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Thread: Small Wars: a wide reading list

  1. #41
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Honourable Mention: Mark Twain's,

    A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court

  2. #42
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    Lightbulb Pre-Masters Program Reading List

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    As I approach the end of undergrad I am settling on going onto higher levels of education and focusing on National Security and especially terrorism/revolution/small wars and intelligence (as at this moment my long term, hoped for, goal is to join the intelligence community).

    As I have about a year before I begin grad school, always keeping my fingers crossed that I get into one ! I have time to do some reading. So I have compiled a reading list of books that I find interesting (you might notice it's based mostly on posts here at SWJ, go search function!)
    I would like to solicit opinions of my list. I am missing anything? Should I take anything out? Maybe there is theme or certain time period that I am missing? etc, etc...

    Also I know I am missing some history books. For example I recently read "Street Without Joy" and ” The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia." So any suggestions of that type of book would be great.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Social Movements and Organization Theory (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics) by Gerald F. Davis

    The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran by Charles Kurzman
    States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China by Theda Skocpol

    The Anatomy of Revolution by Clarence Crane Brinton, Crane Brinton

    THINKING LIKE A TERRORIST: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent by Mike German

    The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibrahim (Editor)

    U.S. Army Counterinsurgency and Contingency Operations Doctrine, 1942-1976 (Paperbound) by A. J. Birtle

    US Army Counterinsurgency and Contingency Operations Doctrine, 1860-1941 by Andrew J. Birtle (Author)

    The Village by Francis J. West

    The Savage Wars Of Peace: Small Wars And The Rise Of American Power by Max Boot

    Soldier Sahibs: The Daring Adventurers Who Tamed India's Northwest Frontier by Charles Allen

    From Pablo to Osama: Trafficking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation by Michael Kenney

    Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare (Companion) by Daniel Marston (Editor), Carter Malkasian (Editor)

    The Insurgent Archipelago (Columbia/Hurst) by John Mackinlay

    Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) by Jeremy M. Weinstein

    What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism (Lionel Robbins Lectures) by Alan B. Krueger

    On Violence (Harvest Book) by Hannah Arendt

    On Revolution (Penguin Classics) by Hannah Arendt

    War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare by Robert Taber

    The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) by Stathis N. Kalyvas

    Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies: Guerrillas and their Opponents since 1750 (Warfare and History) by I. F. W. Beckett

    Insurgency, Terrorism, and Crime: Shadows from the Past and Portents for the Future (International and Security Affairs) by Max G. Manwaring

    Contra Cross: Insurgency And Tyranny in Central America, 1979-1989 by William R. Meara

    Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer

    Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach, 3rd Edition by Robert M. Clark

    Intelligence Essentials for Everyone by Lisa Krizan (Author)

    The Craft of Intelligence by Allen Welsh Dulles, Allen Dulles

    Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq by Ahmed Hashim

    The Afghanistan-Pakistan Theater: Militant Islam, Security & Stability by Hassan Abbas

    Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field (Columbia/Hurst) by Antonio Giustozzi (Editor)

    Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill by Jessica Stern

    Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom by Mohammed M. Hafez

    Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) by Roger Trinquier

    Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Anthony Pape
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRaven View Post
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    As I approach the end of undergrad I am settling on going onto higher levels of education and focusing on National Security and especially terrorism/revolution/small wars and intelligence (as at this moment my long term, hoped for, goal is to join the intelligence community).

    As I have about a year before I begin grad school, always keeping my fingers crossed that I get into one ! I have time to do some reading. So I have compiled a reading list of books that I find interesting (you might notice it's based mostly on posts here at SWJ, go search function!)
    I would like to solicit opinions of my list. I am missing anything? Should I take anything out? Maybe there is theme or certain time period that I am missing? etc, etc...

