take a look at what, and how, we were thinking in the last years of the Cold War. Much easier reading at any rate than either of the FM 3-0, Operations.

Steve Blair
04-08-2008, 09:09 PM
I went back into "On War" again this week, along with the 1940 SWM. Working up to diving back into some regimental records from the late 1860s later this month for some research.

Vic Bout
04-08-2008, 09:18 PM
Nothing much "Small" about the Italian campaign (even the 1st Special Service Force and the Rangers got used {or mis-used...or abused} conventionally, but...Atkinson's prose is outstanding

selil
04-08-2008, 09:35 PM
I just set down my copy of "Leaderless Jihad", by Marc Sageman. I liked the book as it is based on a real data set, is empirical in nature, and has minimal anecdotal evidence. He misses the point in a few places and he nails a few peacocks to the board if you know what I mean.

Here are some slides (http://www.newamerica.net/files/Microsoft%20PowerPoint%20-%20Sageman.pdf)of a presentation he did on the book.

Here is a great video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWcH5sDHzPQ) presentation of a talk he did about the book.

As I said his research is pretty good though he pushes the boundaries of his results and fails in some cases to bring in historical evidence to support or refute his own claims.

oblong
04-09-2008, 03:06 AM
I just picked up a copy of After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy by Christopher Coyne.

William F. Owen
04-09-2008, 04:31 AM
Reading the 1986 edition of FM 100-5, Operations. Not exactly Small Wars material, but interesting to go back and take a look at what, and how, we were thinking in the last years of the Cold War. Much easier reading at any rate than either of the FM 3-0, Operations.

It bl**dy well is!

Currently reading Ron Leshem's "Beaufort" a novel about the last days of the IDF occupation of the Lebanon. One of the very few novels of books to give an accurate IDF soldiers view point.

SteveMetz
04-09-2008, 10:36 AM
I'll jump back in on my own thread. I'm now finishing The Naked and the Dead (AMAZING book that I'd never read--I think the claims that it is the best novel about World War II are accurate. Despite the title, it is not about Tom Odom's most recent marriage). Getting ready to start Brian Linn's The Echo of Battle: The Army's Way of War. Oh, and this little ditty (http://www.scribd.com/doc/2483388/Iraq-and-Evolution1st-proof1?ga_uploads=1&secret_password=n7skdvw6gcteyuin76z).

Tom Odom
04-09-2008, 12:38 PM
I'll jump back in on my own thread. I'm now finishing The Naked and the Dead (AMAZING book that I'd never read--I think the claims that it is the best novel about World War II are accurate. Despite the title, it is not about Tom Odom's most recent marriage). Getting ready to start Brian Linn's The Echo of Battle: The Army's Way of War. Oh, and this little ditty (http://www.scribd.com/doc/2483388/Iraq-and-Evolution1st-proof1?ga_uploads=1&secret_password=n7skdvw6gcteyuin76z).

Oh Lordy

I get no respect.....

BTW your idol/idiot was on CNN this AM

That would be of course Doug Feith

SteveMetz
04-09-2008, 12:47 PM
Oh Lordy

BTW your idol/idiot was on CNN this AM

That would be of course Doug Feith

I held my nose and ordered the book. I figure I'll need to at least know what's in it when I do interviews or talks on my book. Nagl said he lost what little respect he had for me when I told him that a few minutes ago.

Granite_State
04-09-2008, 04:19 PM
Just started Keegan's Face of Battle yesterday, ashamed to say I hadn't read it before, fantastic so far.

Mark O'Neill
04-09-2008, 06:16 PM
Low Intensity Conflicts in India by LTCOL Vivek Chadha, Hew Strachan's biography of Clausewitz' On War and re-reading Beaufre's An Introduction to Strategy

For fun (as opposed to work) I have some texts I picked up on leave in Jo'Burg. I am half way through 'Assignment Selous Scouts' by Jim Parker and have 'Executive Outcome's by Eeben Barlow in the queue.

And the daily BUA..

Tom Odom
04-09-2008, 06:19 PM
Low Intensity Conflicts in India by LTCOL Vivek Chadha, Hew Strachan's biography of Clausewitz' On War and re-reading Beaufre's An Introduction to Strategy

For fun (as opposed to work) I have some texts I picked up on leave in Jo'Burg. I am half way through 'Assignment Selous Scouts' by Jim Parker and have 'Executive Outcome's by Eeben Barlow in the queue.

And the daily BUA..

Hey mate!

Welcome back!

Tom

Mark O'Neill
04-09-2008, 06:43 PM
Cheers Tom,

Not 'back' yet in the physical sense, I have just been lurking when I can get access and have a spare moment... hence not posting on many of the things that I might otherwise.... guess you could say it is a kind of virtual self censorship for obvious reasons.

Tried to email you the other day at what I thought was your work address but it bounced back. Not sure if it is a problem with the firewall at my end or if I have the wrong address. Can't send it by PM (FOUO) , it related to the COIN handbook post(s). PM me a .mil address when you get the chance and I will send it from the 'office' tomorrow morning.

regards,

Bob T
04-09-2008, 07:04 PM
Steve,

Congratulations! The accolades heaped upon you in the Forward by Colin Gray (in my opinion, such that it means anything), the best-of-the-best of those who labor in the torturing vineyards of the theory of strategy, should be more than just pleasing to you.

Unfortunately, the release date seems to be 30Sep08. Correct? As I'm older and been around this game even longer than Ken (Yes, that is possible.), who knows what time might bring.

Again, congratulations. The imprimatur will not rest lightly.

Bob T

Ken White
04-09-2008, 07:13 PM
"...As I'm older and been around this game even longer than Ken (Yes, that is possible.)..."

Tom?

You see that?

There are two of us -- lay off the geriatric abuse!!! :cool:

SteveMetz
04-09-2008, 07:17 PM
Unfortunately, the release date seems to be 30Sep08. Correct?

Actually, it's the first of July. Amazon just hasn't updated their listing yet.

Tom Odom
04-09-2008, 07:24 PM
Tom?

You see that?

There are two of us -- lay off the geriatric abuse!!! :cool:

See there you go making mistakes....

Must be your eyes

"Cause you two and George Singleton makes three :D

Is self abuse, geriatric abuse, if its voluntary?

Ken White
04-09-2008, 07:51 PM
See there you go making mistakes....

Must be your eyesbifocals now, are we?
"Cause you two and George Singleton makes three :DNow you're picking on George. His kids are in their 20s, my oldest is 52, so George is old and wise but not yet geriatric. Since Bob T apparently went in the service a year before I did, we're probably both at least borderline (I know I am...).
Is self abuse, geriatric abuse, if its voluntary?Depends on what you have in mind... :D

Ron Humphrey
04-09-2008, 08:49 PM
While I have it I've been reading through Politics Among Nations.

Definately heavy reading but interestingly enough the part that takes the longest is keeping from being sent off on thought processes as you read. So much rings true with what we see even today.

ODB
04-09-2008, 11:41 PM
Just started reading "Marching Toward Hell America and Islam After Iraq", by Michael Scheuer. I would like to know others thoughts on this book if any have read it or why you would or would not read it. Thanks!

