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Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2007

  1. #121
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    Just checked out See No Evil about CIA agent Robert Baer. I haven't started it yet.

    I just finished reading part of The Hunt For Bin Laden by Robin Moore. I quit about halfway through. I thought it started okay but I couldn't finish when I found out about all the controversy surrounding Jack Idema.
    Last edited by Rifleman; 08-20-2007 at 04:41 AM. Reason: spelling
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  2. #122
    Council Member jonSlack's Avatar
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    I read Baer's See No Evil a few years ago and found it very interesting. The book served as the inspiration for the movie Syriana and Baer served as an advisor on the film. If you have not seen it yet, it would not be a bad follow up for when you finish the book. However, I recommend reading the book first because the movie contains of some of the personal experiences that Baer covers in his book.

    As for what I am reading: I have been and am continuing to take a break from nonfiction books. I just finished Eco's Foucault's Pendulum and I am reading John le Carre's The Russia House now. Not sure where I am going to go next but I think it will end up being Charles Allen's Soldier Shahibs.
    "In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

  3. #123
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    I'm in the al-Zawiyah website trying to add to my understanding of the Sufis~~ one sin of the foot: running away from the battlefield against enemies of Islam

  4. #124
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Put 6 Sufis in a room and you will have at least 12 opinions....

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    I'm in the al-Zawiyah website trying to add to my understanding of the Sufis~~ one sin of the foot: running away from the battlefield against enemies of Islam
    Be advised that one Sufi is not like all Sufis; there are numerous sects of Sufi thought, be it Sunni or Shia based. So when you speak of "the Sufis" that is so generic as to be near meaningless as a descriptor of Sufi thought.

    Put 6 Sufis in a room and you will have at least 12 opinions....

    Tom

  5. #125
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Dartnell, Michael (2006) "Insurgency Online Web Activism and Global Conflict", University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 172 Pages, ISBN 0-8020-8553-9

    It's an interesting book that looks at the information war and the propoganda outlets outside of the main stream media. So far I'm fairly disapointed as I thought it might be much more technical in nature and right off the author seems to have ignored the real world impacts of insurgency and gone right to the soft science side of things. I'll keep reading it's got some excellent bibliographic references I've already read so it will likely make a nice three or four hour read (104 pages of text the rest appendix and bibliography).
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  6. #126
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    Default Sufi Pie

    I hear ya', Tom. I count anywhere from 16-20 major sects of Sufis and IMO the Qalandars and Naqshbandiya deserve extra attention and I think the "6 Sufis with 12 opinions" is exactly what makes the mystical aspects of Islam so elusive, at least to us outsiders.

  7. #127
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    "Rethinking Military History" is on the side table right now.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonSlack View Post
    I read Baer's See No Evil I just finished Eco's Foucault's Pendulum
    One of my favorite novels of all time. Well worth the read!
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.

  9. #129
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    "Rethinking Military History" is on the side table right now.
    Superb book. Not sure if I agree with all his political sidebars and theories, but very thought-provoking.

    Currently reading: Revolution Unending: Afghanistan 1979 to Presentby Gilles Dorronsoro.

    Just finished: China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia by Peter C. Perdue.

    A major theme of both Black's and Perdue's work is how history is constructed to form narratives, often for ideological purpose, and how desperately we can cling to those narratives if they are comfortable for us.

  10. #130
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    how history is constructed to form narratives, often for ideological purpose, and how desperately we can cling to those narratives if they are comfortable for us.
    It's funny that many of our brethren from other services probably accuse the Marines of this all the time.

  11. #131
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Pshaw! A Marine never lies, cheats, or steals. Ever. I know this because my drill instructor told me.

    Actually your comment made me check out the new USMC Professional Reading List. Some updated stuff here from the new Commandant. Notably The Ugly American for E1-E3, Counterinsurgency Warfare for O2, and Triumph Forsaken for O5.

  12. #132
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Superb book. Not sure if I agree with all his political sidebars and theories, but very thought-provoking.
    That's my take on it as well. He makes some very broad statements regarding some areas and stances, but there is a great deal of value mixed in with it.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  13. #133
    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
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    I recently finished George Tenetís Centre of the Storm, which was actually better than I expected. It is, of course, at times self-serving ďhereís why itís not my faultĒ BS but not as much as I expected, certainly less so than Tommy Frankís American Solider drivel.

