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Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2010

  1. #21
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Insurgent Archipelago

    This review has also appeared on SWJ Blog:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/201...ent-archipela/ so if you have any comments add them there please.

    The Insurgent Archipelago, by John Mackinlay, a an ex-UK soldier and now an academic, in paperback was published in late '09 and is subject of an extensive review in British Army Review (BAR) and the entire review is on the Kings of War site:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2010/02/rev...+(Kings+of+War)

    Last paragraph:
    But this is also why the book is to be treasured for what Mackinlay does, unusually for this literature, is say something new. With The Insurgent Archipelago he has planted a flag on new territory which others may explore too, to contest or to confirm. His theory is complete and clearly articulated and sorely needed. It deserves to be apprehended by all those whose task it is to defeat the challenges posed to the post-industrial West by global insurgency. Looking for the cutting edge of theory on insurgency and counterinsurgency? Here it is.
    Amazon:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Insurgent-Ar.../dp/1849040133

    I have no interest in plugging the book, just feel that it may contribute to a debate on conflict that appears to be more alive in the USA than here.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-10-2010 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Add new 1st sentence and link
    davidbfpo

  2. #22
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    Mark Moyar's latest, A Question of Command--Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to Iraq.

    Cheers,
    Mike.

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    Because it has just been reissued, I decided to reread, after decades, my 1972 edition of Jeffrey Race, War Comes to Long An. Reaction:

    Deserves to be read, but I'd recommend doing so in tandem with William Andrews, The Village War; and Eric Bergerud, The Dynamics of Defeat, which happen to treat two adjacent provinces. The book describes how mass organization over more than a decade culminating in 1965, moved the countryside of Long An beyond the reach of meaningful GVN influence. Race's point is that this was possible because only the Party's "the last will be first and the first will be last" agenda of literally capsizing the feudal social hierarchy could generate the requisite popular loyalty. As Race relies heavily on accounts of individuals who attained some standing in the Revolution after sacrificing the better part of their lives to the cause, this may be a somewhat idealized version. Andrews's The Village War, also an interview-based village study, may offer a useful counterpoint, focusing more sharply on such practicalities as the efficacy of "the medium is the message" armed propaganda.

    1965 Long An was much different from the post-1970 one of my acquaintance. By then one of the more secure provinces, enemy influence was relatively localized in the minimally populated NW, where, in a reflection of the extant paradigm, it radiated out of a PAVN infiltration route cum base area. This was the Plain of Reeds swamp complex, which extended from Svay Rieng (Cambodia) to within a few miles of Saigon-Cholon. Long An Province Chief Col. Nam (1973) was not reluctant to send his RFs even into this redoubt, on battalion size ops.

    Race tries to explain, with less certitude, reasons for the virtual drying up of the enemy's local manpower pool by the pivotal year 1970, a question which, IMO, holds greater relevance to the current conflicts. Having offered land hunger as a problem, he credits the promise of the GVN Land To The Tiller Program...But LTTT wasn't widely implemented until 1972. There is further attribution--to local recruitment of PFs and their assignment to their native villages; and to arming of the PSDF village militia. But none of this would have been possible without elimination of the enemy main force units. Race decries the intensely violent level of warfare of the 1967-'69 phase, and the accompanying, wrenching dislocations, including mass forced relocations and urbanization. But it may be that (as Begerud finds in his work), attrition and coercion proved, after all, to be the sine qua non....Looking ahead from a 1970 vantage point, Race believes the apparent security is ephemeral and will rapidly deteriorate pari passu with US troop withdrawal. True for sure in a number of other places, but Long An is not a good example. The problem was a steady, but manageable, drain--until the province was overrun by PAVN in 1975.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Last edited by Mike in Hilo; 02-15-2010 at 01:26 AM. Reason: spelling error

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    I have to get a new copy of The Peace to End All Peace; my TPB fell apart after the second reading. Excellent hidtory focused on the details and sequences of the blunders that created the modern Middle East.

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    Council Member Brett Patron's Avatar
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    Articles on AQIM, the Sahel, Trans-Sahara, and that area of Africa west and north of Nigeria....

    oh yeah..and "The Count of Monte Cristo" on my new e-book reader.

