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Thread: Good books on COIN?

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    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Default Good books on COIN?

    I know I maybe opening a can of worms here, but could anyone recommend some goods books on COIN, other then the more commonly known titles like the US Army/Marine Corps, and David Kilcullen's Accidental Guerrilla.

    Overall though, I'm kind of at a loss of what I should add to my bookshelf when looking at the professional and other reading lists. So I was hoping someone could make some suggestions?


    Thank you,

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default

    Adobe Acrobat is my friend. I have the book titles that you reference, and then some, but I still feel drawn to the shorter texts (thesis papers, RAND studies, etc.) posted in the reference library on .pdf. I can digest several topics in a weekend and gain a wider grasp of discussion points that way.

    Granted, they tend to be very topical, but most of the good ones reference core material and points made in the classic texts anyway, so I tend to get a dose of what those arguments are without having to grind through several hundred pages of the same points, just varied at times by the vignette chosen. Your mileage will certainly vary, but have you printed out a few of those and dived into them?

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    I look at it this way. COIN is a military operation to defeat an insurgency. Most of the recommended literature today seems to be geared towards (a) understanding the insurgency or (b) figuring out how to combat it. I'd say the literature on those two angles is pretty exhaustive, which begs the question of why we continue to suck so bad at it.

    I read through Kilcullen's book the first weekend that it came out and it, in my opinion, was 200+ pages of common sense backed up with anecdotes and citations. The whole time that I read reading it, I was waiting for the punch line. It never arose. I was nodding in agreement throughout, "yeah, we do this, yeah it results in that, yeah it's an annoying paradox... and...?"

    I think Nagl was starting down the right path in Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife. Many view that book as a history piece on Vietnam and Malaysia. It was actually a book about how Armies adapt. Being perhaps among the first to tackle that topic using contemporary case studies, it surely has some errors or shortcomings (unlikely that someone is going to get it right on the first try). Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that many have picked up where he left off or spent much time revisiting the idea of how the Army adapted. Most of the criticism, praise, and follow-up has been focused on the historical analysis, even though it was not history book. I would recommend books that pick up where he left off. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any. All of the bright ideas on COIN are neat, but I think the biggest obstacle is our inability to apply them. We need to crack that nut first.

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Some classics

    I will sound old fathion but I would also recommand Galula and Lawrence...
    Not that they are very much accurate for what is actually going on but they defenitively help to understand where COIN comes from.

    Looking into the Australian COIN manual for references is also a good idea.

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    Default Books and other sources

    First, one could go to Richard D. Downie's Learning from Conflict which is the source of Nagl's theoretical approach. Together, the two books provide asn interesting starting point for looking at why the US Army doesn't learn. In a similar vein, my 1995 article, "Little Wars, Small Wars, LIC, OOTW, The GAP, and Things That Go Bump in the Night" in Low Intensity conflict & Law Enforcement (Frank Cass journal now owned by Taylor & francis and incorporated in Small Wars & Insurgencies) addresses the same issue. (sorry, the article is not in digital form)

    I'd recommend my recent book with Max Manwaring, Uncomfortable wars Revisited which is part of a series that began with Uncomfortable Wars, Low Intensity conflict: Old Wine in New Bottles, Gray Area Phenomena, Managing contemporary Conflict, and others. See also Max's SSI monographs.

    There is no shortage of good books and articles about COIN dating back at least to C. E. Callwell's Small Wars (first published in 1896). Of real interest, is why we keep relearning the same lessons - is it really Groundhog Day? That is the issue that Nagl, Downie, and I addressed. Part of the answer as to why it is so difficult to fully internalize COIN lies in the arguments of Gian Gentile who, articulately, expresses the traditional Army view.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    That is the issue that Nagl, Downie, and I addressed. Part of the answer as to why it is so difficult to fully internalize COIN lies in the arguments of Gian Gentile who, articulately, expresses the traditional Army view.
    Sorry but ,in my opinion, that is just not true, and grossly misrepresents Gian Gentile's position.

