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Old 11-12-2007   #201
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I can't find his Story of the Arab Legion
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/use...ts&WID=2134093

You can get it for between $12 and $20 used through B&N on-line.
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Old 11-12-2007   #202
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Thanks! Just don't tell Amazon I'm cheating on her.
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Old 11-12-2007   #203
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Just finished Grant's memoirs - a worthy and relevant read which shows the more things change the more they stay the same, as well as providing 1st person context to events that defined us a nation

Currently reading COBRA II part of the ILE course, but well worth the read because it does a good job of linking the strategic, operational and tactical, discusses the campaign which has been overshadowed by the post Invasion War - but still has some incredibly important lessons available, and because it speaks to the courage and determination of our soldiers and marines to overcome fog & friction and make good use of chance.

Also reading (because I've wanted to for awhile) Field Marshal Viscount Slim's memoirs - Defeat into Victory - another memoir along the lines of Grant - which so far has plenty of good things available to those of our profession willing to listen.

Best, Rob
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Old 11-12-2007   #204
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Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
Just finished Grant's memoirs - a worthy and relevant read which shows the more things change the more they stay the same, as well as providing 1st person context to events that defined us a nation

Currently reading COBRA II part of the ILE course, but well worth the read because it does a good job of linking the strategic, operational and tactical, discusses the campaign which has been overshadowed by the post Invasion War - but still has some incredibly important lessons available, and because it speaks to the courage and determination of our soldiers and marines to overcome fog & friction and make good use of chance.

Also reading (because I've wanted to for awhile) Field Marshal Viscount Slim's memoirs - Defeat into Victory - another memoir along the lines of Grant - which so far has plenty of good things available to those of our profession willing to listen.

Best, Rob
I've just finished a first draft of my chapter on the Iraq decision and the conventional campaign, so I revisted Cobra II, Fiasco, and Keegan's book. I met Gordon at BIAP in May 2003. That's him on the left in the picture.



I'm about to finish Peter Galbraith's The End of Iraq and will probably start Martin van Creveld's The Changing Face of War after that. Or I may finish Colin Gray's Another Bloody Century since I'm trying to get him to write the foreword for my book.
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Old 11-12-2007   #205
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I've just finished a first draft of my chapter on the Iraq decision and the conventional campaign, so I revisted Cobra II, Fiasco, and Keegan's book. I met Gordon at BIAP in May 2003. That's him on the left in the picture.
The fights up and around Nasiriyah, Samawah, Najaf, and Kifl, as well as the ambushes laid out for the AH-64s when they went on their deep attack need to be studied in depth. As I read those chapters (11-15) I got to thinking about some of the discussion Terry Terriff and I had and some of the things I've read recently by guys like Frank Hoffman.

This blending of enemy capabilities faced by Vth Corps and the MEF served up some tactical and operational challenges that I believe are certainly relevant and there to be picked up on by friend and foe alike. I hope history does not paint the invasion of Iraq and the attack to Baghdad as something that was a foregone conclusion - it was a real fight for those engaged in it, both against a determined enemy, the terrain/weather and our own friction (logistics & C2 most notably) generated as the campaign progressed - the units involved made it work.

To take it as an easy win would be irresponsible, and will leave us ill-prepared for future adversaries who have made good use of their time and have well scrutinized our own capabilities, or lack thereof.

This is what bothers me - while I acknowledge the need for a balanced full spectrum force, I'm having some problems imagining one that does everything equally well - it seems to me that might just as well mean one that does everything equally poor. We cannot train and maintain everything and every skill set to a "T" across the broader force -not with a prohibitive OPTEMPO - the best we might hope for is a "P" (or "P+ if given sufficient train up time)". We'll have the devil of a time trying to field and maintain the equipment to do so - as well as recruit and retain the folks we say we need.

I think any solution has got to start with people and fostering those attributes that make things (weapons, equipment) and even organizations work in ways they may not have been intended to. As far as equipment and technology - I think things that offer greater utility while retaining reliability, that are easier to sustain from the perspective of operating in a non-permissive, hostile environment , and offer a reasonable MTBF without having parts or sub-systems that become single points of failure or seek to take the person out of the loop for sake of saving the machine should be the rule. The technological means should enable to person - not the other way around.

It might mean we will not be able to perform strategic somersaults in delivering small, highly survivable, highly lethal formations on demand and as such may have to have and retain a bigger force, and it may mean we will have to invest in stronger legs to get us there and sustain us - but maybe that is OK if it provides us operational flexibility and tactical opportunity when and where and when it matters.