SteveMetz
04-10-2008, 12:42 AM
Just started reading "Marching Toward Hell America and Islam After Iraq", by Michael Scheuer. I would like to know others thoughts on this book if any have read it or why you would or would not read it. Thanks!

I'd like to get to it at some time. I've appreciated Mike's past books. I'm chairing a panel he's on at the Army War College this summer and would like to read it before then. (The panel will also include John Robb and possibly John Nagl. That's more johns than the New York governor's office!)

William F. Owen
04-10-2008, 06:19 AM
Low Intensity Conflicts in India by LTCOL Vivek Chadha, Hew Strachan's biography of Clausewitz' On War and re-reading Beaufre's An Introduction to Strategy

For fun (as opposed to work) I have some texts I picked up on leave in Jo'Burg. I am half way through 'Assignment Selous Scouts' by Jim Parker and have 'Executive Outcome's by Eeben Barlow in the queue.

And the daily BUA..

Hmmm... outstanding choices, with the exception of the EO book. Not sure I'd trust the source on that one. I suspect the real story is in what's not been put on the page!

Mark O'Neill
04-10-2008, 08:47 AM
Hmmm... outstanding choices, with the exception of the EO book. Not sure I'd trust the source on that one. I suspect the real story is in what's not been put on the page!

I definitely regard the EO book as 'pulp fiction' - but who doesn't like a 'ripping yarn' every now and then to distract from reality?

Cheers

Mark

George L. Singleton
04-12-2008, 03:06 AM
Currently:

- Chesty: The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/037576044X/104-3075668-4435162?ie=UTF8&tag=smallwarsjour-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=037576044X) by LTC Jon T. Hoffman, USMCR
- Police Sniper by Craig Roberts

In the queue:

- A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080784926X/104-3075668-4435162?ie=UTF8&tag=smallwarsjour-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=080784926X) by Lawrence E. Babits
- Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591021995/104-3075668-4435162?ie=UTF8&tag=smallwarsjour-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1591021995) by Dr. Henry C. Lee

I have two in person exposures to guys who worked for up close Chesty Puller.

One was a Marine Corp. Lieut. Norton (cannot reliably recall Norton's first name) who was his aide-de-camp in Korea, after he, Lt. Norton was shot seven times and left for dead at the Yahlu Reservoir. A company of retreating Turks who had run out of ammo picked up still alive body of Lt. Norton and using bayonettes only fought their way through the Chinese surrounding them and saved Lt. Norton's life. Mr. Norton who then earned a law degree from Vanderbilt, was my Nashville, TN Woodmont Baptist Church Sunday School teacher when I was in about the 6th grade as best I can recall.

The other Marine I knew well was retired USMC Major General Big Foot Brown (Wilbert S Brown) who was a legend in the Marine Corp. Dr. Brown (he earned his incomplete from Annapolis, where he was kicked out for blowing up the Admiral's commode) BA, then his MA and PhD, all in History, also my major, at the Univeristy of Alabama where he also taught me history.

One story on General Brown (a USMC artillery school building at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma today is named after Brown). He commanded as a Brigadier General a Marine outfit sent to destroy a RR train full of US weapons and ammo abandoned by the Nationalist Chinese as Communist Chinese Army advanced along the coast of Mainland China. He was told under NO circumstances to engage the Communist Chinese Army.

However...then B/Gen. Brown while blowing up the train full of US weapons saw the approaching Communist Army, turned his men around and chased the Communist troops for miles, killing many of them.

Ordered by to the US to what he was a sure court martial, B/Gen. Brown was met at the DC area USAF base where he landed by his Uncle by Marriage, Senator John Stennis of Mississippi, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Commandant of the US Marine Corp, who promoted Big Foot Brown on the spot to Major General. Brown then retired from Pentagon duty a few years later.

George Singleton
BA in History and Political Science
College of A&S, Univeristy of Alabama, 1962

PS - Excuse spelling and grammar errors. George.

George L. Singleton
04-12-2008, 07:03 PM
CORRECTION: Colonel (06) Wilbert S. [Big Foot] Brown, USMC, was spot promoted at the DC Air Base where he landed to 07, Brigadier, following the incident in China. He was tomb stoned as an 08, Major General, USMC. My memory error. Sorry. George.

davidbfpo
04-16-2008, 08:02 AM
Taken from another thread contributed by George S., regarding books by Canadians in WW2:

The late Canadian Brigadier General Denis [Denny] Whitkaker [Toronto area] was my late first cousin, Jim Singleton's, father in law. Have you, Rex, read any or all of Denis Whitaker's six books on his experiences in WW II? As you know, Whitaker as a Captain, Canadian Army was involved in and managed to somehow escape from the fiasco at Dieppe on the French coast in 1942.

Here are B/G Whitaker's six books in case any other SWJ followers may be unaware of or interested in reading all or some of them:

- Normandy: The Real Story of How Ordinary Allied Soldiers Defeated Hitler by Denis Whitaker, Shelagh Whitaker, and Terry Copp

-Victory at Falaise: The Soldier's Story by Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker with Terry Copp

- Tug of War: The Allied Victory That Opened Antwerp by Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker

- Dieppe: Tragedy to Triumph by Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker

- Rhineland: The Battle to End the War by Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker

- The Battle of the Scheldt by Denis Whitaker

Umar Al-Mokhtār
04-16-2008, 06:51 PM
First off we lean more towards dating sheep. :rolleyes:

Second, we can write poetry that has no reference to Nantucket in it. To whit:


Steve Metz, an expert on insurgents

His writing it borders on pure vents

He penned quite a book

Itís sure worth a look

To see the extent of his dissents :D

Anyways, to get back on thread

Just finished:

How Can Man Die Better: The Secrets of Isandlwana Revealed
by Col Mike Snook

Zulu Victory: The Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover-up by Ron Lock

Working through:

The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta, 1930-1975 by David Elliott

The Battle of Ap Bac, Vietnam: They Did Everything but Learn from It by David Toczek

Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965 by Mark Moyar

Spud
04-16-2008, 11:15 PM
Finally got round to starting Afghanistan & the Troubled Future of Unconventional Warfare. Nice to see a SOF guy focus on the meat and potatos stuff rather than the importance of DAs on HVTs.

Recently finished The Looming Tower ... now that's a book that just makes you shake your head. Also knocked off Life in the Emerald City ... it predates my Green Zone tour by about a month but is a pretty good reflection of the frustatrions anyone in uniform had with the civvy side of things over there.

Kreker
04-22-2008, 02:25 PM
"Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam" by Mark Bowden, author of "Blackhawk Down." Am lokking for some feedback :)
Best

LawVol
05-16-2008, 03:07 AM
by Jossef Bodansky.

I picked this book up because it sounded interesting and I wanted to get a non-Iraq/Afghanistan view of the terror movement. The author's creds looked good but in the first 100 pages or so he briefly mentions that Chechen terrorists help Al Qaeda acquire nuclear suitcase bombs in 1998. My thinking on this is that if AQ had those we'd all know because they would have used them by now. Now I'm thinking maybe the rest of the book is BS. Any thoughts?

Ken White
05-16-2008, 03:39 AM
"Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam" by Mark Bowden, author of "Blackhawk Down." Am lokking for some feedback :)
BestRead it and passed it to my son (or maybe he passed it to me -- we get confused sometimes). It's pretty good and I think fairly accurate. I was stationed in Tehran for a couple of years, still have some acquaintances from there I swap e-mails with and it seems to be pretty well on the mark. I'd recommend it.

