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Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2011

  1. #61
    Council Member Levi's Avatar
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    Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees.

    This was not a good book. I was hoping for a manual, but what I got was "cannot be a true bee keeper without being a philosopher and an artist". Not a true quote, but the gist. This book insulted me on every other page.

    Today while out admiring the fall color, I stopped by a lane containing about 40 hives, and asked the older gentleman if he had any pointers. He said "nah, I just look in the spring, and if there's lot's of bee's, I might add a hive." There were bee's swarming everywhere.

    I guess I better not try, the book's author drones (haw!) on about how complicated bee keeping is.

  2. #62
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is what you were after but "The Biology of the Honey Bee" by Mark L. Winston was an extremely interesting and well written book. It was great fun to read because it is great fun to learn so easily about something that I had no idea was so interesting.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  3. #63
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    Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer

    This book reads like a novel, understands human factors, technology and training and how they interact and is able to clearly convey how that affected the battles. The battles themselves are described in such a way that I could actually understand what was happening and, like I said, they read as good as any in Forester or O'Brien.

    One fascinating point is the author touched on is the different ways the surface navy and the aviators dealt with superior Japanese weapons. The aviators recognized the superiority of the Zero before the war started and developed tactics to effectively deal with it. The surface navy ignored or refused to recognize the superiority of the Long Lance torpedo well into the war even after a lot of ships had fallen victim to it. Both groups had sufficient pre-war intel to figure out what was what, but only the aviators acted.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  4. #64
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    "Assignement Selous Scouts" by Jim Parker

  5. #65
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Southern African conflicts

    BushrangerCZ,

    If historical books on conflict in Southern Africa are of interest I recommend:

    'Selous Scouts Top Secret War' by Lt.Col Ron Reid Daly, as told to Peter Stiff
    (Pub. 1982 and IIRC now expensive. Maybe in a good library).

    'The Elite: The Story of the Rhodesian Special Air Service' by Barbara Cole (Pub. 1984)

    'Koevoet:The Inside Story' by Jim Hooper (Pub. 1988 and a new edition due out soon)

    The thread on Rhodesia has a larger number of suggestions:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2090.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-10-2011 at 10:19 PM.
    davidbfpo

  6. #66
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    BushrangerCZ,

    If historical books on conflict in Southern Africa are of interest I recommend:

    'Selous Scouts Top Secret War' by Lt.Col Ron Reid Daly, as told to Peter Stiff
    (Pub. 1982 and IIRC now expensive. Maybe in a good library).

    'The Elite: The Story of the Rhodesian Special Air Service' by Barbara Cole (Pub. 1984)

    'Koevoet:The Inside Story' by Jim Hooper (Pub. 1988 and a new edition due out soon)

    The thread on Rhodesia has a larger number of suggestions.

    I'd add "Taming the land mine" - it's technical, but very interesting.

  7. #67
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    I have to say I find SA and Rhodesian conflicts interesting profesionally, in relation to infantry use for COIN in Afghanistan. So far I´ve read "Fireforce", "19 with a bullet", "The Bush War in Rhodesia", and, of course, "Tactical Tracking". I think I have found what I was looking for, now I will try to use this knowledge in training...

  8. #68
    Registered User GMLRS's Avatar
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    Outliers-- Malcolm Gladwell

    The Age of the Unthinkable-- Joshua Cooper Ramo

  9. #69
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Clothing materials: a totally (or near-totally) subjective analysis of newer clothing materials for outdoor clothing,” an informal and uncommissioned review of high performance fabrics by Keith Conover, an emergency room doc and member of the Allegheny Mountain Rescue Group. In anticipation of the change in season from muggy and tick-infested to cold and snowbound and the accompanied purchase of some new kit.

    Possibly of interest to members of this forum: “Though the Army does a lot of testing of clothing materials, they often have to promise the companies not release the test results—so if you hear something unofficially from someone who knows someone [at Natick], what they say is probably true.”
    Last edited by ganulv; 10-11-2011 at 07:30 PM. Reason: cosas
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  10. #70
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Stephen Kinzer, "Reset"

    Just getting started, but this look at Turkey and Iran and how important they are to the future of US foreign policy in the Middle East is worth picking up.

    Consider, that "Arab Spring" really began over 100 years ago with the populaces of these two great nations rising up to challenge long standing despotic regimes in a quest for more democratic, legitimate and self-determined forms of government.

    The discovery of oil in Iran, the post-WWI divvying up of the Ottoman empire, and a century of Western efforts to put any such advances in self-determination in the region on hold in favor of Western interests until the modern era is well worth considering.

