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Thread: The John Boyd collection (merged thread)

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default 2007 Boyd Conference

    The folks at Defense and the National Interest (DNI) have been kind enough to offer a block of seats to members of the Small Wars Journal / Small Wars Council community of interest. Space is very limited – so it’s first come first serve – and the price is right – free. For additional information see the 2007 Boyd Conference entry at the SWJ Blog.

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    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Excellent

    I'm attending already - interested in meeting anyone else from SWC who shows up.

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    I'll be there Zen. Shoot me a PM.

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    Council Member ericmwalters's Avatar
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    Default Running the 4GW Panel

    Will be there, running the 9:30 to 10:30 panel on 4GW. Find me during a break!

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    Default The John Boyd collection (merged thread)

    Can anyone recommend a good introduction to Colonel Boyd's strategic thinking? I know some regard him as America's greatest strategist, but I know nothing about him beyond the Fighter Mafia/F-16 stuff and OODA Loop. Is there some good stuff of his online, or should I read Coram's book?

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    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
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    Default

    There is tons of stuff at DNI
    http://www.d-n-i.net/

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    Default

    Yes, DNI is a fine source, although I believe they focus on what he already knew.


    Hmm, Boyd as one of the US's greatest strategists?

    Well, the sad thing is it may be true. I remember only Mahan as premier league example.
    OODA loop merely gives the "tempo" a theoretical framework
    What Boyd did on fighters was purely tactical and narrowed on dogfights.

    I rate Luttwak at least as high as Boyd due to his work "Strategy: Logic in War and Peace".
    Maybe Mitchell was good, too - but I don't know enough about him.

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good introduction to Colonel Boyd's strategic thinking? I know some regard him as America's greatest strategist, but I know nothing about him beyond the Fighter Mafia/F-16 stuff and OODA Loop. Is there some good stuff of his online, or should I read Coram's book?
    I'd recommend Grant Hammond's book The Mind of War.

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    Thanks for the recommendations, will read Hammond's book and then Boyd's stuff on DNI. Does his Green Book actually exist, or is it just a way to describe his collected lectures and writings?

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    Council Member Dr Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good introduction to Colonel Boyd's strategic thinking?
    Another possibility is Fred Kagan's Finding the Target: The Transformation of American Military Policy. Kagan describes the evolution of airpower theory from Boyd to John Warden to "shock and awe."

    http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/a...rev/kagan.html

    Here's a paper by Boyd entitled "Destruction and Creation":

    http://www.belisarius.com/modern_bus...d_creation.htm

    Finally, a paper by Hammond entitled "The Essential Boyd":

    http://www.belisarius.com/modern_bus...ntial_boyd.htm

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    Default better Q might be where should his influence have ended

    Boyd seems excellent in fighter tactics and strategy but the central analogy when applied to forces of size seems to hold only when one faces a rational enemy who above all wishes to preserve the lives within the force. An army division can outmanuver and corner an enemy but unless the enemy is willing to surrender you may still have to destroy him and that requires a certain level of political will to support such actions made even more difficult when the opposing force usually justs melts back into the populace rather than die or surrender.

    Often we solace ourselve that a force that melts back into the populace is destroyed this in fact is not true they melted effectively on their own terms still armed with knowledge and experience if not actual arms.

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    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Cool

    I'll send you two a PM before I leave town so we can connect -Dave I'll come find you as well.

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    I liked Hammond's book more than Coram's FWIW.

    DNI and Belisarius are the two websites that have all of Boyds work on them.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

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    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Well I'll be flying in that afternoon from a business trip so I will definitely miss all the work, but if all goes well it looks like I will be in the AO in time to join the festivities at the "watering hole TBD."

    I wish that was all upside and more the story of my life.

    I hope to see some Small Wars Council members there.

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    Council Member Mondor's Avatar
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    How I expected to recognize anyone from SWJ at the conference I'll never know. I guess I thought that everyone would wear their screen name on their name tag.
    It is right to learn, even from one's enemies
    Ovid

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondor View Post
    How I expected to recognize anyone from SWJ at the conference I'll never know. I guess I thought that everyone would wear their screen name on their name tag.

    zenpundit should be easy to spot, what with that black robe and pasty complextion.

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    Default Lol !

    I'll cop to the pasty complexion but I left my black robe at the cleaners that day. I still found Dave and Ski without benefit of any Sith Lord attire.

    Great conference!

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    Is there going to be a write-up or summary?

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    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Summary Links for Boyd 2007


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    Default Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
    Thanks much Mark. It was a pleasure meeting you there - wish I had more time to talk...

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