Ski
05-16-2008, 12:40 PM
Some readings from the Master's Program:

Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East by Daniel Bates and Amal Rassam
The Shi'is of Iraq by Yitzhak Nakash

Also:

Superclass by David Rothkopf - this is mandatory reading for anyone involved with strategic planning in my opinion. I'll let you read it and see for yourself

SteveMetz
05-16-2008, 12:47 PM
by Jossef Bodansky.

I picked this book up because it sounded interesting and I wanted to get a non-Iraq/Afghanistan view of the terror movement. The author's creds looked good but in the first 100 pages or so he briefly mentions that Chechen terrorists help Al Qaeda acquire nuclear suitcase bombs in 1998. My thinking on this is that if AQ had those we'd all know because they would have used them by now. Now I'm thinking maybe the rest of the book is BS. Any thoughts?

Bodansky does have a mixed reputation. That said, I've also bought that book (but not yet read it). I'm doing a paper on high value targeting in counterinsurgency for the RAND Insurgency Board, and Chechnya is one of the case studies I'm going to use.

Sergeant T
05-16-2008, 02:08 PM
That was an endurance trial. The suitcase nukes thing was the first flag. Later he briefly mentions a shoe bomber (a la Richard Reid) bringing down American Flight 587 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_587) in November of 2001. (NTSB disagrees with Bodansky.) He also glosses over the Nord Ost and Beslan hostage incidents. For a guy that makes a lot of claims about who said what and who's got nukes he doesn't cite too much in the way of sources. It wasn't quite a strategic overview, nor was it a quite a tactical outline. I kind of reminded me of reading the Old Testament: So and So begat So and So, then So and So begat So and So, repeat ad infinitum. I wanted a refund on my time when I finished. Terror at Beslan (http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Beslan-Russian-Tragedy-Americas/dp/0976775301/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210946646&sr=1-1) gave me a better understanding and overview of the Chechen conflict than Bodansky's 300+ page paperweight.

pjliddy
05-17-2008, 05:19 AM
Finally getting to read Andrew Birtle's U.S. Army Counterinsurgency and Contingency Operations Doctrine, 1860-1941. I've used the parts of it for research on indigenous forces in the Philippine Insurrection, but I'm finally getting a chance to read it cover to cover. It presents a number of interesting cases on U.S. military small wars operations before any kind of formal doctrine was developed.

Anyone's thoughts on it would be appreciated.

Oscar98
05-17-2008, 05:41 AM
Milton Friedman's Free to Choose is in the queue...

SteveMetz
05-17-2008, 10:51 AM
I'm just starting Dan Byman's The Five Front War: The Better Way to Fight Global Jihad. Most excellent; highly recommended.

Schmedlap
05-17-2008, 11:18 PM
The Utility of Force by General Rupert Smith (I was too cheap to buy it until it came out in paperback)

My initial impression (after reading preface, intro, and chapter 1) is that I will probably go back and read the introduction again after I finish the book. I found the intro to be packed full of good observations - nothing Earth-shattering, but good wisdom expressed with clarity and brevity.

Tom Odom
06-24-2008, 05:00 PM
The Untold Study of France's Role in the Rwandan Genocide by Andrew Wallis

I started this one this weekend. So far it is a journalistic essay that borders on a rant. I was hoping that he might have some details beyond my own personal knowledge. So far that has not surfaced but I will see.

Just ordered:

"A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It"
Stephen Kinzer

and

"The Bishop of Rwanda" John Rucyahana

I will do a consolidated review once I get done with all three

Tom

Fuchs
06-25-2008, 09:44 PM
Erich von Manstein "Verlorene Siege"

Needs to be read with some care and background knowledge to interpret, but it's so far the most interesting operational-level books that I've read.

Jedburgh
06-26-2008, 02:59 AM
Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder After 1914 (http://www.amazon.com/Empires-Intelligence-Security-Services-Colonial/dp/0520251172), by Martin Thomas.

This book is a history of British and French colonial rule in the Middle East and North Africa (with bits of sub-Saharan Africa discussed in context) interwoven with the history of the the evolution and development of the colonial security services.

The book starts off as if its going to be very dry and pedantic, but the narrative shakes itself off and loosens up a bit as it goes along. Overall, it makes for a very interesting read - the narrative about leveraging support of experts in the social sciences at the turn of the century to focus and drive intelligence collection makes for a good comparison to how we are currently using such support (and for those who pay attention to such things, you can also compare the both to Vietnam-era social science efforts at SORO etc.).

The time period focused on by the author also traces the development of SIGINT and IMINT as companion disciplines to the traditional spectrum of HUMINT collection - the book describes challenges as the countries shift employment of the emerging intelligence fields from the conventional high-intensity warfare of WWI to supporting counterinsurgency and suppression of dissent in colonial territories. The struggle in attempting to maintain population control in tribal socities with extremely small force numbers as well as operational conflicts between the use of lethal and non-lethal means of control reflect - in a very different context - some of the same problems we see in today's operations.

The solid narrative is also supported by extensive source notes and a good bibiliography. This includes leads on several obscure but potentially useful articles, papers and books related to intelligence in support of counterinsurgency and the suppression of dissent in tribal societies. This, by itself, gives the book value in my eyes.

Definitely a recommended read for any intelligence professional working in today's challenging environment.

Culpeper
06-26-2008, 03:38 AM
Alamo in the Ardennes (http://www.amazon.com/Alamo-Ardennes-American-Soldiers-Bastogne/dp/0471739057/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214451406&sr=1-1)

Same quality as the author's two books on D-Day (http://www.amazon.com/Americans-D-Day-American-Experience-Normandy/dp/0765307448/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214451558&sr=1-5) and the Battle of Normandy (http://www.amazon.com/Americans-Normandy-1944-American-Beaches/dp/076531200X/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214451558&sr=1-4).

I also recently read Kaputt (http://www.amazon.com/Kaputt-York-Review-Books-Classics/dp/1590171470/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214451792&sr=1-1), which is sort of a weird book but recommended to me by a young Italian woman vacationing in America. I generally will always check out what a young Italian woman recommends.

Chris Albon
06-26-2008, 03:46 AM
Just finished "The Use of Force" by Art and Waltz.

Reading for qualifying exams... one book down, infinite more to go.

Steve Blair
06-26-2008, 01:02 PM
Going back through "Mars Learning" and have Linn's "Echo of Battle" and a couple of Vietnam works (Stanton and Nolan - research for a project) waiting in the wings.

bourbon
07-01-2008, 06:20 PM
I recently started The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obsessions of Ahmed Chalabi by Aram Roston and the novel My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey. Both very good so far. Recently purchased and standing on-deck: Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey Into Revolutionary Iran (1997) by Edward Shirley (pseudonym for Reuel Marc Gerect), and Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia (2008) by Ahmed Rashid.

Two books I recently finished and thoroughly enjoyed are: Storming Las Vegas: How a Cuban-Born, Soviet-Trained Commando Took Down the Strip to the Tune of Five World-Class Hotels, Three Armored Cars, and Millions of Dollars by John Huddy and a novel The Dawn Patrol by Don Winslow. While neither are of the intellectual nature of the books discussed in this thread, they are of great entertainment value.

Storming Vegas is the story Cuban man who as teenager was sent to the Soviet Union for schooling and military training and becomes an officer in Cuban special forces who fights in Angola and also a stint in Afghanistan with Soviet Spetznaz. He is only leave home in Cuba at the time of the Mariello boat lift and hops ship to the US (there is some reason to believe, as the author does, that he was a sleeper agent), only to escape death as his ship gets caught in deadly storm. Arriving in the US and setting down in Las Vegas, he rises in the narcotics world only to get locked up by the FBI. Upon release he tries make an honest living for his family and eventually gets back into the world of crime, this time utilizing his commando background to rob armored cars and casinos.

Dawn Patrol is crime novel set around an ex-cop turned PI and his five surfing buddies, set in the backdrop of San Diego. I cant speak highly enough of the author Don Winslow. Though most of his novels are set in Southern California and Mexico he is a native Rhode Islander from a time when the state was a wholly owned subsidiary of La Cosa Nostra, by way of his research and the neighborhood he grew up in he knows a great deal about organized crime. His novel The Power of the Dog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_the_Dog) is fantastic, and while fiction it is based on real events in the 80's and 90's like the contra war and resupply efforts, the rise of and restructuring of Mexican drug cartels and DEA ops in Mexico at the time, infighting in New York organized crime, ect. And he ties it all together in a magnificent way (they all kind of did touch each other in reality), it is fiction but hits too close to reality.

Ron Humphrey
07-01-2008, 06:38 PM
Just about done with DUMBOLOGY (Goeff Tibbals) its amazing what you learn about history that you never saw in the Lessons Learned sections
(Brits and a bunch of indian troops upset to the point of rioting over a lack of consideration for the animal fat used in rifle lubricants):eek:

Crawling my way through Hazard Adam's Critical Theory Since Plato
(gonna be a long yet informative trip:wry:)

And partially started on B.H Liddell Hart's Strategy second revised edit.

Adam L
07-02-2008, 02:01 AM
The Utility of Force by General Rupert Smith (I was too cheap to buy it until it came out in paperback)

My initial impression (after reading preface, intro, and chapter 1) is that I will probably go back and read the introduction again after I finish the book. I found the intro to be packed full of good observations - nothing Earth-shattering, but good wisdom expressed with clarity and brevity.

Did you get to see his interview on C-SPAN?

Adam L

patmc
07-02-2008, 02:23 AM
"Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East" by Robin Wright just arrived. Been looking forward to its arrival. Suppossed to be an optimistic assessment of Middle East and its future. More to follow...

jkm_101_fso
07-02-2008, 03:45 PM
-The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace By Ali A. Allawi
A pretty insightful look into the inner-workings of the formation of the first Iraqi Govt and Constitution. Although, remember who is writing it and what faction he represents

-War Crimes by LTC Buzz Patterson
An interesting read, but one could easily get too fired up...maybe a bit of fearmongering on Patterson's part


-What's the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank
I'm from Kansas, so it was a must. I didn't find all of Frank's observations about KS politics completely accurate, but some of it was compelling

Working on...

Great Speeches by Native Americans by Bob Blaisdell
Learning to Eat Soup by LTC Nagl
US National Security, 4th ed. by Sarkesian, others

Front of the bookshelf...

Cobra II by Gordon & Trainer
The Crisis of Islam by Lewis
U.S. Army and USMC COIN FM

Someday I'll get to:
Lone Survivor by Luttrell
A Time to Fight by SEN Webb

Cavguy
07-02-2008, 04:10 PM
Had a productive day at CARL yesterday -

Finally found a copy of "The Praetorians" by Jean Larteguy! Yay. Been looking for months since reading the "Centurions". I started to read it and got depressed at the plot - good, but a downer. Why aren't the "Centurions" and "Praetorians" in print? I would think there would be a resurgence of demand - it's kind of the "Once an Eagle" of COIN, except the characters are French.

Also picked up C.E. Callwell's "Small Wars", Kitson's "Bunch of Five", and "Why men rebel"

Just finished a series of business management books, Hacksaw recommended the book "The Goal", which is an operations management textbook in novelized form. Certainly more interesting than my COB 340 Production and Operations Management class!

Also finishing reading an advance copy of Bing West's forthcoming book on Iraq, my company is talked about for 3 pages. Good stuff.

patmc
07-02-2008, 07:09 PM
Sir, Hailer Publishing, http://www.hailerpublishing.com/index.html, has the Praetorians, but no Centurions. I asked them why, and they stated that a few years ago they had a chance to publish it, but it was too expensive to get the rights. Every Algeria/Foreign Legion memoir seems to mention Beau Gueste and the Centurions, so I've been searching for both (found Gueste). Still, no affordable Centurions luck.



Finally found a copy of "The Praetorians" by Jean Larteguy! Yay. Been looking for months since reading the "Centurions". I started to read it and got depressed at the plot - good, but a downer. Why aren't the "Centurions" and "Praetorians" in print? I would think there would be a resurgence of demand - it's kind of the "Once an Eagle" of COIN, except the characters are French.

Stevely
07-02-2008, 08:16 PM
I finished Cobra II, and have Shield of Achilles about 2/3 of the way through (though I think he made his point already, maybe the book needs some editing), and have Marcus Luttrell's book waiting to be read.

Are we only interested in military-themed books? I am currently also reading "The Heresy of Formlessness," by a German writer named Martin Mosebach, who argues for the return of the Latin Mass in the Catholic Church. Interesting stuff if you are a Catholic like me, but even if not, I think interesting in his meditation on how aesthetics affect belief, cultural and religious formation, and how ideologies express themselves in aesthetics.

abukhawajah
07-07-2008, 04:40 PM
Every Day Jihad - Bernard Rougier

Brave New War - John Robb (just finished)

Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement - Zaki Chehab

Political Islamism: The Algerian Tragedy - Zahrah bin 'Arus, Amqaran Ait Idir, and Fallah Mijak (in Arabic)

And God Knows the Soldiers - Khaled M. Abou El Fadl

Granite_State
07-07-2008, 06:05 PM
Dawn Patrol is crime novel set around an ex-cop turned PI and his five surfing buddies, set in the backdrop of San Diego. I cant speak highly enough of the author Don Winslow. Though most of his novels are set in Southern California and Mexico he is a native Rhode Islander from a time when the state was a wholly owned subsidiary of La Cosa Nostra, by way of his research and the neighborhood he grew up in he knows a great deal about organized crime. His novel The Power of the Dog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_the_Dog) is fantastic, and while fiction it is based on real events in the 80's and 90's like the contra war and resupply efforts, the rise of and restructuring of Mexican drug cartels and DEA ops in Mexico at the time, infighting in New York organized crime, ect. And he ties it all together in a magnificent way (they all kind of did touch each other in reality), it is fiction but hits too close to reality.

Awfully nice guy too, his son was a student on a summer course I taught on a couple of years back, Mr. Winslow gave a speech to my class about total vs. limited war in the American context, looking at the Revolution and Vietnam, very well done and the class loved it. Been meaning to read his books for ages, will check out The Power of the Dog as soon as I have time.

