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Thread: A Counter Terrorism reading list

  1. #21
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    In terms of reading lists, I like starting with a couple of basic books about the discipline itself, and those from authors with possibly deviating opinions (and even from different 'eras'). Start 'em off early with the basic theory so that they can at least understand where some of the other readings may be coming from.
    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    As a method to impart practical/useful knowledge, I submit a a reading list should:

    a.) Refer to a discreet specific and definable subject. - "Falklands War. Land Operations," - with a defined purpose. "Conduct of Land Warfare."
    b.) No more than 3-5 books.
    c.) Detail what each book imparts as useful - thus "Describes the Battle of Goose Green in detail."
    d.) Point out any serious flaws or omissions in each work.
    e.) A list of 8-10 exam questions to be answered - "What was wrong with plan to land at Fitzroy?"
    f.) Be part of wider course of study and discussion and not a stand alone task.
    I think there's a lot of good points and overlap, here. Mike, a really good literature review should do what you say although, in my experience, a lot of them set up the "opposition" as straw men.

    If we were to slightly expand the subject or, rather, to situate it within the context of a "course" of some type, then I think we have a pretty good idea of how it should appear. Start with a quick and dirty theory / methods overview (i.e. paint a very broad picture) with an emphasis on the language used ("Centre of gravity? yeah, like Newton, man! Got it!!!!"), and then follow it up with Wilf's a.-e.

    I'll admit, I aim to try and get my students to think and argue for themselves, so I would probably modify some of Wilf's points c & d a touch, probably along the lines of "This is why I find this useful. What in the work struck you as being useful for you? Why would we have different opinions of what is and is not useful?".... stuff like that.

    Case in point; I'm teaching a COIN course in the summer, and what struck me about a particular work will, I have no doubt, be quite different from what would strike Mike who has actually been doing the stuff. Even if Mike and I actively colluded on "Why this work is important", we would both have flashes of insight while we were teaching that would be in our own areas of experience. Also, I wouldn't have the experience base to know, in my gut I mean, why something was important to Mike and vice versa. What would be really interesting is where we both went "Yeah, THIS is why it's important" and we were pointing to the same thing .

    Which brings up something that has been churning in the back of my mind for a bit. If we were to take Wilf's list which, if I haven't said it yet is great, Wilf , and modify points c. & d. such that, say, four or five people from different backgrounds all pointed out the uses and the flaws of a given book, would that work better? (BTW, I'm assuming that there are some type of pocket bios for the people involved so that the students / readers would know where people are coming from).

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  2. #22
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Which brings up something that has been churning in the back of my mind for a bit. If we were to take Wilf's list which, if I haven't said it yet is great, Wilf , and modify points c. & d. such that, say, four or five people from different backgrounds all pointed out the uses and the flaws of a given book, would that work better? (BTW, I'm assuming that there are some type of pocket bios for the people involved so that the students / readers would know where people are coming from).
    Sounds like you made an OK idea into a good idea. Let me know how it works!
    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

  3. #23
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    I think there's a lot of good points and overlap, here. Mike, a really good literature review should do what you say although, in my experience, a lot of them set up the "opposition" as straw men.
    We have the same problem in our MDMP (Military Decision Making Process) and TLPs (Troop Leading Procedures) during Enemy and Friendly Course of Action development. We're supposed to provide 3 options for the commander. Most take the easy way out and offer one with two strawmen. We cover up our intellectual lazyness with "bright shiny objects" to distract, we try to minimize complex issues by citing, "KISS- Keep it simple stupid." My own personal crusade is trying to explain that for the officer corps, our job is to do the hard, rigorous intellectual process in order to produce a simple plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Case in point; I'm teaching a COIN course in the summer, and what struck me about a particular work will, I have no doubt, be quite different from what would strike Mike who has actually been doing the stuff. Even if Mike and I actively colluded on "Why this work is important", we would both have flashes of insight while we were teaching that would be in our own areas of experience. Also, I wouldn't have the experience base to know, in my gut I mean, why something was important to Mike and vice versa. What would be really interesting is where we both went "Yeah, THIS is why it's important" and we were pointing to the same thing .
    Conversely, without good academics to help me ask the right questions, teach me the prevalent theory, and help deconstruct and put back together my own experiences, then I'd still be using the F-word as a noun, verb, and adjective .

    More to the point, in another thread I mentioned the CORE Lab at NPS as a good example of where to be- a "huddle" of theorists, academics, and practisioners founded by Dr. Nancy Roberts and Dr. Doug Borer. This works, but to date, based off the limited funding and manpower, it is limited to helping SOCOM. If I determine that I cannot go back into operations, then I'm going to pursue setting something up in NC at UNC or Duke to assist Bragg or something at USMA to assist the Regular Army.

    v/r

    Mike

  4. #24
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    My own personal crusade is trying to explain that for the officer corps, our job is to do the hard, rigorous intellectual process in order to produce a simple plan.
    "I'm sorry, I didn't have time to write a short letter". I always keep that in mind when I hear about the KISS principle. Writing something short, sharp and to the point is hard work that requires a lot of discipline (and beer ). It's not for the weak and lazy at all. It's also why I tell me students that whatever they write, I will read (no maximum page length); I'll also judge accordingly, which does scare some of them.....

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Conversely, without good academics to help me ask the right questions, teach me the prevalent theory, and help deconstruct and put back together my own experiences, then I'd still be using the F-word as a noun, verb, and adjective .
    You mean it isn't ?!?!?! Oh,...., er.... Drat!

    The best thing, IMHO, that an academic can do for a practitioner isn't to "teach" them stuff, it is to sit back, listen to their stories, and ask them questions so that they build their own theories that can account for both what they are bringing to the table and what we bring. That, of course, doesn't apply to undergrads who have no experience ...... <GRIN>

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    More to the point, in another thread I mentioned the CORE Lab at NPS as a good example of where to be- a "huddle" of theorists, academics, and practisioners founded by Dr. Nancy Roberts and Dr. Doug Borer. This works, but to date, based off the limited funding and manpower, it is limited to helping SOCOM. If I determine that I cannot go back into operations, then I'm going to pursue setting something up in NC at UNC or Duke to assist Bragg or something at USMA to assist the Regular Army.
    Yeah, I remember you mentioning it. It sounds wonderful [ wistful sounds of longing....... ]
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  5. #25
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Sounds like you made an OK idea into a good idea. Let me know how it works!
    Hey, Wilf, if I end up using it, you are going to be one the guys I recruit to do the c. & d. sections ....
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  6. #26
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Internet Websites and Links for (Counter-)Terrorism Research

    Maybe a useful resource:http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/...e/view/134/273
    Abstract:
    Abstract
    Since 9/11 the field of (Counter-) Terrorism Studies has expanded exponentially. With the simultaneous expansion of Internet-based resources, it has become almost impossible to maintain an overview of the field – the more so as a variety of sub-fields have emerged, dealing
    with specific aspects of the phenomenon of terrorism. Any researcher dealing with (counter-) terrorism issues on a regular basis would be aided by a guide of web links directing him or her to areas relevant for particular research needs. However, since the knowledge requirements of researchers differ, there can be no universal list that satisfies all.[1] The following short list is
    admittedly subjective, serving my individual research needs. They are all from Open Sources. I have grouped them in 15 fairly general categories; much more specialised categories could be selected. By visiting these sites and exploring what is available on each of them, the reader might get further ideas as to where to look to satisfy his or her specific needs. Most of these websites have their own list of additional web resources which can also be very useful. In the following, I will introduce each category with some explanatory notes.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-25-2016 at 04:21 PM. Reason: 16300v before merging.
    davidbfpo

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