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Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2009

  1. #181
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Strategy MCDP 1-1 from the SWJ Library. Cain't believe I missed this. Practical very practical......might have to give up M.O.M.


    http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/mcdp1-1.pdf

  2. #182
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    Default Hey Slap ...

    None of us are perfect.

    You might consider these as well for an all-levels of warfare tutorial as seen by the Corps:

    MCDP 1-2: Campaigning

    MCDP 1-3: Tactics

    MCDP 3: Expeditionary Operations

    I expect you also know MCDP 1: Warfighting, which is the capstone.

    I like the writing style of these USMC pubs - not quite Hemingway, but easy to read.

  3. #183
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    None of us are perfect.

    You might consider these as well for an all-levels of warfare tutorial as seen by the Corps:

    MCDP 1-2: Campaigning

    MCDP 1-3: Tactics

    MCDP 3: Expeditionary Operations

    I expect you also know MCDP 1: Warfighting, which is the capstone.

    I like the writing style of these USMC pubs - not quite Hemingway, but easy to read.
    I have, I just assumed the USMC Strategy model followed the Army,what is that saying about assume.

  4. #184
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    The Maneuver Warfare Handbook by Bill Lind. Finally found a paperback copy for $14.95 instead of the 50 bucks for a hard copy. I always wanted to see what the controversy was over this document. I always try to get the original documents to see if the author really said or meant what people say he said or meant. So we shall see.

  5. #185
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Hamely's "Operations of War," the 1909 edition. Well worth it if you can find a copy. Google Books has it here
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  6. #186
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Just returned from a week in the UK for a conference. Read three good books on the plane.

    Resolved to finally read Nate Fick's One Bullet Away and Craig Mullaney's The Unforgiving Minute. Both are similar in a number of ways - smart, articulate, idealist young men become officers, head to combat, and find themselves conflicted by the experiences it imparts upon them. Of the two, I enjoyed Fick's much better (also added some perspective to my earlier read of "Generation Kill") but both were good narratives. Fick's ability to articulate not only what happened but eloquently describe his feelings and reactions to it set his work far above Mullaney's. I found myself identifying with Fick quite a bit.

    I remain disappointed that both of the above got out of the military, essentially because (they don't say it directly, but read between the lines), they didn't see their intelligence and insight would be appreciated inside the system if they stayed. Both officers found themselves too reflective and bothered by their experience which contrasted with most of their peers. I think they are not as alone as they perhaps thought they were. However, both had lucrative post-military options drawing them out given their education.

    I finally read council member Tom Odom's Journey Into Darkness. Excellent, excellent read, and heartbreakingly frustrating. A book that should be read more widely than perhaps it is. Tom, I'm going to have to email you after I digest it some more. My hat's off to you and Stan.

    Niel
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  7. #187
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    Just returned from a week in the UK for a conference. Read three good books on the plane.

    Resolved to finally read Nate Fick's One Bullet Away and Craig Mullaney's The Unforgiving Minute. Both are similar in a number of ways - smart, articulate, idealist young men become officers, head to combat, and find themselves conflicted by the experiences it imparts upon them. Of the two, I enjoyed Fick's much better (also added some perspective to my earlier read of "Generation Kill") but both were good narratives. Fick's ability to articulate not only what happened but eloquently describe his feelings and reactions to it set his work far above Mullaney's. I found myself identifying with Fick quite a bit.

    I remain disappointed that both of the above got out of the military, essentially because (they don't say it directly, but read between the lines), they didn't see their intelligence and insight would be appreciated inside the system if they stayed. Both officers found themselves too reflective and bothered by their experience which contrasted with most of their peers. I think they are not as alone as they perhaps thought they were. However, both had lucrative post-military options drawing them out given their education.

    I finally read council member Tom Odom's Journey Into Darkness. Excellent, excellent read, and heartbreakingly frustrating. A book that should be read more widely than perhaps it is. Tom, I'm going to have to email you after I digest it some more. My hat's off to you and Stan.

    Niel
    Niel,

    I concur. A memoir from MAJ Fick or Mullaney after company command time would have been much more impressive. Oh well. On their behalf, they did a good job of describing our life to the public given their limited experiences.

    I'm gonna order Tom's book now .

    v/r

    Mike

  8. #188
    Council Member Spud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    Resolved to finally read Nate Fick's One Bullet Away
    Just finished it today after having read Gen Kill a couple of years ago ... my thoughts on Nate Fick are exactly the same as yours.

    Interestingly I picked up a H/C from a second hand store without looking too closely. Whoever the clown was who had it before me treated it like a text book and highlighted/annotated the text all the way through. .. I hate people that do that to books. What concerns me is some of the conclusions “Mel” draws. Linkages to Ataturk? Every section in which the moral decision conflicted with the tactical/operational decision is highlighted with random annotations like " War is a bitter fruit; a devil's egg, born by devilish politicians and high Government officials."