    Also I know I am missing some history books. For example I recently read "Street Without Joy" and ” The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia." So any suggestions of that type of book would be great.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Social Movements and Organization Theory (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics) by Gerald F. Davis

    The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran by Charles Kurzman
    States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China by Theda Skocpol

    The Anatomy of Revolution by Clarence Crane Brinton, Crane Brinton

    THINKING LIKE A TERRORIST: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent by Mike German

    The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibrahim (Editor)

    U.S. Army Counterinsurgency and Contingency Operations Doctrine, 1942-1976 (Paperbound) by A. J. Birtle

    US Army Counterinsurgency and Contingency Operations Doctrine, 1860-1941 by Andrew J. Birtle (Author)

    The Village by Francis J. West

    The Savage Wars Of Peace: Small Wars And The Rise Of American Power by Max Boot

    Soldier Sahibs: The Daring Adventurers Who Tamed India's Northwest Frontier by Charles Allen

    From Pablo to Osama: Trafficking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation by Michael Kenney

    Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare (Companion) by Daniel Marston (Editor), Carter Malkasian (Editor)

    The Insurgent Archipelago (Columbia/Hurst) by John Mackinlay

    Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) by Jeremy M. Weinstein

    What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism (Lionel Robbins Lectures) by Alan B. Krueger

    On Violence (Harvest Book) by Hannah Arendt

    On Revolution (Penguin Classics) by Hannah Arendt

    War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare by Robert Taber

    The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) by Stathis N. Kalyvas

    Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies: Guerrillas and their Opponents since 1750 (Warfare and History) by I. F. W. Beckett

    Insurgency, Terrorism, and Crime: Shadows from the Past and Portents for the Future (International and Security Affairs) by Max G. Manwaring

    Contra Cross: Insurgency And Tyranny in Central America, 1979-1989 by William R. Meara

    Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer

    Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach, 3rd Edition by Robert M. Clark

    Intelligence Essentials for Everyone by Lisa Krizan (Author)

    The Craft of Intelligence by Allen Welsh Dulles, Allen Dulles

    Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq by Ahmed Hashim

    The Afghanistan-Pakistan Theater: Militant Islam, Security & Stability by Hassan Abbas

    Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field (Columbia/Hurst) by Antonio Giustozzi (Editor)

    Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill by Jessica Stern

    Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom by Mohammed M. Hafez

    Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) by Roger Trinquier

    Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Anthony Pape
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks
    Are we a bunch of guys who read the same books?

  4. #44
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) by Jeremy M. Weinstein
    Scratch this one - a limited study that seeks to prove a somewhat monocausal thesis - that insurgent brutality is dependent on the sources of insurgent funding. It has all the weaknesses of any monocausal explanation and is written in academese to boot.

    I would suggest adding Resistance and Control in Pakistan by Akhbar S. Ahmed and Uncomfortable Wars Revisited by Council member John T. Fishel & Max Manwaring. Also Stathis Kalyvas has a bunch of his research papers up on the internet, which make excellent free reading here.

  5. #45
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    Default More Books

    Understanding Terror Networks by Marc Sageman
    Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife by John Nagl

  6. #46
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    @SAMS2007

    Read those two.

    @tequila

    Thanks, also good idea with the online stuff, I just got a kindle for my birthday and now I know what to fill it with...

  7. #47
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    Default Online Articles > Hardcopy Books, and addendum

    In the spirit of Tequila noting that Kalyvas has research papers online, I'd suggest that, if you have access to them, you download papers that were published prior to books. Two examples:

    Paper, "Strategic Logic," was published in the American Political Science Review.

    Kenney, "Osama to Bin Laden" was published in Survival.

    You might well be able to get the gist of the books by reading the articles, and save yourself some time.

    In terms of history, what about "The Generals' War" (Gordon and Trainor on the Gulf War) and Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy (currently at two books)?

    Bard O'Neill's "Insurgency and Terrorism" is an extraordinarily well-written book, particularly given it's a handbook that, in some ways, lacks a thesis.

    I think Rosen's "Winning the Next War," about military innovation, is a great book.

    If you aim to go into intelligence, both Intelligence and National Security, and, despite its pulp-sounding title, International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence are both very solid journals, as are the Journal of Strategic Studies and Security Studies, in addition to International Security; World Politics and International Organization also publish security-oriented articles on occasion, as well as international and comparative politics more generally. If comparative politics is your thing - and if you're trying for a regional focus in the intelligence community - you might want to check out Comparative Politics and Comparative Political Studies.

    "A Behavioral Theory of the Firm" and "Essence of Decision" are both nice works on organizational behavior - you can skip the case study chapters on the Cuban Missile Crisis if you're so inclined with respect to the latter.

    Finally, as both history, literature (somewhat), and a primer on PC-COIN circa 1960, "The Ugly American" is hard to beat.

