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Recommended Reading

A little early….

Top Billing! Early reviews of If We Can Keep It by Dr. Chet Richards ( my own review will be in a few days)

TDAXP     Fabius Maximus    William Lind

Now for the rest….

The Glittering Eye A New President Will Restore the U. S.’s Position in the World

Wise words from Dave.

ERMBVirtual Worlds Becoming All Too Real

Kind of a cool topic and one outside of Steve’s usual focus.

Hidden UnitiesDeployed Soldiers Losing Custody Of Their Kids

At what point does the machinery of government cease treating serving military personnel like crap?

Abu MuqawamaThe Evolution of Odierno

Abu seems to write on the newly promoted Odierno with some frequency. And the topic bears close reading as some insiders see General Odierno replacing General Petraeus sooner rather than later. Or perhaps getting an even higher posting.

Edge PerspectiveInnovating on the Edge of Big Waves

Fabius MaximusSurrender in Al Anbar province

FM is the resident contrarian here.

Presentation Zen –  Deep or wide? You decide , Books are dead (long live books!) , Books are dead (long live books!) part 2                   

A rare triple-play but I have a soft spot for members of the “zen community”.

Dr. Von More on Science Funding Woes

The Telegraph – “Britain a Soft Touch for Homegrown Terrorists” ( Hat tip Pundita)

That’s it!

13 Responses to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Fabius Maximus Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation!  Two trivia notes.

    1.  My post on Richard’s If We Can Keep It is a step towards a review.  This just puts this and other recent works (e.g., Robb, van Creveld) in the larger context of writings about 4GW.  I plan to do an actual review!

    2.  While I have in the past sometimes taken a contrarian view, the post about our surrender in Anbar (technically, a tactical retreat) is conventional.  It is just a dressed-up version of what many others have said, both in the defense community and the wider mainstream.  It has attracted some excellent comments (esp see those by "Smitten Eagel").

  2. Dan tdaxp Says:

    Thanks for the link!

    I wonder what forms of maneuver Fabius would not classify under surrender?

    Smitten’s discovered tdaxp, too.

  3. Eddie Says:

    Thanks for the link!   If only we could clone SECDEF Gates….I wish we could put General O in Afghanistan right away but generals have wives and family too…. He probably deserved most of the reaming he got in "Fiasco" but he was fortunate enough to have a second chance and showed how much he had learned.  Critiquing him as just following Petreaus’ lead is unfair given how much heat (and helpful direction from a few people) he took from his first tour and after the book was released….

  4. Fabius Maximus Says:

    What forms of maneuver are not surrender?  How about winning?  We achieve our goals (instead of having to make new ones).   The folks we were fighting now ally with us, without being paid to do so.  Perhaps they pay us!  Instead of training new and better militia to fight each other, peace reigns — we train them to be plumbers and builders.  Oh, and our troops (or most of them) return home.
    Real victory requires remarkably little imagination to describe.

  5. Dan tdaxp Says:

    Up and down the line from small unit tactics to grand strategy are objectives required to complete a mission.  Maneuver warfare comes with the realization that those objectives are not valuable in themselves, but only in so far as they help achieve the objectives of the next-higher-level.  Thus, Fabius’ statement

    "What forms of maneuver are not surrender?  How about winning? "

    is either a tautology or nonsensical.

  6. Fabius Maximus Says:

    As a 55 word summary of a 1200 word article, I thought it was not bad.  Certainly Sun Tzu could have done better, but in Celestial Heaven these things are no longer of interest.  Perhaps if you wish to critique the article, you might first read it.  Doing so based on the title is, however, a fun party game.
    You point is discussed in the article and more specifically in the comments.

  7. Dan tdaxp Says:

    Fabius, you do not address what I am interested in (what forms of maneuver are not surrender) in your post.  This is not surprising, as I didn’t comment until after your post was linked to.  Is there another post where you address this?

  8. Fabius Maximus Says:

    The article discusses alternative courses of action in Anbar, both as alternatives to our tactical retreat and now.

    I do not understand your question, on several levels.  (1) No form of maneuver warfare is surrrender, except surrender.  What move in Chess follows checkmate?  (2) As I said at great length in my two most recent posts, events in Anbar are a tactical retreat — not surrender.  (3) I doubt that what we are doing in Iraq is "maneuver warfare", although it could be crammed into that template in some abstract way.

  9. Dan tdaxp Says:


    Thank you for the reply.

    (1) and (2), then: what forms of maneuver are not tactical retreats, or else retreat on some other level of analysis (sub-tactical? operational? etc)

  10. Fabius Maximus Says:

    This is not the place for that technical a discussion.  Except at absurd level of simplicity.  Like tactical advance and holding in place are not tactical retreats.  You might read some books about WWII or the Korean War for more about this.
    4GWs move through social space like maneuver war moves through space, so there are only incidental overlaps or similarities.

  11. Dan tdaxp Says:

    This is not the place for that technical a discussion.  Except at absurd level of simplicity.


  12. Fabius Maximus Says:

    I forgot to add…. but it is a brilliant question, worth considerable thought!

  13. Today’s ABCD’s: About Blitzkrieg, COIN, and Diplomacy « Fabius Maximus Says:

    […] retreat in Anbar Province of Iraq.  Dan Tdaxp raises an interesting and valuable question (here) about this:  what does “retreat” mean in […]

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