    His is not the traditional Army view by a very long shot.
    Gian Gentile understand so called COIN a great deal better than the "WOW COIN" generation. He just does not buy into the "Lady Di Way of War" that keeps getting churned out. Same with Justin Kelly, and same with me.

    COIN is warfare, not social work, or nation building. The problem people have with Gian is he keeps calling them out on their poorly formed opinions and sloppy arguments.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Gents,

    I can see where this thread might go, so instead of bruising it any further, it might be best to simply let posters make reference to whatever they choose to recommend, and let that dog lie. Kevin23 can figure the rest out on his own, I'm sure.

    Disagreements can be channeled to PMs or perhaps their own threads.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Sorry but ,in my opinion, that is just not true, and grossly misrepresents Gian Gentile's position.

    His is not the traditional Army view by a very long shot.
    Gian Gentile understand so called COIN a great deal better than the "WOW COIN" generation. He just does not buy into the "Lady Di Way of War" that keeps getting churned out. Same with Justin Kelly, and same with me.

    COIN is warfare, not social work, or nation building. The problem people have with Gian is he keeps calling them out on their poorly formed opinions and sloppy arguments.
    I haven't been impressed with many of the arguments on either side, to be totally honest. Both make use of sloppy history and want to compartmentalize things that really can't be shoved into neat boxes. And actually, Gian's public arguments are quite close to the traditional Army view...just dressed up in terms of language.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Gents,

    I can see where this thread might go, so instead of bruising it any further, it might be best to simply let posters make reference to whatever they choose to recommend, and let that dog lie. Kevin23 can figure the rest out on his own, I'm sure.

    Disagreements can be channeled to PMs or perhaps their own threads.
    True...we cross-posted....

    Kevin, the original Small Wars Manual (USMC flavor) is a great background starting point, as is Bickel's Mars Learning, which covers the creation of the SWM. You might also want to troll the various "what are you reading now" and reading list recommendations found on the board itself.

    Don't limit yourself to current conflicts, and don't be afraid to examine events that took place before Vietnam.
    Last edited by marct; 12-30-2009 at 04:51 PM. Reason: added link
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    I will sound old fathion but I would also recommand Galula and Lawrence...
    Not that they are very much accurate for what is actually going on but they defenitively help to understand where COIN comes from.

    Looking into the Australian COIN manual for references is also a good idea.
    If you read Galula/Lawrence and add Sir Robert Thompson, then you've hit the trifecta.

    Mike

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    I think Nagl was starting down the right path in Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife. Many view that book as a history piece on Vietnam and Malaysia. It was actually a book about how Armies adapt. Being perhaps among the first to tackle that topic using contemporary case studies, it surely has some errors or shortcomings (unlikely that someone is going to get it right on the first try). Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that many have picked up where he left off or spent much time revisiting the idea of how the Army adapted. Most of the criticism, praise, and follow-up has been focused on the historical analysis, even though it was not history book. I would recommend books that pick up where he left off. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any. All of the bright ideas on COIN are neat, but I think the biggest obstacle is our inability to apply them. We need to crack that nut first.
    Bickel's Mars Learning, although it doesn't follow up and Nagl since it came out prior to his work, does deal to a great degree with learning and applying lessons from COIN campaigns (although it's dealing with the Corps and covers the interwar period). Most of the stuff about Vietnam deals with either the COIN stuff or the major unit actions, and sadly I can't offhand point to a single work that deals with the applications of lessons learned and preserving those lessons in more depth than Nagl did. There are some from previous conflicts, though. Crossing the Deadly Ground springs to mind, although it does have a tight tactical focus. I'm sure there are others that just aren't coming to mind at the moment.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Adobe Acrobat is my friend. I have the book titles that you reference, and then some, but I still feel drawn to the shorter texts (thesis papers, RAND studies, etc.) posted in the reference library on .pdf. I can digest several topics in a weekend and gain a wider grasp of discussion points that way.