Finished American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day last week. Inspiring story, though the author laid it on a little thick for my taste. Disappointed to learn that Colonel Day supports torture (thankfully, no euphemisms) in the war on terror.

Just started Defeat Into Victory, really enjoying it, especially since a 14th Army veteran in my church said he is going to correct a couple of minor errors in it for me when I'm done.

Rifleman
07-07-2008, 06:29 PM
Hamburger Hill: The Brutal Battle for Dong Ap Bai, May 11-20, 1969 by Samuel Zaffiri.

Wildcat
07-07-2008, 06:35 PM
Taking a break from nonfiction. Just finished Steven Pressfield's Killing Rommel, currently halfway through Tides of War (Pressfield), and about to start The Virtues of War (also Pressfield). Thinking about picking up Statecraft by Dennis Ross.

Fuchs
07-09-2008, 02:05 AM
I'm reading "Brassey's Encyclopedia of Land Forces and Warfare".
It's a 1996 book with dozens of chapters, written by dozens of authors, reprinted in 2000.

It looks to me as if it should have been obligatory reading for journalists in the late 90's if they wanted to cover defense issues (together with Dunnigan's "How to make war").

I didn't read much of it so far, but the chapters that I read are on the one hand good, on the other hand always wrong on the future trends.
The international authors were experts, but they completely failed to anticipate trend changes. One chapter even concluded that the past trends will go on.
They failed not only to expect LIC conflicts, but they failed in expecting new technological trends (not even stating that such things happen even though they don't know yet what exactly will change).
The book is merely 12 years old, the oldest articles are probably 14 years old, yet the failure to anticipate the quite near future was total. Their expectations became invalid within less than ten years.

That's quite shocking (though not very surprising), especially if one keeps in mind the many assumptions about the future in military-related affairs that are held as almost certainty by many people. The long duration of efforts to reorganize and re-equip is horrible in this light.

jcustis
07-09-2008, 02:45 PM
Just finished "The Use of Force" by Art and Waltz.

Reading for qualifying exams... one book down, infinite more to go.

Was that pleasure reading? That was undergrad stuff for me many moons ago.

davidbfpo
07-25-2008, 09:37 PM
Taken two weeks to read, mainly on the daily train commute to work: Big Wars and Small Wars - The British Army and The Lessons of WAr in the 20th Century, edited by Hew Strachan and pub. 2006 by Routledge.

Based on a 2003 conference at Oxford University, on the relationship betweens lessons learnt from immediate past wars and ideas developed in preparation for the next war. Starts with the Boer War and ends with Gulf War One.

Publishers link: http://www.routledge.com/books/Big-Wars-and-Small-Wars-isbn9780415361965

Google Books: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uQ3HJIiYq2MC&dq=%22big+wars+and+small+wars%22&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0

Not my usual reading matter, but excellent and lots of "nuggets".

davidbfpo

zenpundit
07-26-2008, 03:55 AM
Presentation Zen (http://www.amazon.com/Presentation-Zen-Simple-Design-Delivery/dp/0321525655) by Garr Reynolds

All of you military ppt commandos need this one - especially if you sometimes brief normal humans outside the world of DoD jargon. The book itself walks Reynold's talk. Four stars

Globalization and it's Discontents (http://www.amazon.com/Globalization-Its-Discontents-Joseph-Stiglitz/dp/0393324397/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217044434&sr=1-4) by Joseph Stiglitz

Heavy bias and polemical sleight of hand but valuable insights into international economic flows in the developing world by a Nobel prize winner

Next up, I'm going with:

The Second World (http://www.amazon.com/Second-World-Empires-Influence-Global/dp/1400065089/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217044470&sr=1-1) by Parag Khanna

A Savage War of Peace (http://www.amazon.com/Savage-War-Peace-1954-1962-Classics/dp/1590172183/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217044513&sr=1-1) by Alistair Horne

Old Eagle
07-27-2008, 02:26 AM
Picked up Rick Atkinson's The Long Gray Line at a yard sale. Since I knew/know many of the protagonists, thought it might be interesting to see how they fared under Atkinson's pen nearly 20 yrs ago.

1. The human interest I was looking for is certainly there.

2. Personalities aside, there are very interesting insights into COIN, the war in Vietnam, and how big Army dealt w/the challenges.

3. Check out the insights on force generation, troop rotations, tactics and a host of other topics.

In short, I encountered a depth of information I had not anticipated.

Word of warning -- I believe that this was RA's first major book. Full of factual or contextual hiccups. Work your way through them.

It is heartening to see that the Army has in fact learned some valuable lessons. Flip side -- you know...

Tom Odom
07-31-2008, 07:28 PM
I put a review on the SWJ blog on this one.

"A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It"
Stephen Kinzer (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/07/book-review-a-thousand-hills-r/)

If you want an opportunity to peer inside the mind of a brilliant practioner of small wars, this is your book. Kinzer uses extracts of Kagame's responses during 30 hours of interviews. They are fascinating.

Kagame Bio highlights:
Born in Rwanda 1957.
Driven out in 1960 during Tutsi massacres
1979 Joined Museveni's 40 man National Resistance Army with his friend Fred Rwigyema (who had already fought with Museveni against Idi Amin)
Same time frame co-founded the Rwandan Patriotic Front with Rwigyema
1986 Museveni takes control of Uganda. Rwigyema is his Army Chief of Staff; Kagame is his Director of Intelligence
1990 Kagame goes to Ft Leavenworth as a Major to cover Rwigyema's preparations to invade Rwanda with the RPF.
Oct 1990 RPF invades. Rwigyema killed in opening phase. Kagame leaves US and inflitrates Rwanda. Rebuilds RPA and in moths attacks to seize Ruhengeri
Forces acceptance of Arusha accords with old government in 1993
1994 Former President shot down on 6 April triggering genocide. War resumes.
July 1994 RPF wins war. Former milittary and hardliner Hutu government in exile. Kagame named Vice President, Defense Minister as the only Major General in the RPA.
Fall 1996 Kagame mounts operations in Zaire to clear the camps.
1997 Covert invasion of Zaire to overthow Mobutu succeeds
1998 2nd Invasion of Congo starts 2nd Congo War
1998 Kagame defeats the Hutu insurgency inside Rwanda
2000 Named President by RPF


Tom

Van
07-31-2008, 07:58 PM
Not an obvious choice, but "Unholy Business" by Nina Burleigh.

How it relates to the forum; the use and misuse of archeology and history in support of political objectives, and political pressure on scholars to produce results that support the national strategy.

This one has some fairly good (not stellar) journalism, but is a lightning rod for all sorts of agendas.

Andrew Steimer
08-01-2008, 04:04 AM
For MiTT
- Margaret K. Nydell "Understanding Arabs" 5th Edition
- LTC Nagle "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife"
- wading through "Seven Pillars of Wisdom"
- rereading "The Ugly American"

patmc
08-01-2008, 09:30 PM
Just finished Steve Coll's "On the Grand Trunk Road," a book about his travels through South Asia. He later wrote "Ghost Wars." Book dates to 1990's, but many of the events he discusses are still relevant and the locations are still full of conflict. His focus is mainly on India and Pakistan, but he discusses Sri Lanka at great length as well. His chapter on COIN in Sri Lanka against the Maoist guerillas is great. The Tamil Tigers were the minor players at that point. If you can find a copy, great read.

