Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Results 61 to 74 of 74

Thread: Small Wars: a wide reading list

  1. #61
    Council Member Hacksaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lansing, KS
    Posts
    361

    Default A completely different approach...

    The recommendations that preceeded this entry are all good and topical...

    I would offer a good investment of time would be The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt...

    If is an MBA for dummies in a single thin paperback book...
    Hacksaw
    Say hello to my 2 x 4

  2. #62
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post
    The recommendations that preceeded this entry are all good and topical...

    I would offer a good investment of time would be The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt...

    If is an MBA for dummies in a single thin paperback book...
    Still pimpin' that book! Sure you didn't get a cut? Hacksaw made me read it when we worked together ... actually learned something from it.

    Now if they made an Afghan version ...
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  3. #63
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    All of the military references are good, but for when you are ready to move from the suppression of insurgents to understaning the roots of causation in the relationship between government and the governed:

    "1776" by David McCullough

    "Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution" by Woody Holton

    "The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution" By David O. Stewart


    A great walk through why men rebel (both before and after the American Revolution) and how a group of former rebels debated through a long summer how to best codify counterinsurgency as a way to govern a nation.

    Read these first as the American experience is easier for Americans to empathize with than that of others. Then read the works written by insurgents. Mao, Gueverra, etc.

    THEN read the work written by Colonial and Containment "COIN" authors, men who in the military service of their respective countries were sent out to help suppress or resolve some popular uprising that was perceived as threat to a national government that had been carefully nurtured and shaped to represent the interests of said foreign power. (Galula, Kitson, Tranquier, Fall, etc)

    Last, read the works of guys like Nagl and others who assess the works of these Colonial, Containment and GWOT-driven "COIN" efforts and compare and contrast what techniques and approaches for sustaining such subordinate foreign governments in power were the most effective.

    (most, to include myself, do this backwards, so are slow to get at the true essence of insurgency and the realization that much of what is packaged as "COIN" by the West really is not COIN at all, but rather is how to apply the military in foregin countries to preserve governments in power that are more willing to support the interests of themselves and the foreign power, than they are those of the people they rule (often with impunity) under that umbrella of foreign protection.
    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)

  4. #64
    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    67

    Default A Few More...

    Two more that are worth the time are Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness. I'd also recommend getting a subscription to The Economist.

  5. #65
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    33

    Default A Basic Question

    You might have answered this question already, in which case mea culpa, but let me ask a basic question: what discipline do you intend to do your graduate work in? It seems you wish to focus on insurgency and the like, but from the perspective of history, political science, other...?

    Regards
    OC

  6. #66
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    36

    Default Thanks

    @outletclock

    I am looking into schools that actually offer a security studies program. Usually this means Political Science with a security concentration. Although some schools actually have a major in Security Studies (Kansas State University comes to mind). Failing that I will simply go for Political Science.

    @Bob's World

    Good suggestion, and yes it seems like I have been "going backwards" looking and Galula and the likes first...

  7. #67
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Belly of the beast
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    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).
    That is a great topical list. It should give you a minor background in the discipline but won't actually help you through a good graduate program. But, then again what would "I" know about graduate studies....

    I'd suggest you forwith, post haste, absurdly speedo read a few other things.

    Thomas Kuhn, "The structure of scientific revolutions"

    versus..

    Karl Popper, "Conjectures and Refutation: The growth of scientific knowledge"


    You will need these.....

    Michael Alley, "The craft of scientific writing"

    Michael Alley, "The craft of scientific presentations"

    Then in this corner...

    Garr Reynolds, "Presentation Zen simple ideas on presentation design and delivery"

    For the dreaded group projects a suggestion....

    David Straker, "Rapid Problem Solving with Post-It notes"

    Someday I'll post a youtube video on how to read. I know you think you know how, but you don't really. You likely read in serial and front to back. That is wrong. But, that is a topic for another day.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  8. #68
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    36

    Default read

    @selil

    Due to my school work at the moment I am really focused on the substantive side of my reading. However, I will add the other books and see if I can get through them at some point (probably not till next winter break, but I like having a long range plan).