    Granted, they tend to be very topical, but most of the good ones reference core material and points made in the classic texts anyway, so I tend to get a dose of what those arguments are without having to grind through several hundred pages of the same points, just varied at times by the vignette chosen. Your mileage will certainly vary, but have you printed out a few of those and dived into them?
    I've read many of the thesis's/reports that have been posted on here. I've also been meaning to print out some of these, but that will have to wait until after break to do when I'm back at school.

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    Default Stathis Kalyvas's

    "The Logic of Violence in Civil War" exudes brilliance.

    Regards,
    OC

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    Kevin,

    Reading lists by nature play to the reader's biases.

    I personally recommend reading anything by Frank Kitson on insurgency, will open some new thinking for you ... I also recommend, if you can find it, "The Centurions" by Larteguy for fiction - the "Once and Eagle" of COIN ...

    I have found Abu M's reading list comprehensive and full of good books.


    http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawam...ding-list.html

    Counterinsurgency Reading List
    October 2007
    (updated November 2007)
    (updated March 2008)
    (updated May 2009)

    The Bare Bones Essentials

    David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice
    David Kilcullen, "28 Articles", Military Review, May-June 2006
    Kalev Sepp, "Best and Worst Practices in COIN", Military Review, May-June 2005

    Intermediate Reading

    Colonial Era
    Robert Bateman, "Lawrence and his Message"
    C.E. Callwell, Small Wars
    John Cann, Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War 1961-1974
    Carl von Clausewitz, On War
    Bernard Fall, The Street without Joy
    David Galula, Pacification in Algeria: 1956-1958
    Tony Geraghty, The Irish War
    Charles Gwynn, Imperial Policing
    Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962
    Frank Kitson, Gangs and Counter-Gangs
    Robert Komer, Bureaucracy Does its Thing
    Andrew Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnam
    John Nagl, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam
    Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie
    Robert Taber, War of the Flea
    Robert Thompson, Defeating Communist Insurgency
    Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare
    Mao Tse-Tung, On Guerrilla Warfare
    Bing West, The Village

    Modern Day
    Ralph Baker, "The Decisive Weapon", Military Review, May-June 2006
    David Barno, “Fighting ‘The Other War’: Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, 2003-2005,” Military Review, September-October 2007
    Stephen Biddle, “Seeing Baghdad, Thinking Saigon,” Foreign Affairs, March-April 2006
    Burgoyne & Marckwardt, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa
    Peter Chiarelli, "Winning the Peace", Military Review, July-August 2005
    Nigel Alwyn Foster, "Changing the Army for COIN Operations", Military Review, November-December 2005
    Les Grau, The Bear Went Over the Mountain
    T.X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century
    T.X. Hammes, “Fourth Generation Evolves, Fifth Emerges,” Military Review, May-June 2007
    Hecker & Rid, War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age
    Chris Hickey, "Principles and Priorities for Training in Iraq", Military Review, March-April 2007
    Frank Hoffman, "Hybrid Threats"
    David Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla
    David Kilcullen, "Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt"
    David Kilcullen, “Counterinsurgency Redux,” Survival, Winter, 2006
    John Kizley, "Learning About Counterinsurgency", Military Review, March-April 2007
    Sean MacFarland and Niel Smith, "Anbar Awakens," Military Review, March-April 2008
    Marston & Malkasian, Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare
    H.R. McMaster, “On War: Lessons to be Learned.” Survival, February-March 2008
    Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency
    Elizabeth Rubin, "Battle Company Is Out There"
    Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force
    Various, FM 3-24, "Counterinsurgency"