    Again, though, you've got a very long reading list - above all else, I'd see if you can find article versions of the books to spare yourself reading that you really don't need.

    Regards
    OC

    PS - Apologies in advance if I listed works you've already listed.

  8. #48
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Read the Cliff notes version of some of Karl Marx's writings. It's all his fault

  9. #49
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    Default Take a wider viewpoint

    I'd give THINKING LIKE A TERRORIST: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent by Mike German - a miss - disappointed was I.

    Replace with: 'Inside the Jihad' by Omar Nasiri (2006) and 'Rebel Hearts' by Kevin Toolis (1996).

    Surely 'The Looming Tower' by Lawrence Wright, without doubt the best AQ background read?

    Try 'Terrorism: How to respond' by Richard English and 'The Psychology of Counter-Terrorism' Edited by Andrew Silke.

    Finally Alistair Horne's book 'A Savage War of Peace' and Professor R.V. Jones books on scientific intelligence.

    Try to avoid an Anglo-US centric viewpoint, read on conflicts where neither party was involved and avoid too many contemporary conflicts. There is much to learn from history. I am sure a similar RFI on a French / Spanish / Russian speaking blog would be quite different.
    davidbfpo

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    Gentlemen: this is awesome...

    @outletclock
    I have Bard O'Niell (picked it up at the Bragg PX, in fact it was one the first books of this nature that I ever read). Also the journals are a very good idea, but dang the things are expensive I will ask the research librarian at college if any of the ones you suggested are available through our system.

    @davidbfpo
    I will definitely poke around and see if I can find a Russian blog of this nature. It may take me a while to figure out how to phrase this request in Russian, but what the heck its good practice

    again thanks all.

  11. #51
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Add Military Geography by John M. Collins.

    The Bear Went Over the Mountain - Lester Grau

    The Other Side of the Mountain - Lester Grau

    On Guerrilla Warfare - Mao Tse Tung


    I didn't see "Three Cups of Tea" on there.....
    Last edited by RTK; 04-19-2011 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Added On Gurrilla Warfare
    Example is better than precept.

  12. #52
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    Default Eqbal Ahmad and Jack McCuen

    A short one (just 24 pages) and mostly to think about - Eqbal Ahmad, “Revolutionary Warfare: How to Tell When the Rebels Have Won”
    (pdf).

    And, its counterpoint, The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War by John J. McCuen (from Hailer).

    Regards

    Mike

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    @jmm99

    I will download that paper. I have McCuen, actually HTS had him as a guest speaker during our training so we all got the book as well as the lecture.

    @RTK

    Read those three.

    No you won't be seeing "Three Cups of Tea" or anything else developmenty on the list. I have nothing against development work, and it has it time and place. Its just not really my cup of tea... ( sorry feeling puny this morning)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRaven View Post
    Should I take anything out? Maybe there is theme or certain time period that I am missing? etc, etc...

    Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) by Roger Trinquier
    RedRaven,

    I don't ask you to take Trinquier's book off the list. However, please note that the French lost most counterinsurgencies they got involved in. My suggestion is you read something on a counterinsurgency that was American, more recent, and succesfull. Better still, it is available for free on this site.

    Major Paul P. Cale, "The United States Military Advisory Group in El Salvador, 1979-1992," Small Wars Journal, 1996

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/cale.pdf

  15. #55
    Council Member max161's Avatar
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    Default Some readings to consider

    Ted Gurr – Why Men Rebel, 1970
    Eric Hoffer – The True Believer, 1951 (23d ed., 2002)
    Gene Sharp – From Dictatorship to Democracy, 2002
    Saul Alinksy – Rules for Radicals, 1971
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

  16. #56
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    Default Keep 'em coming

    @marc

    I will keep the book on my list as it is part of the "vocabulary" (I think another council member was refering to this concept in another thread about reading lists) of COIN, but I will also keep in mind what you said. I think the same thing when I read Galula.

    @max161

    Read Hoffer, will add the other ones...

  17. #57
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    Default Ethics and Law - Yuck

    I was reminded of this subject matter area in looking at COL Maxwell's list (endorse all those oldies but still goodies - hey, all Old Timers ); and by the discussion re: Trinquier and Galula. As to Galula, his most useful work for thinking and discussion is Galula's monograph at Rand (free in the pdf download), Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958.