    Thanks "Mel"

  9. #189
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Foot Soldier: A Combat Infantryman's War in Europe

    On the professional side, I just finished Foot Soldier: A Combat Infantryman's War in Europe By Roscoe C. Blunt, Jr.

    The book lives up to its name and that of its author; it is a blunt account of the infantry war immediately after Cobra (the breakout) until the crossing of the Rhine and surrender. The book is not without its issues; look at the reviews on the Amazon page linked above. Some of Blunt's stories seem far fetched; single handed combat against a King Tiger is but one example. There are others. As a memoir it is entertaining. As a historical account I have my doubts. Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe are also part of history.

    I tentatively recommend it to all as a sample memoir; I got to read it as it showed up in a care package. You will, of course, have to decide for yourself.

    On the lighter but entertaining and informative side, I am nearing the end of my Richard Sharpe (Sharpe's Rifles) reading festival. I have but 2 books and 2 short stories left to read out of the 25 books. The Peninsular Wars as put forth in the series are interesting and relevant to today's never-ending discussion of warfare. I have two more of the command group on them as well.

    Best
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 09-30-2009 at 04:05 PM.

  10. #190
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Default Tyl Ulenspiegel

    Tyl Ulenspiegel By Charles de Coster (also found on Google Books for free).

    Not an obvious choice, but a bit of fantasy fulfillment about the Spanish abuses of Flanders in the Sixteenth century, and a Flemish peasant who pushed back. Being of Dutch/Belgian (Flemish; the family name used to be van Koert until we got to Ellis Island) descent, I am seeing where my sense of humor came from. But more seriously, themes of religious conflict, a heavy-handed foreign occupier, and the oppressed population pushing back make this relevant to the COIN theme.

  11. #191
    Council Member Graycap's Avatar
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    I'm also reading Tom Odom's "Journey into darkness".

    Great book.

    I'm at the Ntarama church. I've paused to reason about it. If possible.

    Thanks Sir for your book.

    Graycap

  12. #192
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    Default Bernard Cornwell will know

    Tom,

    On the lighter but entertaining and informative side, I am nearing the end of my Richard Sharpe (Sharpe's Rifles) reading festival. I have but 2 books and 2 short stories left to read out of the 25 books. The Peninsular Wars as put forth in the series are interesting and relevant to today's never-ending discussion of warfare. I have two more of the command group on them as well.
    I have a way of passing this comment to the author. I am sure he'd be impressed. Now, do you want the agency for sales in your AO?

    davidbfpo

  13. #193
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graycap View Post
    I'm also reading Tom Odom's "Journey into darkness".

    Great book.

    I'm at the Ntarama church. I've paused to reason about it. If possible.

    Thanks Sir for your book.

    Graycap
    Graycap

    Thank you for that.

    Best regards,
    Tom

  14. #194
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Tom,



    I have a way of passing this comment to the author. I am sure he'd be impressed. Now, do you want the agency for sales in your AO?

    davidbfpo
    David,

    Please do. And tell him that Sharpe and SGM Harper must march again!

    Best
    Tom

  15. #195
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Abu M Books on Afghanistan

    A slight furore - when the comments are read - over what books to read if you're going out to Afghanistan: http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawam....html#comments

    Some are familiar, others are for deeper reading.

    davidbfpo

  16. #196
    Council Member Spud's Avatar
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    Default My head hurts

    Just capped of The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Dorner as part of the reading for the complex planning elective I'm currently doing.

    Still not sure what to take away from all his research. It's either:

    a) No matter how good your efforts are now, the unintended consequences of your intervention/action in 10 years will probably make the situation worse anyway; or
    b) People are incapable of recognising impending failure when it is staring them in the face; or
    c) Both of the above.

    I think we're doomed

  17. #197
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Wink No worries, Mate

    I came to that conclusion years ago. Solution: drink more, worry less -- and I'm still here...

    Though I have watched a number of the great and good (in their own minds) who told us we were inept, rapacious, depraved, greedy and so forth who also ate right, avoided the minor vices etc. depart this mortal coil.

  18. #198
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    Sounds like an interesting book I will have to check it out.

    I'm now reading Plato's Republic (don't know how I avoided it for this long) and Wilson's Ghost by McNamara and James Blight.

  19. #199
    Council Member karaka's Avatar
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    I'm now reading Plato's Republic (don't know how I avoided it for this long)
    There were several years where I read that book annually. It's wonderful, I hope you enjoy it.

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by karaka View Post
    There were several years where I read that book annually. It's wonderful, I hope you enjoy it.
    I love it so far. Socrates is hilarious.

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