    Advanced Reading

    Hannah Arendt, On Revolution
    Hannah Arendt, On Violence
    Robert Asprey, War in the Shadows
    Robert Bates, Prosperity and Violence
    Jarret M. Brachman and William F. McCants, "Stealing Al-Qaeda's Playbook," CTC Report, February 2006
    Scott A. Cuomo and Brian J. Donlon, "Training a 'Hybrid' Warrior," Marine Corps Gazette
    Loup Francart, Maitriser la violence
    Robert M. Gates, "Beyond Guns and Steel: Reviving the Nonmilitary Instruments of American Power"
    Antonio Giustozzi, Koran, Kalashnikov, and the Laptop: The Neo Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan
    John Bagot Glubb, War in the Desert
    Daniel Helmer, "Flipside of the COIN: Israel’s Lebanese Incursion Between 1982-2000"
    Stathis Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil Wars
    Alan B. Krueger, What Makes a Terrorist
    Mark Lichbach, The Rebel’s Dilemma
    Yezid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993
    James Scott, Moral Economy of the Peasant
    Frederic M. Wehrey, “A Clash of Wills: Hizballah’s Psychological Campaign Against Israel in South Lebanon.”
    Jeremy Weinstein, Inside Rebellion: Politics of Insurgent Violence

    Fiction

    Graham Greene, The Quiet American
    Rudyard Kipling, Kim
    Jean Larteguy, The Centurions
    Leon Uris, Trinity

    Films

    The Battle of Algiers
    Go Tell The Spartans
    The Wind that Shakes the Barley
    Last edited by Cavguy; 12-30-2009 at 09:05 PM.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

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    Default One pointer and one thought

    Cited in an article on Lt.Col. Gukeisen, serving in Afghanistan:
    His personal list of "Most Influential COIN Items" includes a collection of Afghan poetry, a study of chaos theory, and Hollywood films such as "Red Dawn," a fantasy about American guerrillas fighting a Soviet invasion of the United States. From John Maynard Keynes, the visionary British economist, he drew the idea that by "jump-starting the economy via an initial stimulus you create a cascade.
    From:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34494015...central_asia//

    As an aside I'd look at non-Western / non-Imperial era COIN, where all too frequently there was not an abundance of resources; please don't ask me for examples it's just a thought.

    OK, on reflection (happens on holiday), try the Burmese campaign since 1947 against the hill tribes; Indonesia in East Timor; South Africa and yes, Rhodesia.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-30-2009 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Add last paragraph
    davidbfpo

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    War Comes To Long An by Race

    The US Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War 1899 to 1902 by Linn

    Maintain the Right: The Early History of the North West Mounted Police by Atkin

    On the Border With Crook by Bourke (Steve Blair is probably the go to guy for frontier army titles)

    I will third the USMC 1940 Small Wars Manual. It was a genius work I think.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    “The Year’s Work in Lebowski Studies,” as reviewed by the NYT in the article Dissertations on His Dudeness by DWIGHT GARNER

    Most of the essays in “The Year’s Work in Lebowski Studies” began as papers presented at the 2006 Lebowski Fest in Louisville. Working at an unhurried, Dude-like crawl, it took the editors three years to wrap these papers up and usher them into print.

    “When we first put out a call for papers, we received about 200 proposals,” said Mr. Comentale, an associate professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, whose previous books include “Modernism, Cultural Production and the British Avant-Garde” and “T. E. Hulme and the Question of Modernism.”
    One of Mr. Gaughran’s students came up with this summary, and it’s somehow appropriate for an end-of-the-year reckoning: “He doesn’t stand for what everybody thinks he should stand for, but he has his values. He just does it. He lives in a very disjointed society, but he’s gonna take things as they come, he’s gonna care about his friends, he’s gonna go to somebody’s recital, and that’s it. That’s how you respond.”

    Happy New Year, Dude.
    Sapere Aude

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default FAO's Bookshelf

    I did this a few years ago. I realize fully that many entries are repeated in various categories. That is entirely deliberate:

    Counter Insurgency and Small Wars
    A Former FAO's Bookshelf
    LTC Thomas P. Odom USA (ret)
    A friend of mine walked into my office the other day and asked me to put together a preferred reading list on counter-insurgency. I decided to take on the task with the self-limitation of using only those works that I could pull off my own bookshelves or online at the Combat Studies Institute and the Center of Military History. By doing so, I hope to avoid the trendy use of history. That is not say that recent works such as Nagl's Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife, Hammes' The Sling and the Stone, and Boot's Savage Wars of Peace are not valuable and insightful works. But I wanted to offer a broader view on counter insurgency using both readily available and lesser-known works. And I deliberately stepped beyond a narrow definition of counter insurgency to the broader swath referred to as "small wars." In my own experience and my historical work, I have found that wars rarely fall into neat categories. Counter insurgency operations can occur in many different forms; insurgencies are equally chameleon.
    I freely confess this list reflects my own military experience and interests as a former foreign area officer for the Middle East and Africa. Some of the books are therefore in French; I encourage anyone with a smattering of French to use that capability. Before getting on with this, I should also say that I attempted to catalog my recommendations using categories of participants and conflict zones. I noted those works I consider absolutely critical to understanding counter-insurgency warfare and numbered them according to priority. Finally, I offer some suggested web sites for further research.
    Critical List
    Critical Number 1 Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Counter insurgency operations target the population. I read Hoffer's book in 1981 as a graduate student in the Middle East Area studies program at the Naval Postgraduate School. Hoffer--a self-educated longshoreman--published this book in 1951 and it remains available today. In it he examines the fanatic who seeks significance through a cause. It is as applicable today as it was when it first appeared. You cannot hope to understand an insurgency --especially an insurgency built on fanaticism--without reading this book. You can read more about Hoffer at http://www.erichoffer.net/. The True Believer is offered on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006...lance&n=283155.
    Critical Number 2. Bernard Fall, Street Without Joy Fall's broader work on the Indochina- Viet Nam War from the French through 1964. I place this work so high on the list because it demonstrates that the Viet Nam War was at once an insurgency, a civil war, and a conventional war. The book is avaliable on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081...lance&n=283155
    Critical Number 3. Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency. Whenever counter insurgency is discussed, some one brings up Trinquier. You cannot understand the evolution of U.S. COIN doctrine without reading Trinquier. Available on line for reading and download at http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour.../trinquier.asp.
    Critical Number 4. T.E. Lawrence, The Evolution of a Revolt. This article some 24 pages in length captures the heart of Lawrence's self-promoting Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It is an easy but intellectually filling read. You can read or download it at http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/downlo...s/lawrence.pdf or http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour...e/lawrence.asp.
    Critical Number 5 E.D. Swinton, The Defence of Duffer's Drift This small pamphlet is a classic in small unit leadership in counter insurgency and the colonial wars. You can read or download it at http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour...on/Swinton.asp
    or http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/downlo...bs/swinton.pdf.
    Critical Number 6 Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth. If you wish to understand the recent riots in France (2006) then you need to read this book. I do not offer this book as an acceptance of Fanon's views but a window inside his mindset, a mindset still very
    much in play in the Third World. This book makes an excellent companion to Hoffer's True Believer. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...lance&n=283155.
    Critical Number 7 Lester W. Grau, The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan. The Afghan War from the Soviet side.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/078...g=UTF8&s=books
    Critical Number 8 Ali Ahmad Jalali, Lester W. Grau, and John E. Rhodes, Afghan Guerrilla Warfare: In the Words of the Mujahideen Fighters. The Afghan War from the Afghan side.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...Fencoding=UTF8
    For a listing of articles by Mr. Grau and Jalali go to:
    http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/products.htm
    Critical Number 9 Frances Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake, The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. This is one of the few works that truly accounts for the Vietnamese side of the equation. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...g=UTF8&s=books
    Critical Number 10 Andrew Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnam. This study is one of the best monographs on the Viet Nam War. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...g=UTF8&s=books
    Critical Number 11 Neil Sheehan, A Bright and Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. This is the story of John Paul Vann as an embodiment of the US effort in the Vietnamese War. Available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067...g=UTF8&s=books
    Critical Number 12 David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East 1914-1922. This is the best single book on how decisions made in WWI affect us everyday today. Available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...g=UTF8&s=books
    Critical Number 13 LTG Romeo Dallaire, Shake Hands With the Devil. this book is more than a simple commander's memoir of the tragedy; it provides invaluable insights into UN peacekeeping operations. Available on Amazon at
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=UTF8&s=books
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 12-31-2009 at 05:46 AM.