Up next, Robin Wright's Sacred Rage. Her "Dreams and Shadows" was very well done.

Van
08-01-2008, 09:35 PM
Pat, "Grand Trunk Road"? the one that runs through Pakistan and North India? I have to look into that one. Ever since I read "Kim" I've wanted to take a trip down that road. Thanks for the tipper.

V

selil
08-01-2008, 10:22 PM
Well that new book by Steve Metz finally shipped.

Tom Odom
08-21-2008, 07:06 PM
I pulled Thomas Packenham's The Boer War off the shelf last week and started reading it again after 23 years. Published in 1979, I bought it at the Bell Hall bookstore and read it in 1985. Really interesting then considering I had just done a 6,000 mile road trip across southern Africa that included both Ladysmith and Kimberly.

Amazing reading today in the light of OIF and OEF, wrnagling over strategy, tactics, force size, and just plain old politics jump out at me as I come across the passages.

On switching rifles from the Lee Medford to the Lee Enfield, the Brits failed to adjust the sights, meaning the weapons shot 18 inches to the right at 500 yards...

Colonel Long's suicidal deployment of a battery of 12 guns on open ground within a 1000 yards of the Boer lines at Colenso...

General Hart's march of the Irish Brigade into the bottleneck of the Tugela River at Colenso even though the "loop" was obviously covered by the Boers within 400 yards on three sides.

Colonel Rawlinson a veteran of Omdurman where the Anglo_Egyptian forces has killed 15,000 Sudanese remarked after a battle at Ladysmith costing 52 Boers and 175 British dead (plus 249 wounded), remarked in his diary, "White corpses are ...far more replusive than black." Another observer remarked, "Civilized war is awful."

More later,
Tom

Cavguy
08-21-2008, 07:19 PM
Just finished COL(R) Peter Mansoor's "Baghdad at Sunrise" and the final version of Bing West's "The Strongest Tribe".

I can highly recommend both - COL Mansoor's is an accurate depiction of OIF 1, the mistakes made, the unheard successes, and the problems during 2003-2004 through the first Sadr rebellion. His insights and conclusions on what the Army and nation did right and wrong in that period are solid. I'll put something more substantial together later.

Bing's book has been reviewed elsewhere, but Bing, in his slightly Marine centric view, accurately chronicles how mid and junior level officers, NCO's, and enlisted began transformation in Iraq prior to Petraeus' arrival. There are some minor errors in the text, but the narrative is largely accurate and his analysis spot on.

Bias Disclaimer: I was cross-attached with 2-37 AR from COL Mansoor's BCT in OIF 1 - under 2d ACR. After returning from OIF , he was my BCT CDR my first year in company command and later helped me land my current position at the COIN center. In Bing West's book, I was featured in the first four pages of chapter 6, regarding company ops in Tal Afar. Doesn't change my opinion of either book, but I feel obligated for truth in advertising. ;)

reed11b
08-21-2008, 07:42 PM
Just finished "The Long Road Home" by Martha Raddatz. Fantastic book, highly recommended. Currently reading "Boots on the Ground" by Karl Zinsmeister. I DO NOT recommend this book. Book seems to be more about the auther and his political views and his fan boy love affair with the 82nd. "These brave men of danger can shoot LAZER BEAMS...FROM THERE EYES!!"
LINK (http://www.amazon.com/review/product/031299608X/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_1?%5Fencoding=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar)

Cavguy
08-21-2008, 07:53 PM
Just finished "The Long Road Home" by Martha Raddatz. Fantastic book, highly recommended.

"Long Road Home" is a good read. However, I think it glosses over the decisionmaking to sending out a QRF in LMTV's into Sadr City, which no one has ever dealt with. I still don't undertstand that decision.

The book has other strengths. Like "We Were Soldiers", it also tells the story back at Ft. Hood and the struggles of the casualty notification in the age of instant messaging.

Disclaimer: I was part of 2-37 AR, and our C Company rescued the 2-5 CAV soldiers, as is well described in the book.

bourbon
08-21-2008, 08:56 PM
Currently reading "Boots on the Ground" by Karl Zinsmeister. I DO NOT recommend this book. Book seems to be more about the auther and his political views and his fan boy love affair with the 82nd. "These brave men of danger can shoot LAZER BEAMS...FROM THERE EYES!!"
LINK (http://www.amazon.com/review/product/031299608X/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_1?%5Fencoding=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar)
Oh man, that guy, real piece of work. I'm surprised you could find a copy of his book, I thought they were all in the basement of AEI:

"According to a former AEI employee, it was widely known at the think tank that "Karl was in it for Karl," and his use of the magazine to promote his own books was "sort of like a running joke." The books were shipped to Zinsmeister's home in Cazenovia and mailed to subscribers from there. Over three years,according to an e-mail David Gerson would later send to Zinsmeister after he had announced his plans to step down, AEI purchased 13,700 Zinsmeister books at a cost of $131,000. And what a gift that proved to be for Zinsmeister, as AEI's purchases wound up accounting for 45 percent of the total sales of Dawn Over Baghdad's hardcover edition--and more than half its paperback sales."

- The Enterprising American (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=99618ca9-3e6a-447e-b6a8-47db79de92f5), by James Kirchick. The New Republic, Monday, May 21, 2007

reed11b
08-21-2008, 09:22 PM
Oh man, that guy, real piece of work. I'm surprised you could find a copy of his book, I thought they were all in the basement of AEI:
Not surpisingly, I found it in a used book store. If I had taken the time to even read the text under the pictures I would have known to stear clear. My favorite was a referance to "The 82nd, being an elite unit, all have expensive laser pointers on there rifles. They rarely miss". The laser pointer was an AN/PAQ-4 which even my NG BCT had equiped in 2000 or earlier.
RD

Tom Odom
08-22-2008, 12:34 AM
Not surpisingly, I found it in a used book store. If I had taken the time to even read the text under the pictures I would have known to stear clear. My favorite was a referance to "The 82nd, being an elite unit, all have expensive laser pointers on there rifles. They rarely miss". The laser pointer was an AN/PAQ-4 which even my NG BCT had equiped in 2000 or earlier.
RD

well being a broken body retiree and long ago member of that EELEAT unit, I have a laser pointer on my pellet rifle...

The possums approach my house at their own risk...:D

Tom

Rifleman
08-22-2008, 01:33 AM
Currently reading "Boots on the Ground" by Karl Zinsmeister. I DO NOT recommend this book. Book seems to be more about the auther and his political views and his fan boy love affair with the 82nd. "These brave men of danger can shoot LAZER BEAMS...FROM THERE EYES!!"
LINK (http://www.amazon.com/review/product/031299608X/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_1?%5Fencoding=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar)

You're right. It is bull. Of course, it's true for the 325, but certainly not true for the 82nd as a whole. :wry:

patmc
08-24-2008, 04:36 PM
Just finished West's "The Village." Wow, all company grade officers, NCO's, and Soldiers should read that one for a perspective on sacrifice and how to win the people.

