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Thread: Small Wars: a wide reading list

  1. #21
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    Default Next Small War?

    Maybe we should have read this one:

    Resource Wars

    And what exactly is a small war?

    War is a Racket(MOH recipient)

    (Did I make it on some"watch list")
    Last edited by GorTex6; 03-22-2006 at 05:34 PM.

  2. #22
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    Government and Revolution in Viet Nam, by Dennis Duncanson, Oxford University Press, 1968. The best there is among the histories of VN. A must read. Unparalleled in depth of scholarship and far more critical in its analysis than popular works such as those of Fitzgerald and Karnow. The author argues that two deeply rooted traditions have clashed throughout VN's history of two millenia--(1)an autocratic center (legacy of Confucian China); and (2)the centrifugal forces of village autonomy, local warlordism and a penchant for cultism/violent secret societies. Hence, the nascent Viet Minh and VC were sustained not by a surfeit of French or Diemist autocracy (as often misdiagnosed by Americans), but rather, were nurtured under conditions that constrained a weak center from extending its power into the villages and hamlets.
    Duncanson served with Thompson, both in Malaya and for several years on the UK Advisory Mission to RVN, and acknowledges weaving Thompson's and their colleagues' thinking into the fabric of this book. Provides insights that only an insider can.
    Last edited by Mike in Hilo; 08-22-2006 at 12:54 AM.

  3. #23
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    Two more:

    1) Modern Warfare, by Roger Trinquier. It's available in the swj Reference Library under Counterinsurgency-insurgency, but also deserves inclusion in the Reading List. Essential manual focusing heavily on "classical" urban population control/surveillance through targeting the infrastructure and organization/regimentation of the populace. Lessons of Indochina as refined in Algeria.

    2) A Better War, by Lewis Sorley. 1968-75 VN coverage...And it ain't all "clear and hold;"-- important disruption of the border sanctuaries took place on Abrams's watch. ...... Surprised this one isn't on the list.
    Last edited by Mike in Hilo; 05-07-2006 at 02:44 AM.

  4. #24
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    The New Great Game : Blood and Oil in Central Asia, Lutz Kleveman
    Conventional thinking on a possible confrontation between the U.S. and China assumes that the geography of conflict will be off of China's coast over the Taiwan issue or as competition for the Spratly Islands heats up. In his first book, veteran war correspondent Kleveman makes the intriguing argument that the challenge to U.S. primacy will in fact take place to the west of China's hinterland province Xingjiang over the resources of the energy-rich Caspian Sea and the surrounding Central Asian republics. The central thesis, that the U.S., China, Russia and Iran are now engaged in a New Great Game, a power struggle for control of the region's vast oil and gas reserves, is thinly woven through the narrative in what is largely a war zone travel diary. Kleveman, who readily admits his conviction that the recent war in Iraq was motivated by the interests of Houston oilmen, similarly treats the war on terrorism as little more than a pretext for the presence of U.S. troops in the region to secure oil interests and pipeline routes. Thus, the book gives the impression that Kleveman has selectively presented interviews with oil ministers and locals that lend his argument the most weight, while giving short shrift to those with opposing views. The work draws attention to a little understood and increasingly important part of the world where oil, Islam and terrorism converge to create havoc, but in the end, Kleveman fails to show that competition and not cooperation will mark the development of the region's resources. Agent, Emma Parry, Carlisle & Co.(Sept.)
    Last edited by GorTex6; 04-05-2006 at 06:49 PM.

  5. #25
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    Thumbs up

    The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives , Zbigniew Brzezinski
    As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the world's only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered: What should be the nation's global strategy for maintaining its exceptional position in the world? Zbigniew Brzesinski tackles this question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book.
    Must read, written in 1997, the GWOT will finally "make sense"

    Read page 911....er 211...you will see why 2/11 errr...9/11 happened
    Last edited by GorTex6; 05-06-2006 at 08:05 PM.

  6. #26
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    Blood and Oil : The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum , Michael T. Klare
    Since the tragic events of September 11 and the commencement of the "war on terror", the ralationship between US policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region's soil has come under close scrutiny. In Blood and Oil, international security expert Michael T. Klare traces oil's impact on foreign affairs from World War II to the present, arguing that America's oil-influenced military actions will only increase in the coming years. By 2020, the United States will need to import twice as much fuel per year as id did in 1990, and since most of this oil will come from chronically unstable, strongly anti-American regions-the Gulf, the Caspian Sea, and Africa-recurrent involvement in violent conflict is sure to follow.
    With clarity and urgency, Blood and Oil delineates the United States' predicament: America's wells are drying up even as its demand increases while anti-American fervor is building in the world's oil-rich nations. It is time, Klare cautions, to change our energy policies, before we spen the next decades paying for oil with blood.
    Good intel....Post 9/11 follow up for Resource Wars
    Last edited by GorTex6; 05-06-2006 at 08:07 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Events staging small wars

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins

    Perkins writes that his economic projections cooked the books Enron-style to convince foreign governments to accept billions of dollars of loans from the World Bank and other institutions to build dams, airports, electric grids, and other infrastructure he knew they couldn't afford. The loans were given on condition that construction and engineering contracts went to U.S. companies. Often, the money would simply be transferred from one bank account in Washington, D.C., to another one in New York or San Francisco. The deals were smoothed over with bribes for foreign officials, but it was the taxpayers in the foreign countries who had to pay back the loans. When their governments couldn't do so, as was often the case, the U.S. or its henchmen at the World Bank or International Monetary Fund would step in and essentially place the country in trusteeship, dictating everything from its spending budget to security agreements and even its United Nations votes. It was, Perkins writes, a clever way for the U.S. to expand its "empire" at the expense of Third World citizens. While at times he seems a little overly focused on conspiracies, perhaps that's not surprising considering the life he's led.
    I don't buy into his 'bleeding heart' crap though.
    Last edited by GorTex6; 06-12-2006 at 01:14 AM.

  8. #28
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    Default Another Couple of Possibles

    Not a Good Day to Die by Sean Naylor.
    The Secret War Against Hanoi by Richard Schultz.

    The first covers Operation Anaconda and provides some interesting insights into how that operation was planned and indeed micromanaged by Franks and others.

    The second deals with SOG during the Vietnam War. Very illuminating when dealing with the strengths and weaknesses of special operations.

  9. #29
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    Got 'Learning to eat soup with a knife' by Nagl, cheap price aswell (I love you amazon!) today, planning to read in the near future.

    Nearly finished 'On War' but I am reading through the largely redundant chapters on marches, billets etc, I have decided not to foregoe these chapters because I feel that I should read the whole thing to get an overall perspective, plus I may miss something that relates to the more important parts of the book

    Have also been going through John Keegan's 'Intelligence in War', may disagree with him about Clausewitz but it is still a very informative and well put together book.

  10. #30
    Council Member CR6's Avatar
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    Just finished Nagl. Great read regarding armies as learning organizations.

    Currently reading Hashim's Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq.

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom is in the queue.
    "Law cannot limit what physics makes possible." Humanitarian Apsects of Airpower (papers of Frederick L. Anderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University)

  11. #31
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    Default 2 for thought

    I am reading 2.

    a. Dr. Joe Nye's monograph on Soft Power; great foundation for better understanding strategic IO. excellent foundation for looking at GWOT as global COIN and use of non-lethal power.

    b. Assassin's Gate by Packer (also reviewed this month in Parameters by a friend, Andy Terrill); excellent insights on evolution of neocon thought and influence of Iraqi long term dissidents/expatriates.

    Best
    Tom

  12. #32
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    Default Just finished, halfway done, up next.....

    This may or may not be of great interest to the list, but hey, it's what I'm reading...

    Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O. Wilson -

    Superb premise and better survey of the principles of the sciences and humanities. Indirectly useful if you are heavy into mil theory.

    The Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans

    A masterpiece study of Nazi Germany, second volume in a trilogy. Emphasis on the Nazi " coordination" of German life and Hitler's policies up until WWII

    Up next:

    Global Brain by Howard Bloom

  13. #33
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    Default Reading List

    Just picked up Bernard Fall's, "Last Reflections on War". Hope this is inightful on understanding the insurgency going on now and others.

    Rob

  14. #34
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    Default Two New Titles for SWJ Reading List

    I highly recommend two titles that do not appear on the SWJ reading list currently. The first, The Jungle is Neutral was written by Spencer Chapman, DSO, about his experiences waging guerilla warfare against the Japanese in Malaya during WWII. The Second is My Reminiscences of East Africa by Col. Paul von Lettow-Vorbek. Vorbek waged a four-year campaign against British and S. Africa forces during WWI, without resupply.

  15. #35
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    Default Book recommendations

    Both excellent books Menning .

  16. #36
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    Default Advisor Reading List

    I've been looking for a comprehensive list of suggested reading for future advisors, and haven't found much. I know that there are a number of works out there just in the Marine Corps Gazette, I'm sure that the Army's journals have an article or two as well. So, what I'd like to do is start sort of an informal listing of works that you think would be good reading for future TT members. I've started with a short list that is by no means exhaustive, just to get the ball rolling:

    FM 3-07.1 Security Force Assistance

    Maj Brian E. Russell, “Flipping the Switch: Advising Advanced Host-Nation Forces.” Marine Corps Gazette, January 2009.

    CWO5 Terry L. Walker, “Lessons Learned: Valuable Information for Training or Advising Iraqis.” Marine Corps Gazette, June 2008.

    1stLt Brett A. Friedman, “Training In Transition: A Call for Restructuring of Transition Team Training.” Marine Corps Gazette, June 2008.

    Richard M. Cavagnol, LTC Richard L. Hayes and MAJ Daniel C. Turner, “From Vietnam to Iraq: Applying Lessons and Maturing the Advisor-Counterpart Relationship.” Marine Corps Gazette, January 2008.

    Maj Christopher E. Phelps, Michelle Ramsden Zbylutt, and Jason Brunner, “Selecting and Training U.S. Advisors: Interpersonal Skills and the Advisor-Counterpart Relationship.” Marine Corps Gazette, March 2009.

    Col Juan Ayala, “Reflections.” Marine Corps Gazette, March 2008.

    Maj Jack A. Sile and LtCol James B. Higgings, “Intelligence Advising on the Military Transition Team.” Marine Corps Gazette, September 2008.

    Combat Studies Institute, Occasional Paper #19—Advice for Advisors: Suggestions and Observations from Lawrence to the Present. Robert Ramsey, August 2006.

    Combat Studies Institute, Occasional Paper #18—Advising Indigenous Forces: American Advisors in Korea, Vietnam, and El Salvador. Robert Ramsey, June 2006.

    Daniel P. Bolger, “So You Want to Be an Advisor.” Military Review, January-February 2006.

    David Donovan, Once a Warrior King.

    Bing West, The Village.

    Col G. H. Turley, The Easter Offensive: The Last American Advisors, Vietnam, 1972.

    The Marine Advisor: Preparation for Duty Overseas : Motivational Comparison of U.S. Marine Advisors versus Arab Muslims, June 2006.

    Communion in Conflict: The Marine Advisor, Volume II, 1975.

    Communion in Conflict: The Marine Advisor, Volume III, Vietnam 1954-1973, March 2006 (ongoing).

    Communion in Conflict: The Marine Advisor in the Middle East, March 2006 (ongoing).

  17. #37
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    A used, first edition of this has been sitting on the shelf for years. Now might be the time to crack it open. Shouldn't be too hard, the last guy to own it has furiously underlined numerous sections in ballpoint.


    "that" guy

  18. #38
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    Default 2 titles

    1. Security Force Assistance: The Mosul Case - book published here on SWJ by Rob Thornton (lead author), Marc Tyrrell and me, Download is free.
    2. Stalking the Viet Cong (original title: Silence Was a Weapon) by COL (ret.) Stuart Herrington.

    Cheers

    JohnT
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-31-2009 at 01:07 PM.

  19. #39
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    Default Historical items

    There is another RFI thread on UW which has suggestions, which may have an application: .

    I suggested some titles then and have thinned it out: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=4613

    'They Live by the Sword', on the only black SADF infantry unit, 32 Buffalo Battalion by Col. Jan Breytenbach (fighting in Angola & SW Africa; included as unusual)

    'SAS Operation Oman' by Col Tony Jeapes (Dhofar campaign early '70s). See new edition review, under new title: http://smallwarsjournal.com/mag/docs...49-weinger.pdf. There is another book on the campaign, which I've not read: 'We Won the War' by John Akehurst (Pub. 1982).

    'The Frontier Scouts' by Charles Chevenix Trench (para-military forces on British Empire NW Frontier, predecessors of the Frontier Corps)

    'Soldier Sahibs: The men who made the NW Frontier' by Charles Allen (superb book for India 1839-1858, focus on small units and the leaders)

    Some of these titles have appeared on another thread.

    Have any of the books on the Soviet era in Afghanistan touched upon the advisory role? I am sure books on Malaysia refer to this theme, but not read much on that - perhaps our Australian / Kiwi members can help?

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-31-2009 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Add links and books several times

  20. #40
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    Unfortunately, most of the books I've amassed are on the Vietnam period, so may be of limited utility in the current scenario. They do suggest that mental reconfiguring in a cross-cultural context can be both fascinating and exhausting.

    The most readable Advisor book I've read is probably:

    Combat Recon: My Year With The ARVN

    also good are:

    One Very Hot Day

    A Dragon Lives Forever

    Our War Was Different

    related:

    Talking With Victor Charlie

    anthropology:

    The Village War

    War Comes To Long An

    Village At War

    Village In Vietnam

    Shattered World

    Dynamics Of Defeat

    somewhat related (Malaya):

    alias Chin Peng

    SAS: Secret War In South-East Asia

    somewhat related (Soviets/Afghanistan):

    Soviet-Afghan War: How A Superpower Fought And Lost

    Afghan Tales

    Afghan Guerrilla Warfare

    Soldiers Of God

    The Hidden War

    Afghanistan: Soviet Vietnam

    of interest:

    Analogies At War

    Some of these have been mentioned elsewhere on the Council or may be otherwise familiar to members. Sorry for any repeats.

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