    Currently I am reading Rajiv Chandrasekaranís Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which is good . . . if somewhat depressing.

  14. #134
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    I'm finishing Truman by McCullough. Simply one of the best biographies I've ever read about a fascinating man who really should be a role model for all, no matter what they seek to do.

    On my desk, just checked out, are the Lester Grau companion works "The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan" and "The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Combat Tactics." Nagl's "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife" is in the pipeline.

    To flip this around, here's a question: Anyone read or know of a good biography of George Marshall? The more I read of him in other sources, the more I realize both how great of a man he was and how little I actually know about him. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  15. #135
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Better than the title says

    Just finished second reading of 'Traffiking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation' by Michael Kenney. Published by The Pennsylvannia State University Press 2007 (ISBN 0=27102931-5). Best chapters are on how "narcs" and terrorists learn.

    Shown on Amazon at $45 and one brief review. Not looked at the other hits.

    davidbfpo

  16. #136
    Council Member St. Christopher's Avatar
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    Default War of Ideas Reading

    I just finished rereading Dr. J. Michael Waller's exceptional How to Fight the War of Ideas Like a Real War. Required reading for all you information warriors out there.

    Funny aside: Over my holiday on the beach this past weekend, I read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. It's a fictional account of the aftermath of a zombie invasion, and some of the IW/COIN stories in there are pretty good. It's funny to read and start thinking about how you'd apply conventional and unconventional tactics of war in the event of a zombie invasion. Trivia note-- the Marines are credited with inventing the single most useful tool in the whole zombie war: an E-tool with a steel battle axe on the end called the "Lobotomizer" or just the "Lobo."

    If anyone's interested, I can post my counter-motivation bibliography that I use for work. Also have a poo-poo load of sources for MA thesis.

    Du4
    Last edited by St. Christopher; 09-07-2007 at 01:56 PM. Reason: new stuff
    Tenere terrorum,
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  17. #137
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    If anyone's interested, I can post my counter-motivation bibliography that I use for work. Also have a poo-poo load of sources for MA thesis.


    I would like to see it posted.

  18. #138
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Please do.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    If anyone's interested, I can post my counter-motivation bibliography that I use for work. Also have a poo-poo load of sources for MA thesis.


    I would like to see it posted.

  19. #139
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    If anyone's interested, I can post my counter-motivation bibliography that I use for work. Also have a poo-poo load of sources for MA thesis.


    I would like to see it posted.
    Hey Slapout,
    I'm game, let her rip !
    You can keep the MA stuff for the younger crowd...no time to race if all I do is read for an MA

  20. #140
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    Not sure if anyone read book "Journey of the Jihadist (Inside Muslim Militancy)" by Fawaz A. Gerges, but seams to me it would be worth reading for some.

    A civil war is being waged among jihadists for the soul of Islam. While all Islamist radicals may share a vision of a purified and unified ummah, or Muslim community, few agree over how to bring it about. Ultramilitant wings, such as Al Qaeda, dominate our thoughts and headlines, for they have exported their brand of terrorism to America's shores and are carrying it into the heart of Iraq. Yet they are in the minority. Most jihadists are struggling, often against great odds and under enormous pressures, to accommodate themselves to gradual social and political change in the Arab world.

    As Middle Eastern scholar and media commentator Fawaz A. Gerges reveals in this unstinting, deeply personal, and brilliantly illuminating book, we need to know now more than ever who the jihadists are and to listen to what they are saying to each other and the world. Gerges went to Cairo, the birthplace of modern Islamist radical thought, and began a dialogue with one of the movementís founders. Using these conversations as a starting point, Gerges spoke with hundreds of other jihadists throughout the Arab world, tracing the evolution of extremist thought from the 1970s to the presentófrom the civil war in Lebanon, which Gerges and his family endured, to the war in Iraq that is giving Al Qaeda a new lease on life.
    ...

    http://journeyofthejihadist.com/

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