Now halfway through West's "The Strongest Tribe." Angry at all the missed opportunities and ineffective strategies. I was there for the 2005-2006 Super FOB's, and every convoy saw the realities of few boots on the ground. I have not read Rick's "Fiasco," but from the reviews I've read, West seems to share his disgust with the early management. At least "Tribe" appears to be building to some welcome positives.

Culpeper
10-07-2008, 03:52 AM
Has anyone read this book? Picked it off the shelf at the library and I'm about a third of the way through it. If someone handed me this book without the cover or any information I could swear some of the ideas were stolen from the screenplay of Platoon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316066354/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

selil
10-07-2008, 04:18 AM
Just finished "Black Swan" by Nassim Taleb. It was interesting book the review is located here http://selil.com/?p=438 .

Next up is a binder of journal articles on land warfare, and tactics.

jkm_101_fso
10-07-2008, 04:37 PM
Just finished West's "The Village." Wow, all company grade officers, NCO's, and Soldiers should read that one for a perspective on sacrifice and how to win the people.

Now halfway through West's "The Strongest Tribe." Angry at all the missed opportunities and ineffective strategies. I was there for the 2005-2006 Super FOB's, and every convoy saw the realities of few boots on the ground. I have not read Rick's "Fiasco," but from the reviews I've read, West seems to share his disgust with the early management. At least "Tribe" appears to be building to some welcome positives.

There are, both literally and in the author's frustration, many similiarities between Fiasco and Tribe.
Both awesome books. It was amazing how many times I mumbled under my breath, "I couldn't have said it better" when reading them.

I need to read "The Village". I asked Santa for it.

Ron Humphrey
10-07-2008, 05:26 PM
Just finished "Black Swan" by Nassim Taleb. It was interesting book the review is located here http://selil.com/?p=438 .

Next up is a binder of journal articles on land warfare, and tactics.

think Im gonna get a copy to read on the road

DaveDoyle
10-07-2008, 08:38 PM
Ron,
I purchased the Black Swan, but haven't started it. Also ordered the Walid Phares book - The Confrontation.

A few that we've had to read that were well worth reading:

Shattered Sword - The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway (Parshall and Tully)

Emergence (Steven Johnson)

Making Things Work - Solving Complex Problems in an Complex World (Yanner Bar Yam)

120mm
10-07-2008, 10:08 PM
Ron,
I purchased the Black Swan, but haven't started it. Also ordered the Walid Phares book - The Confrontation.

I just couldn't get past the first 100 pages of "I told you so; there are bad Islamists who are paying Universities and media outlets who are lulling you to sleep so Radical Islam can drink your childrens' blood" at the beginning.

I'm sure there is a thesis in there, but after the first 100 pages, I realized I had more important things to read....

Ron Humphrey
10-08-2008, 02:56 AM
Ill look into them

Jayhawker
10-08-2008, 04:21 AM
Is anyone else reading Brian Linn's The Echo of Battle: the Army War of War? I'm over a hundred pages and finally have an answer as to why, with all the US Army's experience fighting "small wars" there was no one writing about them, and putting the lessons into its doctrine.

Perhaps, there is an Air Force parallel book hatching in my brain....;)

davidbfpo
11-01-2008, 04:58 PM
Over the last few weeks I've read these three books:

The Terrorist Perspectives Project: Strategic and Operational Views of Al Qaida and associated movements, by Mark Stout, Jessica Huckabey, John Schindler with Jim Lacey (from the Institute for Defence Analyses) and published by Naval Institute Press in 2008. A good light read on the minds of AQ, almost a primer.

Fighting Terrorism: Preventing the radicalisation of youth in a secular and globalised world, compiled by Abdul Halim Bin Kader; published in Singapore (free) and a very different explanation of the options.

From Africa to Afghanistan: With Richards and NATO to Kabul, by Greg Mills, publisher Wits University Press in 2007. Excellent pre-deployment read, accepting it is dated; the author is a South African analyst and writes very well. Useful checklist on what was needed.

davidbfpo

Schmedlap
11-02-2008, 02:05 AM
Finally got around to starting Baghdad at Sunrise. I'm only a few chapters into it, but as someone who was in Baghdad in the summer of 2003, it seems like a very balanced and accurate account. One thing that stuck out to me, having been one of the many units that was responsible for Rusafa, was that it apparently took the Ready First BCT a fair amount of time to discover the shenanigans that were occuring in Rusafa. This startled me because my platoon painstakingly detailed just about every square inch of that neighborhood and I handed it off in both digital and hard copy format to the S-2 of the unit that replaced us and watched him peruse it and upload it onto his computer (this was no small task in the summer of 2003, given that we were undermanned, overstretched, most of our equipment was toast and we had no spare parts, most of our laptops were toast, paper was scarce, time was scarcer - it took me 3 days to scrounge up a 3.5" floppy that could actually be written to).

Just to be clear, that is not a criticism of the BCT. I thought back to how many times responsibility for that neighborhood changed hands prior to, and during, the Ready First's RIP/TOA. It went from Mech Inf to ACR to Mech Inf to Armor and so on. I guess it would have been miraculous if each of those rushed, disorganized "TOAs" resulted in an accurate or thorough intel dump. What the Ready First likely inherited in the form of intel, if anything, was the end result of a bad game of telephone. My understanding is that those numerous changes of responsibility and redrawing of sectors was driven from above the BCT, since it occurred during the haphazard handoff from 3ID to 1AD. Too bad. I doubt greater continuity would have made a huge difference, but it couldn't have hurt. A lesson learned?

Van
11-20-2008, 02:11 AM
"The Army of the Republic", a novel by Stuart Archer Cohen, was a tedious and predictable story set in America of the near future. The author made bold claims about his research with guerrillas, but focused on Latin American guerrillas, and did not offer any insights that couldn't be gleaned from reading Che Guevara's "Guerrilla Warfare" or Alberto Bayo's "150 Questions for a Guerrilla". It was a long-winded leftist diatribe about how corporations are bad and how glamorous it is to be a guerrilla. The only reason I bothered to do the Amazon review of this dud was to stay in a program where I get reviewers' copies of books.

Note to authors on the council: I will read and review any book (or watch) I am given as a reviewers' copy. Caveat Scriptor - I review it as I see it, not as you would wish me to see it, and boy, was this guy snotty about my honest opinion of his rant.

120mm
11-20-2008, 11:24 AM
Finally got around to The Five Rings. My intuitive self really liked it, though it's minimalism made reading International Political Islam a lot harder to read.

(Too many pages...):D

Bob's World
11-20-2008, 03:33 PM
Having a fairly long commute, I shake down the USSOCOM library on a regular basis for books on CD. One that I highly recommend is "Children of Jihad." This accounting of the solo travels of Jared Cohen, a young Jewish American, through the most "radical" populaces of the Middle East to meet and talk to local young people provides a perspective that every American should be aware of. His journey takes him to Iran, Lebannon, Syria and Iraq.

What is often rolled up as "Anti-Americanism" is probably much more accurately described as "Anit-American Foreign Policy." The ideology upon which America was built still speaks to people around the world. The culture of America and the American people remain a fascination and a draw to people everywhere. Our government, at least the foreign manifestation of it, is however, roundly hated.