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    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in Hilo View Post
    My apologies to all--must have pushed the button inadvertantly--Post should not, of course, appear twice--The first version happens to be the edited version..

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Mike, thank you for that overview. I've read Andrews, and now I want to check out the other two. If you have a chance, I'd recommend that you add these two to your collection. I've found that individual case studies focused on specific villages meld well with the regional studies.

    David Donovan, "Once a Warrior King."

    Kregg PJ Johnson, "LRRP Company Command, The Cav's LRP/Rangers in Vietnam 1968-1969."

    v/r

    Mike Few

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    Default Mike F Comment

    Mike, thanks again. I say "again" because I acquired The Village War solely on the basis of your recommendation in that piece you contributed to the SWJ maybe some 18 months ago... I have read Once a Warrior King--and will look for your other suggestion. Re: Race and Bergerud--if you are pressed for time, I'd say Bergerud is the must read--keeping in mind that it deals with an atypically intractable area where "..many people had forgotten why they were fighting."

    Cheers,
    Mike.

  8. #28
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in Hilo View Post
    Mike, thanks again. I say "again" because I acquired The Village War solely on the basis of your recommendation in that piece you contributed to the SWJ maybe some 18 months ago... I have read Once a Warrior King--and will look for your other suggestion. Re: Race and Bergerud--if you are pressed for time, I'd say Bergerud is the must read--keeping in mind that it deals with an atypically intractable area where "..many people had forgotten why they were fighting."

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Cool, Thanks for the tips and thanks for reading.

    I've got a question for the group. What translation of Sun Tzu would y'all recommend. I've got a buddy studying in Shanghai right now, and he's attempting to read Sun Tzu in the original text. Two issues- First, it is written in old chinese so some of the characters are no longer used. Second, archeologist are finding more manuscripts that they think are part of the original author(s) work.

    v/r

    Mike

  9. #29
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    What translation of Sun Tzu would y'all recommend.
    Samuel Griffith's was the academic standard for a long time, but Thomas Cleary's is more current and pretty well respected, and has been released in several different forms. Several things enter into translation of Sun Tzu; the actual text of Sun Tzu, the commentaries of latter writers, and how it is presented in English. Cleary is good on all counts.

  10. #30
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    I've got a question for the group. What translation of Sun Tzu would y'all recommend. I've got a buddy studying in Shanghai right now, and he's attempting to read Sun Tzu in the original text. Two issues- First, it is written in old chinese so some of the characters are no longer used. Second, archeologist are finding more manuscripts that they think are part of the original author(s) work.
    The R.L. Wing translation was the one recommended to me and it makes way more sense that the Griffith translation. - E.G. It's not "Art of War."
    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

  11. #31
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Oh who am I kidding? My favorite interpretation of Sun Tzu (alt. spg. "Sun Zi") is the one by Tsai Chih Chung. My review of it is here.

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    Default Cross-border Gang Dynamics Reading?

    Looking for an academic, at least well researched and hopefully noted, book on the dynamics of gangs like MS13 and 18th Street and how they have spread across borders from LA to Mexico and Central America.

    On another note, recently read "No Angel" by Jay Dobyns. I found it very interesting and an easy read, not sure how much Small Wars use you'd get out of it, but it does give some idea of group dynamics of an outlaw group. Another highly recommended academic gang read is "Islands in the Street" by Martin Sanchez-Jankowski.

  13. #33
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pointer to another thread

    PJMunson,

    Looking for an academic, at least well researched and hopefully noted, book on the dynamics of gangs like MS13 and 18th Street and how they have spread across borders from LA to Mexico and Central America.
    Methinks the answer lies on this RFI thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=9802

    I've copied your request to the RFI thread.
    davidbfpo

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    Default I have recently completed the following;