    That piece is here reviewed by our own Polarbear1605:

    I like the oven idea!

    -------------------------

    Quote [orig. from jmm99]:
    Putting the insurgent in the baker's oven (it worked) would not be within UCMJ bounds today.
    Actually, I like the oven idea because it was a ruse. I also understand what the Field Manual says about detainees. So the question then becomes; How does the Company Commander get the infomation he needs when fighting a counter insurgence? I really think we need a separate SOP for handling "detainees" in an insurgency. ruse = a wily subterfuge; sounds much better than "stick him in the oven" and should be authorized.

    Pacification in Algeria should be mandatory reading for Lts, Capts and especially, Generals
    BTW: The French won the military struggle; they lost the political struggle.

    The Great White Bear's comment allows me to segué into my other choices - and not a lawbook among them

    Next, a topic dear to the hearts of PB1605 and jmm99 - defense of folks tried before courts-martial for alleged homicides of "civilians" during the course of irregular warfare. For that, we take an entertainment break (pun was actually unintentional - I'm still on my first coffee):

    Breaker Morant (film)

    Court martial of Breaker Morant

    Breaker Morant (link drops down to discussion of the Scapegoats book by George Witton, the only accused not executed)

    Lieut. George Witton, Scapegoats of the Empire: The True Story of Breaker Morant'S Bushveldt Carbineers (1907 -A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook)

    I have not attempted to defend the doings of the ill-starred Bushveldt Carbineers, or the policy of those who employed them.

    The methods of dealing with prisoners, which have been solely attributed to that corps, were in active operation before the so-called "Australian" officers went to the Spelonken district--a fact which the English press, and a large section of the Australian press, systematically ignored.

    When I arrived in Australia, I found that the grossest misrepresentations had been made by those primarily responsible for the manner of the warfare which "staggered humanity," and that they had succeeded in linking the name of Australia with the most tragic and odious incidents connected with a mercenary and inglorious war.
    BTW: the trial transcript went missing.
    The collision of the Laws of War and the Rule of Law is never a simple one in cases involving irregular warfare.

    Finally and another free one: Peter A. Newall, Preparing the Strategic Sergeant for War in a Flat World: Challenges in the Application of Ethics and and the Rules of Engagement (ROE) in Joint/Multinational/Multicultural Operations (2008 Master's thesis) (at DTIC).

    In the usual run of things, I end up reading materials by active and retired JAG officers, and by I Law professors (some of them are actually OK). It was refreshing to see this subject approached by a non-legal beagle, combat officer.

    The thesis has five parts:

    Chapter I – Introduction

    Chapter II – Doctrinal Review (a non-technical focus on: The Theory of Armed Conflict; US Policy and Law; Rules of Engagement; Commander’s Intent)

    Chapter III – Situational Analysis (focus on his Analytical Model & Case Study – The Fall of a Warrior King) - discussed here at SWC in "Sassaman Interview"

    Chapter IV – Training (focus on Institutional Training; Combat Training Center Program)

    Chapter V – Summary and Conclusions (focus on Understanding the Law of War; Collective Training)
    This is simply a good, practical article (again, for thought and discussion), which should be more relevant to combat officers than to armchair lawyers (though it certainly held my interest).

    So, everyone else reading this should read COL Newell's thesis - these for optional viewing

    Coffee nearly finished (regular cup size, but Bedouin-style w/ lots of sugar - wire-up time) - so, time to go.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 04-19-2011 at 04:04 PM.

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    @jmm99

    you said it "Ethics and Law -- Yuck." This is definitely not an area of interest for me. But, because I am not as interested in it I probably don't read about it enough so I will definitely add "Preparing the Strategic Sergeant for War in a Flat World: Challenges in the Application of Ethics and and the Rules of Engagement (ROE)"

    Somewhat tangentially, have you (or anyone) read "One For All: The Logic of Group Conflict" by Russell Hardin?

  19. #59
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    Default Group conflict ....

    not really - I just do a little bit of Law and Ethics.

    Cheers



    Mike

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    On anything to do with Afghanistan, especially the Taliban insurgency Antonio Giustozzi is your man.
    I read Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007 for an MA course work piece on the re-emergence of the Taliban. Can't rate it highly enough.

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