Somewhere along the line we strayed from being a world Leader, to being a world Controller. We all know the difference on how we feel about working with a strong leader and working with someone who seeks to exert their leadership through control. The good news is that we really don't need to change who we are to get along with the rest of the world, just how we chose to exercise our leadership.

Anyway, this was well worth the time.

Van
11-20-2008, 04:21 PM
120mm,
"The Book of Five Rings", along with Sun Tzu's "Art of War", and Rogers' Rangers Standing Orders (both the 1769 and the 1940s version together) are a great base for an education in military science.

Note that Rogers was engaged in 'Small Wars' throughout his bloody military career.

kville79
11-20-2008, 08:23 PM
Just started reading "Foucault and the Iranian Revolution, Gender and the Seduction of Islamism" Finished up with chapter 3 yesterday. If you're a fan of Foucault I wouldn't suggest this book to you, it critically deconstructs all his writings during, and post Iranian revolution. It's a great book if you're looking to understand the cultural and ideological premise that started the Islamic state.

CR6
11-20-2008, 09:52 PM
Is anyone else reading Brian Linn's The Echo of Battle: the Army War of War?

I am reading it and finding the "Guardian" "Hero" or "Manager constructs" too simplistic. DePuy as a manager? This is far too narrow a reading of Active Defense IMO. The guy went from LT to LTC in three years in WWII with a DSC, 3 Silver Stars and the Purple Heart to go with it. I think he had a grassroots understanding of what "heroic" leadership and morale in combat were all about.

Steve Blair
11-20-2008, 10:00 PM
I am reading it and finding the "Guardian" "Hero" or "Manager constructs" too simplistic. DePuy as a manager? This is far too narrow a reading of Active Defense IMO. The guy went from LT to LTC in three years in WWII with a DSC, 3 Silver Stars and the Purple Heart to go with it. I think he had a grassroots understanding of what "heroic" leadership and morale in combat were all about.

Linn is an outstanding historian when he's dealing with his era (the turn of the century army in the Philippines), but he tends to lose focus somewhat when he goes into other eras. He's written some articles about the Frontier Army, and I found the same limitations in those pieces as I saw in the book. That said, his constructs are useful in a general way for understanding how developments take place in the Army. They're pretty broad brushes, but I think he meant for them to be that way.

Granite_State
11-20-2008, 10:40 PM
Thirty pages into Bing West's The Village now, should have read this a while ago. Prior to that, tore through the first three Flashman books pretty fast, haven't had more fun reading in a long time, if ever. Highly recommended to all.

120mm
11-20-2008, 11:37 PM
120mm,
"The Book of Five Rings", along with Sun Tzu's "Art of War", and Rogers' Rangers Standing Orders (both the 1769 and the 1940s version together) are a great base for an education in military science.

Note that Rogers was engaged in 'Small Wars' throughout his bloody military career.

I thought that would grab your attention, sir.


If you master the principles of sword-fencing, when you freely beat one man, you beat any man in the world. The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The strategist makes small things into big things, like building a great Buddha from a one foot model. I cannot write in detail how this is done. The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things.
- Miyamoto Musashi

As in small things, so they are in large things....

jonSlack
11-21-2008, 05:31 AM
Recently finished Easterly's "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good." The emphasis the author places on bottom-up as opposed to top-down (Searchers vs. Planners) approaches to economic development has relevance in COIN operations in my opinion (Company level battlespace owners making things happen in their AO vs. large DIV HQ driven operations).

I am currently about a quarter of the way into Ryszard Kapuscinski's "The Shadow of the Sun." I enjoyed his "Travels with Herodotus" when I read it over the summer on my vacation. "The Shadow of the Sun" concentrates on Africa whereas the author talked about several different regions of the world in "Travels with Herodotus."

Prior to Easterly's book, I read "The Centurions" and have "The Praetorians" toward the top of my stack.

Tom Odom
11-21-2008, 01:29 PM
I read Robert Baer's The Devil We Know after a friend came in a gave it to me to look at. The review is on the SWJ Blog as of yesterday.

Reading Scorpion Down by Ed Offley now as a change of pace after my CSM suggested it.

I read the Bishop of Rwanda as a different perspective on the genocide and aftermath. Still gotta do a review.

Going hunting the next 9 days! Drew, I sighted the 9.3 in yesterday with Norma 232 grain Vulkans at 2650 FPS. If Bambi stands behind a bush like the OPFOR does to defest MILES, look out!

Tom

120mm
11-21-2008, 06:06 PM
I read Robert Baer's The Devil We Know after a friend came in a gave it to me to look at. The review is on the SWJ Blog as of yesterday.

Reading Scorpion Down by Ed Offley now as a change of pace after my CSM suggested it.

I read the Bishop of Rwanda as a different perspective on the genocide and aftermath. Still gotta do a review.

Going hunting the next 9 days! Drew, I sighted the 9.3 in yesterday with Norma 232 grain Vulkans at 2650 FPS. If Bambi stands behind a bush like the OPFOR does to defest MILES, look out!

Tom

All the old German hunters I know like 9.3 x 62 on Reh. Moving slow, it really doesn't mess up that much meat and really does take Bambi from behind that bush....

ipopescu
11-21-2008, 08:45 PM
I'm currently finishing Steve Biddle's "Military Power: Explaining Military and Defeat in Modern Battle" Does anyone remember if this book was discussed on a SWC thread?

Mark O'Neill
12-05-2008, 12:45 PM
I am enjoying it - and I seem to have flagged every second page (not quite sure what I am going to do with all that flagging though....)

Well worth a read.

Cheers

Mark

Wildcat
12-06-2008, 02:37 AM
Finished Bellavia's House to House a few weeks ago, and I've been pecking away at Bing West's The Strongest Tribe, and going back to check my notes in Fiasco for my research.

My best friend graduates from law school this May and is going straight into a six-figure litigation job, so for Christmas I'm getting him a copy of Happy Hour Is for Amateurs: A Lost Decade in the World's Worst Profession. I'm going to give it a quick read before I wrap it up, just because what I've read so far looks absolutely hilarious.

Cavguy
12-07-2008, 04:47 PM
Just finished "Stilwell and the American Experience in China", by Barbara Tuchman;"From Muskets to Missiles: Politics and Professionalism in the Chinese Army" - 1945-1981, by Harlan Jenks; "The Geography of Thought" by Richard Nisbett; and "A Military History of China" by David Graff and Robin Higham. All related to one of my grad school classes.

I have 500 word reviews of Tuchman and Jenks' works if anyone is interested. Geography of thought was a very interesting book about scientific studies proving easterners and westerners approach problems from different angles based on societal upbringing.

Old Eagle
12-07-2008, 08:09 PM
The Officers' Wives.

Don't laugh. Yes, the sex is lame by 21st century standards, and the book does involve some controversial issues: West Point, marital infidelity, etc.

What I enjoyed was how Fleming attempted to capture the the Nagl-Gentile split as it emerged during the live fire exercises in Korea and Vietnam.

Afterward you can go back to reading The Peloponesian Wars in the original Greek.

Tom Odom
12-08-2008, 01:36 PM
Afterward you can go back to reading The Peloponesian Wars in the original Greek.

how lame is that sex? :D

davidbfpo
04-05-2013, 04:47 PM
Moderator at work

New thread created to enable easier searching, so now split into years, started with 2007.