    Saul David’s Victoria’s Wars: The Rise of Empire is an impressive political and military history. I was struck by the particularly forceful notion, an appropriate asymmetry given our current pre-occupation with “asymmetric wars” in general, that a large proportion of Britain’s wars were small for us but considered major for our enemies particularly when one realises that, for the day (and even now), a major war was considered one fought only between comparable (Great) powers (or peer competitors in today’s parlance). Obviously, the Crimean War (Chapter 8) would thus count as a “large” War yet, oddly perhaps, one fought very much like a small one if only because of logistical, command and coalition gremlins. From the influence of those great PMCs (after a fashion) the East and West India Companies to changes in domestic electoral geometry (i.e., the fall of Disraeli to his erstwhile nemesis Sir Robert Peel) to the effects, often deleterious, of international rivalry between Powers that were Allies one day and Enemies the next to the financial burdens for the extension, consolidation and then subsequent “policing” of “empire” much of that past era really is prologue to our current one (in which the “empire” being extended is now that of “the rule of law”). Yet what is also striking is the manner in which, given Britain’s almost otherworldly technological superiority (in comparison with its non-European opponents), financial power and social organisation she still managed to lose wars (i.e., Afghanistan) which, by the standards of the day, should have been a walk-over due to issues which still have contemporary resonance;

    [Mountstuart Elphinstone, former governor of Bombay on the proposed British invasion of Afghanistan c. 1835] [q-e]I used to dispute with you against having an agent in Caubul [sic], and now we have assumed the protection of the state as if it were one of the subsidiary allies in India. If you send 27,000 men up the Bolan Pass to Candahar [sic] (as we hear intended), and can feed them, I have no doubt you will take Candahar and Caubul and set up Soojah [Shuja, then claimant to the Afghan throne]; but for maintaining him in a poor, cold, strong and remote country, among turbulent people like the Afghans, I own it seems to me to be hopeless.[/q-e] (p. 21)
    Of greater contemporary significance is the excellent book by Ali Ahmad Jalali and L. W. Grau, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War. A companion to their earlier The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan this book focuses specifically on Mujahideen TTPs during the Soviet-Afghan war using vignettes of the commanders involved from almost all of the various Mujahedeen groups that participated. Perhaps rather unsurprisingly it is remarkable to see how consistent Afghan TTPs have been with regards to the manner in which ambushes (Ch.1) , raids (Ch.2), Shelling/Mortar strikes (Ch.3), mine warfare (Ch.5) and urban warfare (Ch.14) is conducted when we compare the vignettes in this book to after action reports from current operations. Other chapters reveal Afghan TTPs in the conduct of: attacking a strong point (Ch. 4); Blocking Enemy Lines of Communication (Ch.6); Siege Warfare (Ch.7); Defence against (Soviet Spetznaz) Raids (Ch.8); Countering (Soviet) Heliborne Insertions (Ch. 9); Defending against a Cordon and Search (C.10); Defending Base Camps (Ch. 11); Counter-ambushes (Ch.12); and, Fighting an Encirclement (Ch.13). There are also numerous and revealing tidbits of information that are usually glossed over or omitted in scholarly or historical commentaries one of which, for instance, was the use of video cameras by Mujahedeen commanders which were used not for BDA, propaganda or for later training use (as I would have supposed) but rather to prove to other factions and groups that ordnance had been expended in order to justify the allotting of further weapons and supplies for future operations (p. 108fn2). The Arabs who joined in the Jihad, however, were (apparently) more interested in taking videos, in the earlier stages at least, and were considered prima donnas by many Mujahedeen groups (p129fn4). Another little know operation involved mujahedeen using sympathisers/moles in DRA (the Soviet satellite Afghan army) formations to drug DRA officers prior to an attack; fittingly, one of the Mujahedeen commanders was an M.D! (p.119). I was also surprised to learn that the DRA was not entirely ineffectual as a fighting formation at least if the Battle of Panjawee in 1982 is to go by (pp.123-5).