  19. #19
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default FAO's Bookshelf 2

    2nd Tranche

    General Studies
    Ché Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare. This too is one of those books that comes up when the subject of COIN is raised. The irony is that Ché was not a very successful "insurgent" after he left Cuba. Available online on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...lance&n=283155
    Critical Number 6 Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth. If you wish to understand the recent riots in France (2006) then you need to read this book. I do not offer this book as an acceptance of Fanon's views but a window inside his mindset, a mindset still very much in play in the Third World. This book makes an excellent companion to Hoffer's True Believer. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...lance&n=283155.
    Critical Number 1 Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Counter insurgency operations target the population. I read Hoffer's book in 1981 as a graduate student in the Middle East Area studies program at the Naval Postgraduate School. Hoffer--a self-educated longshoreman--published this book in 1951 and it remains available today. In it he examines the fanatic who seeks significance through a cause. It is as applicable today as it was when it first appeared. You cannot hope to understand an insurgency --especially an insurgency built on fanaticism--without reading this book. You can read more about Hoffer at http://www.erichoffer.net/. The True Believer is offered on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006...lance&n=283155.
    Otto Heilbrunn, Warfare in the Enemy's Rear This book centers on irregular warfare but offers insights into use of guerrilla tactics as they apply to insurgency and counter insurgency. Available online at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=283155
    Christian Jennings, Mouthful of Rocks, Modern Adventures in the French Foreign Legion I put this one on the COIN list as a "bucket of cold water" for those that get too enamored of the Legion. I do not mean that the Legion is not a great fighting force; it is but it does have its own "religion," one acceptable to few. I met Chris Jennings in Rwanda where he was freelancing as a reporter. His description of himself in this book is quite accurate.
    Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074...lance&n=283155
    Douglas Porch, The French Foreign Legion, A Complete History of the Legendary Fighting Force. Dr. Porch is the authority on the Legion; he is balanced and measured in his study. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006...g=UTF8&s=books
    Brian Urquhart, A Life in Peace and War. In many ways, Urquhart was a primary architect of UN peacekeeping operations in the Middle East and Africa. Listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039...g=UTF8&s=books

  20. #20
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default FAO's Bookshelf 3