As we are an instrument of policy to achieve a political object it should be anticipated that we will find ourselves in wide variety of wars requiring us to do everything from invade a country with a comparable military that is well led and knows the terrain to COIN to humanitarian support to enabling civil support. Ken's point about balance and consistency should be heeded.

Well - I did not know I was going to write all that - but if you want a book that will provide some material for considering thoughts on force structure,and other military problems - COBRA II is a good one.

Steve, let us know when the book comes out - I'd like to pick up a copy.

Best, Rob
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Old 11-15-2007   #206
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Al Qu'ran, again, in light of the Sarajevo thread and subsequent discussion on Christian/Islamic parallels and invariance.
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Old 11-17-2007   #207
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Default Australia chief of Army's Reading List

Not sure if this is the proper thread, but I just ran across this on the Australia Land Warfare Studies website: http://www.defence.gov.au/Army/lwsc/ (its under Study Papers)
Its a pretty good reading list. Many titles are familiar, but many are "out of the mainstream" for military reading lists (and I'm not just talking about Australia-specific titles). There's a healthy dose of fiction and I was intrigued by logic of its matching of book titles to ranks (the idea of mathing is common, but there are some interesting choices here). Also, there seems to be a logic to the list in that the books are presented in a manner to suggest that some should be read close together--to gain differing perspectives on a subject.
The intro article on reading military history, originally published in 1965, is also well worth the time.
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Old 11-17-2007   #208
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Not sure if this is the proper thread, but I just ran across this on the Australia Land Warfare Studies website: http://www.defence.gov.au/Army/lwsc/ (its under Study Papers)
Its a pretty good reading list. Many titles are familiar, but many are "out of the mainstream" for military reading lists (and I'm not just talking about Australia-specific titles). There's a healthy dose of fiction and I was intrigued by logic of its matching of book titles to ranks (the idea of mathing is common, but there are some interesting choices here). Also, there seems to be a logic to the list in that the books are presented in a manner to suggest that some should be read close together--to gain differing perspectives on a subject.
The intro article on reading military history, originally published in 1965, is also well worth the time.
Interesting. Peter Leahy (the Chief of Army) was my student at Leavenworth.
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Old 11-17-2007   #209
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Having just finished Galbraith's The End of Iraq, I picked Colin Gray's Another Bloody Century up again. I was about 120 pages in. So I laid in bed last night reading the passage where he gores me.
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Old 11-17-2007   #210
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Default Attack helicopters vs. A-10s

Rob Thorton said:

Quote:
The fights up and around Nasiriyah, Samawah, Najaf, and Kifl, as well as the ambushes laid out for the AH-64s when they went on their deep attack need to be studied in depth. As I read those chapters (11-15) I got to thinking about some of the discussion Terry Terriff and I had and some of the things I've read recently by guys like Frank Hoffman.
I agree. I think the A-10 is a superior aircraft for that particular mission, and my guess is that if the Army was flying them, they would have been used.

I am currently reading Bruce Catton's Terrible Swift Sword. I just finished his The Coming Fury. The political and military incompetence on both sides fascinating. I like both books. My next book will be Never Call Retreat which will finish off his trilogy. They were written in the early 1960s, but are very readable and informative.
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Old 11-17-2007   #211
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Originally Posted by CR6 View Post
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/use...ts&WID=2134093

You can get it for between $12 and $20 used through B&N on-line.
I noticed that Potomac is already knocking down the price on my book and it's 10 months before publication. At this rate, by the time it finally comes out, they'll be paying people to take it.
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Old 11-18-2007   #212
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Steve:

Congratulations on your book.

I noticed that the advertisment to your book has you as an "expert." Beware, dpeters may come after you next.

gian
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Old 11-18-2007   #213
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I noticed that Potomac is already knocking down the price on my book and it's 10 months before publication. At this rate, by the time it finally comes out, they'll be paying people to take it.
Steve don't worry - the price in the AWC bookstore will be $40 and it will be on the required reading list

Congrats - its quite an accomplishment to publish a book.
Best Regards, Rob
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Old 11-19-2007   #214
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Default A Passage from a WWII Leader that is timeless

Hit this a few minutes ago while reading Field Marshal Viscount Slim's "Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945" and wanted to share why I think amongst the various books and articles you might pick up why you might also pick up something from a British general who fought a tenacious and skilled enemy, in one of the worst places you could get stuck fighting a war - his observations run the gamut from civil military operations to tank warfare in restrictive terrain - from jungle fighting to HUMINT.