    Having rooted around looking for work on Afghan guerrilla TTPs I was glad to have “hit the mother lode”. Accompanied by detailed maps and candid reminiscences by those involved it is thoroughly recommended. In the quote below it appears that, for one guerrilla commander at least, one up-two back really is best in a company sized attack (with what appear to be large platoon groups composed of 20man sections/squads);

    [Commander Wazir Gul on a raid against a security outpost] [q-e]My group's base was in Zandeh Kalay which is some 25 kilometers south of the [Lataband] pass [on the Kandahar-Sairobi highway]. I planned the attack at the base. We left the base at 1500 and moved to the Tezin Valley where we spent the night. We carried our supplies and ammunition on mules. Once we got to the Tezin Valley, I met with the commanders of other groups and we coordinated our attack. The total strength of the combined Mujahideen force was about 150 fighters. We left what we did not need for immediate combat at Tezin and moved out toward our targets. We brought the mules with us. There were three chief components in our combined force—two fire support groups and an assault group. Each fire support group had heavy weapons (three BM-1, four DShK, three 82mm mortars). Their mission was to attack and pin down the Soviet base at Mulla Omar and the Sarandoy base at Lataband. The assault group had twelve RPG-7s and four 82mm recoilless rifles. The assault group was composed of three 20-man teams. Each 20-man team had a designated enemy outpost to attack.[/q-e] (p.93)
    In another “after-action-report” concerning an ambush in the Kandahar area Commander Mulla Kalang reveals the general disregard for civilian casualties/reprisals against civilian families of rival Mujahedeen (i.e., his own countrymen) who refused to participate in the action but who would, nonetheless, be blamed for it while also revealing the Mujahedeen’s understanding of the relationship between terrain & time, their ability to co-ordinate attacks with groups from other locales and Soviet SOPs (i.e., the absence, at this time, of Soviet reconnaissance efforts contrary to extant Soviet doctrine):

    [q-e]We decided to divide the 250 available Mujahideen into several groups. The groups were armed with RPG-7 antitank grenade launchers and four-to-five 82mm recoilless rifles. All ambushes were sited in the green zone to the south of the road. Each ambush group had an assigned sector of the kill zone. All groups were instructed to open fire simultaneously as the head of the column reaches the Ashoqa villages. It was expected that at that time the tail of the column would have just cleared the Pashmol villages. At that time, most of the local population still lived in their homes along the road. Few had migrated to Pakistan since no major Soviet military actions had taken place there. The Mujahideen groups coming from Malajat (the southern and south-western suburbs of Kandahar) and other neighbouring bases moved during the night to their designated ambush sites. The ambush plan was kept secret from the local population and local Mujahideen units since resistance groups based in the ambush area were reluctant to participate, fearing retaliation directed at their homes and families still living there.[/q-e] (p.44)
    Also one wonders what the outcome would have been had Soviet COIN efforts been more effective at engaging the locals and sowing dissent amongst the Mujahedeen (perhaps by buying them off/co-opting them as the Romans had done with the Goths and the Byzantines had done with the Avars, Bulgars et al and turned them against one another) especially when the Mujahedeen cared even less about civilian casualties than the Soviet’s did as is evinced in a local saying amongst civilians;

    [q-e] the government oppress us during the day and the Mujahedeen oppress us at night[/q-e] (p.115)
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-01-2010 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Bloody quotes!!!! Fixed quotes just

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    Warrior's Rage Douglas Macgregor Ph.D.

    $26.00USD in the mini mall at Ft. Knox. Only paid full price because I really want to read before its out in paperback.

    Has anyone read it? I really like it so far.


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    My reading of late has centred on a re-appreciation for, and, to some extent, a re-discovery of, the art of war in antiquity (or thereabouts). I suspect that recent discussions on the SWC regarding Roman COIN operations and Luttwak’s rekindling of interest in Byzantine strategic thought may have had something to do with it. Nonetheless, the works consulted over the past weeks comprise;

    The Interlinear Translation of the Anabasis of Xenophon. There has been renewed interest in Byzantine strategy, especially in the recent article by Edward Luttwak in Foreign Affairs and reading the original really is enlightening if only for comparing what Xenophon actually says with Luttwak’s, and other commentators, interpretations.


    The works by Theodore Ayrault Dodge (c. late 19th Century) though having been largely superseded, by the work of (for instance) Adrian Goldsworthy with respect to Roman Warfare, still repay reading if only for the wealth of information and depth of analysis Dodge provides. Which see;
    Alexander and the Macedonian Art of War,
    Caesar and the Roman Art of War and
    Hannibal and the Carthaginian Art of War.