    Third Tranche

    The African Experience
    Algeria
    Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962. This is a classic on the war in Algeria. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159...lance&n=283155
    Douglas Porch, The French Foreign Legion, A Complete History of the Legendary Fighting Force. Dr. Porch is the authority on the Legion; he is balanced and measured in his study. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006...g=UTF8&s=books
    Pierre Sergent, 2eme REP. In French. Sergent covers Algeria, Chad, Zaire, and Beirut. Listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/225...g=UTF8&s=books
    Critical Number 3. Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency. Whenever counter insurgency is discussed, some one brings up Trinquier. You cannot understand the evolution of U.S. COIN doctrine without reading Trrinquier. Available on line for reading and download at http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour.../trinquier.asp.
    Guy Vincent, Képi Bleu: Une S.A.S, Un Autre Aspect de la Guerre D'Algerie. This book relates the experiences of a province commander, much like a provincial reconstruction team leader in Afghanistan today.
    Angola
    Chris Dempster and Dave Tomkins, Fire Power. One of the few works out there that offer insights into the U.S. involvement in Angola in 1975. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...lance&n=283155
    Chad
    Pierre Sergent, 2eme REP. In French. Sergent covers Algeria, Chad, Zaire, and Beirut. Listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/225...g=UTF8&s=books
    Congo/Zaire
    Colonel Erulin, Zaire: Sauver Kolwezi. In French. Erulin commanded 2nd REP in the 1978 operation. Listed on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/286...lance&n=283155
    Mike Hoare, The Road to Kalamata. This is a journal of Mike Hoare's first jaunt as a mercenary in the Congo. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/066...lance&n=283155
    Mike Hoare, Mercenary. This is Hoare's semi-historical account of the mercenary operation in the Congo in 1964. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/070...lance&n=283155
    Madeleine Kalb, The Congo Cables. This book offers an embassy and State department inside view of the Congo Crisis from 1960-1963 during JFK's administration. Available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/002...g=UTF8&s=books
    Thomas P. Odom, Leavenworth Paper #14 Dragon Operations: Hostage Rescues in the Congo 1964-1964. "The Dragon operations in the Congo-Dragon Rouge and Dragon Noir-were the first, and in many ways the most complex, hostage rescue missions of the cold war, Aimed at securing the release of nearly 2,000 European residents taken hostage during the Simba Rebellion in 1964, American aircraft projected a Belgian airborne unit thousands of miles into the heart of Africa. The planning and execution of this mission required the operational cooperation of three nations and their military forces in order to synchronize the arrival of airborne and ground forces to assault a hostile objective. At stake- as usual, and unfortunately- were the lives of innocent men, women, and children." This study though focused on the rescue of hostages in Stanleyville in is set in a counter insurgency war. It examines the rescue in political, military, and social terms against that COIN background. You can read it on line at http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour.../odom/odom.asp.
    Thomas P. Odom, Shaba II: The French and Belgian Military Intervention in Zaire in 1978. This study "presents a historical analysis of the 1978 invasion of Shaba province by the exiled Katangan Gendarmerie. Included in this study is the Western reaction to the invasion, from the Zairian Army's initial response, which set off the massacre of expatriate mine workers, to the airborne landings of French and Belgian forces. The French responded by sending the Foreign Legion into Shaba to restore order in the
    province. Belgium, on the other hand, sent its Paracommando Regiment on the humanitarian mission of rescuing the hostages. Both countries developed independent plans for their missions, plans that were not coordinated until the two European forces were accidentally shooting at one another. The 1978 operations in Shaba should not be dismissed as something unusual or unlikely to reoccur, nor should they be discounted as European operations of little interest to U.S. planners. Since these Shaba II operations, the United States has been committed to similar operations in Lebanon, Grenada, Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Panama, and the Persian Gulf. Without doubt, U.S. forces will continue to be involved in such operations, making Shaba II worthy of study by U.S. Army officers." It also delves heavily into the diplomatic and military efforts of the United States in this crisis. You may read it on line at: http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour...dom2/odom2.asp.
    Thomas P. Odom, Journey Into Darkness: Genocide in Rwanda with foreword by General (ret) Dennis J. Reimer. This memoir covers the author's 15 years as a Foreign Area Officer on the Middle East and Africa with operational tours as a UN Observer in Lebanon and as US Defense Attaché in Zaire and Rwanda. You may read a chapter from the book at http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/docu...om_journey.htm or order it from TAMU Press at http://www.tamu.edu/upress/BOOKS/2005/odom.htm or on Amazon or other on line bookstores.
    Pierre Sergent, 2eme REP. In French. Sergent covers Algeria, Chad, Zaire, and Beirut. Listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/225...g=UTF8&s=books
    Pierre Sergent, La Legion Saute Sur Kolwezi. In French. Sergent covers the 2nd R.E.P.'s jump into Kolwezi in 1978. Available on Amazon at:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/225...lance&n=283155
    Brian Urquhart, A Life in Peace and War. In many ways, Urquhart was a primary architect of UN peacekeeping operations in the Middle East and Africa. Listed on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039...g=UTF8&s=books
    Colonel e r Vandewalle, L'OMMENGANG, Odyssée et Reconquête de Stanleyville 1964. In French. This book is the most authoritative sources on the Belgian role in putting down the Simba Rebellion in the Congo in 1964. It can be ordered at http://www.livres-chapitre.com/-O1UQ...ILLE-1964.html
    Fred E. Wagoner, Dragon Rouge: The Rescue of Hostages in the Congo. This is an excellent political-military study of the hostage crisis. Available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/141...g=UTF8&s=books

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