Here are some of Slim's observations on morale:

Quote:
Morale is a state of mind. It is that intangible force which will move a whole group of men to give their last ounce to achieve something, without counting the cost to themselves; that makes them feel they are a part of something greater than themselves. If they are to feel that, their morale must, if it is to endure - and the essence of morale is that is should endure-have certain foundations. These foundations are spiritual, intellectual and material, and that is the order of their importance. Spiritual first, because only spiritual foundations can stand real strain. Next Intellectual, because men are swayed by reason as well as feeling. Material last-important, but last-because the very highest kinds of morale are often met when material conditions are lowest.
Slim goes on to lay out the composition of each category:
Quote:
1) Spiritual
a) There must be a great an noble object.
b) Its achievement must be vital.
c) The method of achievement must be active, aggressive.
d) The man must feel that what he is and what he does matters directly toward the attainment of the object.

2) Intellectual
a) He must be convinced that the object can be obtained; that it is not out of reach.
b) He must see too, that the organization to which he belongs and which is striving to achieve the object is an efficient one.
c) He must have confidence in his leaders and know that whatever dangers and hardships he is called upon to suffer, his life will not be lightly flung away.

3) Material
a) The man must feel he will get a fair deal from his commanders and from the Army generally.
b) He must, as far as humanly possible, be given the best weapons and equipment for his task.
c) His living and working conditions must be made as good as they can be.
This is from the chapter entitled "The Foundations" which is the first after Slim has been promoted from command of VVV Corps to the command of 14th Army. Prior to that he'd been brought in from a division command in the Iraqi desert to take command of I Burma Corps - which had ended with a very difficult withdrawal while in contact with the Japanese back through Burma to India.

By the time he writes down his foundations of morale - the ones broken out above, he'd learned a helluva lot about leading men under the most difficult circumstances.

If you get a chance to read this book - you'll see allot of familiar observations about character, decision making under pressure, chance and opportunity in war, the importance of logistics, the effect of poor reports, or what it takes to adapt a unit to the conditions at hand to solve the tactical and operational problems it faces.


Best Regards, Rob
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Old 11-19-2007   #215
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"Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview" by Sayyid Qutb

"From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism" by Adnan Musallan

Writing a Master's Paper on the influence of Qutb on Al Qaeda and other Arab terror groups. Fun stuff. Sunnis, in general, have an extremely literal translation of the Quran. Qutb's basic message is that anyone outside of Islam is a jahili, and that includes the Shi'i and the Sufi as well.
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Old 11-19-2007   #216
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"Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview" by Sayyid Qutb

"From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism" by Adnan Musallan

Writing a Master's Paper on the influence of Qutb on Al Qaeda and other Arab terror groups. Fun stuff. Sunnis, in general, have an extremely literal translation of the Quran. Qutb's basic message is that anyone outside of Islam is a jahili, and that includes the Shi'i and the Sufi as well.
You might want to get in touch with Sherifa Zuhur.
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Old 11-19-2007   #217
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I have been challenged by an on-line "weapons expert" to re-read "Mis-Fire; The History of How America's Small Arms Have Failed Our Military" by William H. Hallahan. I read it when it was first released, in the mid-90s, and left with somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth.

The "expert" challenged me to re-read it, and while there are some interesting bits, it is even more awful than I remember. If I were to grade it as 19 separate papers, it would average a "C", with some chapters getting an "A" and some getting an "F". This book is filled with internal contradictions, unsupported conclusions, and some "facts" that are just downright wrong.

Note to budding authors/historians: If you want to write history, write history. If you want to write technical history, without actual technical experience, please, spare us all from your floundering.
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Old 11-19-2007   #218
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Thanks for the link Steve

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You might want to get in touch with Sherifa Zuhur.
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Old 11-23-2007   #219
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Bloch's Strange Defeat. Only about 15 pages in, but good so far.
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Old 11-24-2007   #220
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Liddell-Hart's The other Side of the Hill: Germany's Generals, Their Rise and Fall, With Their Own Account of Military Events, 1939-45.

He does an amazing job of breaking down the tendency of the Germans to blame things on Hitler, and showing exactly what happened. Eye opening.

Also an interesting study in the moral obligations of high command. Without Liddell Hart (probably my favorite military writer these days) saying it explicitly, I take away from it the terrible moral failure of the German generals isolating themselves from "political" decisions. It is convenient for the high-ranking officer to claim he only executes national policy determined by others, but to me, while his uniform prevents him from issuing orders to the highest civilian command, it does not, it must not remove him from the moral obligation to his country and his soldiers, to do what is right.

Matt
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