    Indeed, Dodge’s observations regarding Caesar’s Gallic campaign are no less true of today’s small wars;
    (From Dodge’s, Caesar and the Roman Art of War); Statecraft counts for much in a great captain's work. Caesar's policy in Gaul was on the whole so harsh as scarcely to rate as policy at all. This is the civil aspect of the matter. From another point of view it was as masterly as the problem was difficult. Caesar had to conciliate some tribes while attacking other neighbouring and friendly tribes. He had to supply himself while destroying victual for the enemy. He had to elevate part of the people in order to suppress another part. He had to play one half of the population against the other half. He had a population of eight million Gauls to oppose his dozen legions.(p.341)

    Richard D. Hunt, Queen Boudicca’s Battle of Britain. Using primary sources (Caesar, Cassius Dio, Suetonius and Tacitus) Hunt reconstructs the events that led to the “Iceni uprising” (covered in Chapter VIII). Hunt gives a masterful account of the political background, tribal composition of Britain, Roman polices and Boudicca’s CoA and resultant aftermath in a book numbering only 137 pages all told (as a writer of crime fiction, rather than a historian, he also writes a cracking narrative). I often thought of the tribal uprisings in Iraq when I read this book and of the travails of an occupying power attempting to reorganise a foreign land (though the Romans came to annex not liberate). The parallels are striking right down to the complex interplay of carrot and stick and patron-client relations employed by the Romans towards Britain’s tribes and their “notables”. Caesar and Tacitus knew the importance of understanding the “Human Terrain” something which has recently come into vogue (but which is nothing if not common sense- “know your enemy” and all that);
    (says Caesar) By far the most civilised inhabitants are those living in Kent[sic!], a purely maritime district, whose way of life differs little from that of the Gauls. Most of the tribes in the interior do not grow corn but live on milk and meat, and wear skins. All the Britons dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue colour, and this gives them a more terrifying appearance in battle. Their wear their hair long, and shave the whole of their bodies except the head and the upper lip. Wives are shared between groups of ten or twelve men, especially between brothers and between fathers and sons; but the offspring of these unions are counted as the children of the man with whom a particular woman cohabited first[!](p.11)
    Nor were they lax in IPB...
    (Says Tacitus) Their strength is in their infantry. Some tribes also fight from chariots. The nobleman drives, his dependants fight in his defence. Once they owed obedience to kings; now they are distracted between the jarring factions of rival chiefs. Indeed, nothing has helped us more in war with their strongest nations that their inability to co-operate. It is but seldom that two or three states unite to repel a common danger; fighting in detail they are defeated wholesale.(p.16)
    And like Petraeus in Iraq the Roman governor Publius Ostorius Scapula, sent to bring order and replace his ineffectual predecessor, inherited a situation in Britain, writes Tacitus in his Annals, that was nothing short of...
    ...chaotic. Convinced that a new commander, with an unfamiliar army and with winter begun, would not fight them, hostile tribes had broken violently into the Roman province. But Ostorius knew that initial results are what produce alarm or confidence. So he marched his light auxiliary battalions rapidly ahead, and stamped out resistance. The enemy dispersed and were hard pressed.p.47
    And what of Roman motivation to invade? Perhaps those of a cynical bent will find parallels here too...
    (...says Tacitus) Britain yields gold, silver and other metals, to make it worth conquering.(p.11)
    In fact, seen in the perspective of antiquity Boudicca’s uprising is little different to those experienced by the Allies in Iraq (sans AQI and WMD of course; although the idea of equating Boudicca with people like Moqtada As-Sadr makes my stomach churn). Obviously, the Allies in Iraq were nothing like Rome and her Legions when it came to COIN; today’s RoEs are more humane (for good or ill) and less brutal than were Roman SOPs. Yet, skilfully applied violence works; nothing like a swift sharp blow to the head to bring people to their senses (as riot police know full well). Who knows, maybe one day an Iraqi will write about the uprisings against the US and Allies with the same fond if critical commemoration that one usually affords to lost causes. Perhaps over time even they will appreciate the ‘civilitas’ which they were bequeathed however strange and unappealing it may have appeared to them beforehand and however “alien” America and her allies may appear now.


    B.H Liddell Hart, Scipio Africanus: Greater than Napoleon. Originally written in 1926 by the irascible B. H. Liddell Hart of “indirect Approach” fame the book purports (if the introduction is anything to go by) to be a biography of the famous roman general Scipio Africanus but is instead a history of his campaign against Hannibal in North Africa during the 2nd Punic War. Indeed, the work is really rather more of a study of the generalship of Scipio vs. Hannibal with an admixture of Roman domestic political shenanigans thrown in. However, unsurprisingly for Hart, he often falls into the trap of attributing Scipio with having discovered principles that Hart would later popularise. I find the following quote ironic for being a refutation of what one of my old university lecturers called the fallacy of “Liddell-Hartism”; i.e., that the indirect approach worked only if the enemy was caught napping or decided to stand still while Hart’s forces manoeuvred around him. In this quote Hart seems to comprehend the importance of needing to hold or fix the enemy in order to develop a “decisive” manoeuvre;
    In the sphere of tactics there is a lesson in his [Scipio’s] consummate blending of the principles of surprise and security, first in the way he secured every offensive move from possible interference or mischance, second in the way he “fixed” the enemy before, and during, the decisive manoeuvre. To strike at an enemy who preserves his freedom of action is to risk hitting the air and being caught off one’s balance. It is to gamble on chances, and the least mischance is liable to upset the whole plan. Yet how often in war, and even in peace-time manoeuvres, have commanders initiated some superficially brilliant manoeuvre only to find that the enemy have slipped away from the would be knock-out, because the assailant forgot the need of “fixing” and the tactical formula of fixing plus decisive manoeuvre is, after all, but the domestic proverb, “First catch your hare, then cook it”. (p.43)

  17. #37
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    A new one from the author of "Psychology of Intelligence Analysis"; "Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis".

    I can't recommend it highly enough. He lays down a broad range of techniques in the framework of an adaptable methodology. A little more depth in the practice of the techniques might have been nice, but he provides references and sources for further reading for each technique.

    I'm going to be rereading this one, piece by piece, for weeks.

  18. #38
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Own Goals

    This is a small privately published book, Own Goals: national pride and defeat in war: the Rhodesian experience, by Roger Marston. It is available via Amazon: UK link:http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1...r_mts_prod_imgand USA:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/189...r_mts_prod_img

    Attached is my review. I open with:
    Roger Marston’s short book (193 pgs) is a good read and as Zimbabwe marks thirty years of independence the passage of time has enabled a fuller picture of what happened to Rhodesia. It will be difficult reading for some, not just Rhodesians, but those who admire her military performance – in a bloody insurgency campaign (1971-1979).
    Closing with:
    For me the author is on less certain ground when he writes in the concluding chapter ‘So what?’ that other settler countries need to learn those lessons – Israel and the USA. It would be an interesting subject for staff college discussions – the “ghost” of the last Rhodesian military commander, General Peter Walls, lives on today in Western COIN campaigns, discuss.
    Cross posted on the Rhodesian COIN thread.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-06-2010 at 10:22 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    I'm currently working on the PLA, COIN and trying to see if US operations in Afghanistan have influenced the PLA. So what am I reading? Mark Healy's Zitadelle. This wopuld have to be the best book on the Eastern Front from 1941 up to and including the Battle of Kursk and its aftermath. Nothing on COIN but an excellent read.

    I can't seem to find much useful work on Chinese COIN or even if they are incorporating US experiences in Afghanistan into their force structure. Oh well, more digging, reading and translations I suppose.

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    I just finished On Infantry by John A. English and Bruce I. Gudmundsson. I thoroughly enjoyed it until the last chapter which was just odd and pretty far off of reality. I am now reading Dr. Kissinger's book Diplomacy. I am only a couple hundred pages into it and now that I have started two online college classes I don't have as much time but I am really enjoying it. Speaking of those college classes, for one of them I have to do selected readings from Creasy's 15 Decisive Battles of the World: From Marathon to Waterloo. He seems to be a pretty good historian but he takes too much artistic license with his writing for my taste.
    “Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

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