    For a Western society that thinks in convenient 20 year time blocks and views the Middle East through a very Western lens I think this offers a critical perspective that needs to be incorporated in our current thinking.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  11. #71
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    I don't read this, but it might interest others:

    S. B. Miles, "The Countries and Tribes of the Persian Gulf. Two volumes in one"
    Publisher: Harrison and SONS | 1919 | ASIN B000WQ67LI | PDF | 283, 394 pages | 22.3 MB

  12. #72
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    “On playing by the rules – the strange success of #OccupyWallStreet” by David Graeber. LINK
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  13. #73
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I don't read this, but it might interest others:

    S. B. Miles, "The Countries and Tribes of the Persian Gulf. Two volumes in one"
    Publisher: Harrison and SONS | 1919 | ASIN B000WQ67LI | PDF | 283, 394 pages | 22.3 MB
    I believe it was Anwar Sadat who described the countries of the Arabian Peninsula as "Tribes with Flags."
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  14. #74
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default I know it has been previously mentioned

    but I have been working my way through Max (son of Mel) Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War while weathering a nasty virus(!) and I want to re-recommend it. It is basically GWoT issues in a hard sci-fi wrapper—imagine BSG before that show went teats up. The book is a series of interviews with the oral history format being inspired by Studs Terkel’s The Good War. Below is an extended excerpt of an interview with an American general. Interesting to note that the book was published in 2006.

    Had any of you read the Warmbrunn-Knight report?

    No, none of us. I had heard the name, but had no idea about its content. I actually got my hands on a copy about two years after the Great Panic. Most of its military measures were almost line for line in step with our own.

    Your own what?

    Our proposal to the White House. We outlined a fully comprehensive program, not only to eliminate the threat within the United States, but to roll back and contain it throughout the entire world.

    What happened?


    The White House loved Phase One. It was cheap, fast, and if executed properly, 100 percent covert. Phase One involved the insertion of Special Forces units into infested areas. Their orders were to investigate, isolate, and eliminate.

    Those were the Alpha teams?

    Yes, sir, and they were extremely successful. Even though their battle record is sealed for the next 140 years, I can say that it remains one of the most outstanding moments in the history of America’s elite warriors.

    So what went wrong?

    Nothing, with Phase One, but the Alpha teams were only supposed to be a stopgap measure. Their mission was never to extinguish the threat, only delay it long enough to buy time for Phase Two.

    But Phase Two was never completed.


    Never even begun, and herein lies the reason why the American military was caught so shamefully unprepared. Phase Two required a massive national undertaking, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the darkest days of the Second World War. That kind of effort requires
    Herculean amounts of both national treasure and national support, both of which, by that point, were nonexistent. The American people had just been through a very long and bloody conflict. They were tired. They’d had enough. Like the 1970s, the pendulum was swinging from a militant stance to a very resentful one. In totalitarian regimes—communism, fascism, religious fundamentalism—popular support is a given. You can start wars, you can prolong them, you can put anyone in uniform for any length of time without ever having to worry about the slightest political backlash. In a democracy, the polar opposite is true. Public support must be husbanded as a finite national resource. It must be spent wisely, sparingly, and with the greatest return on your investment. America is especially sensitive to war weariness, and nothing brings on a backlash like the perception of defeat. I say “perception” because America is a very all-or-nothing society. We like the big win, the touchdown, the knockout in the first round. We like to know, and for everyone else to know, that our victory wasn’t only uncontested, it was positively devastating. If not… well… look at where we were before the Panic. We didn’t lose the last brushfire conflict, far from it. We actually accomplished a very difficult task with very few resources and under extremely unfavorable circumstances. We won, but the public didn’t see it that way because it wasn’t the blitzkrieg smackdown that our national spirit demanded. Too much time had gone by, too much money had been spent, too many lives had been lost or irrevocably damaged. We'd not only squandered all our public support, we were deeply in the red.
    Last edited by ganulv; 10-26-2011 at 05:04 PM. Reason: formatting
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  15. #75
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default For intelligence analysts

    A former Washington insider, Thomas Fingar, has written a short book 'Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security', pub. July 2011 by Stanford Security Studies.

    This is a real gem for all intelligence analysts that deserves a thorough reading. I'd recommend this for students on courses in international politics, history, strategy and intelligence - to name the obvious ones.

    Before reading it discovered it had not been reviewed on Amazon, which was slightly puzzling.

    I've added slightly different reviews on:http://www.amazon.com/Reducing-Uncer...cm_rdp_product and:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reducing-Unc...9663070&sr=1-1
    davidbfpo

  16. #76
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
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    Just started reading Shooting to Kill?, about police shooting in the UK.
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

  17. #77
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default The paper that helped introduced the term ‘unintended consequences.’

    Robert K. Merton, “The unanticipated consequences of purposive social action,” American Sociological Review 1, no. 6 (December 1936): 894–904. doi: 10.2307/2084615.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  18. #78
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    Surveillance tradecraft, Peter Jenkins

  19. #79
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Ah!

    BushrangerCZ,

    Excellent tip.

    I note the book originates from the UK, claiming to be a spin-off from the Ulster experience of the military: Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com/Surveillance-T...5022333&sr=1-1 Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surveillance...5043556&sr=1-1
    davidbfpo

  20. #80
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    I like the book, very instructional, practically a manual.

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