    Also can you elaborate on your comments about reading?

  9. #69
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    "Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace"
    by Edward N. Luttwak

  10. #70
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    33

    Default Methods

    I'd take a look at van Evera, "Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science."

    The book has its flaws, but has its merits, too.

    I think exposure to methods could potentially be very useful.

    Regards
    OC

  11. #71
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Belly of the beast
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRaven View Post
    @selil

    Due to my school work at the moment I am really focused on the substantive side of my reading. However, I will add the other books and see if I can get through them at some point (probably not till next winter break, but I like having a long range plan).

    Also can you elaborate on your comments about reading?
    Let me put it to you this way. In my Masters and Doctoral program I had to read everything from computer science theory books, to fictional historical accounts of alien species (computer science is nothing if not esoteric). A semester trip to the book store has you walking out with 14 or 15 books. For each class. On average you had to read 4 to 5 books a week. With high cognitive understanding and ability to discuss in detail page by page what was going on. Instantly.

    How do you do that? In general if you read a book serially pretty poorly.

    So you don't read a "book" front to back. You read the first and last paragraph of the chapter. With text books you read the first and maybe second sentence of every paragraph. You read the sentence before, during, and after bolded words. You read the chapter summary (if there is one) and you finally read all the sidebars (as they usually draw context). You have at that point gutted the book and should be able to pass most any exam or inquisition.

    Journal articles are structured abstract-introduction-methods-results-conclusions-bibliography in general.

    You read them abstract-conclusions-results-methods and rarely read the introduction unless you are a neophyte to the field. This is easier to do in the sciences than in the "soft" side of the university. Your read the abstract to se if you are going to continue reading, and conclusions to see if you care. You read the results to compare against their methods. You should never cite papers from the introduction and only from the conclusions or results unless you are borrowing methods. Everything else is chaff.

    Always read the bibliography of any paper. It can lend weight to the credibility of a paper. After awhile you will know where the disciplines figures or leaders are and know what silos exist. The bibliography will define that sooner rather than later.

    Yes there are lots more "tricks" than these, but I consider them scholarly craftsmanship and part of the process of skill building.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  12. #72
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,349

    Default Updated and updates sought

    Just a reminder this list, now with four other threads merged in exists and perhaps readers can add new items?
    davidbfpo

  13. #73
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,349

    Default Admiral McRaven's short list

    From WaronTheRocks.com:
    .. the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) – .. says, “is to motivate members of the SOF [Special Operations Forces] community to grow professionally and personally. The USSOCOM Reading List represents important works for all SOFofficers, enlisted and civilians as well as those supporting the USSOCOM mission.
    Link:http://warontherocks.com/2013/11/adm...-reading-list/

    I've only read one, the last listed.
    davidbfpo

  14. #74
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Reading Suggestion for graduate seminar

    I'm a graduate student at Columbia University taking a year long seminar called "US Role in World Affairs". Taught by a former US Ambassador, with guest lectures from generals, prime ministers, and lots of policy makers, it is a great course. The professor has asked for recommendations for readings for next semester and I think that something focusing on America's shadow wars, in particular those fought since 9/11, would be a good addition. How is US power being exerted through SOF and other "black ops" around the world, and how does it affect US policy? I've found The Way of the Knife by Mark Mazetti, The Short American Century, a collection of essays edited by Andrew Bacevich, and Washington Rules by Bacevich. I've scanned the reading list on SWJ, and didn't find anything I thought would be topical. Any suggestions?

    I've been through this thread as well as the recommended reading elsewhere on the site, but haven't found anything.

Similar Threads

  1. How Insurgencies End
    By Jedburgh in forum Historians
    Replies: 113
    Last Post: 06-20-2011, 08:04 PM
  2. A Counter Terrorism reading list
    By davidbfpo in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 03-11-2011, 10:45 PM
  3. Small wars and Science Fiction
    By M-A Lagrange in forum Miscellaneous Goings On
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-29-2009, 04:56 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •