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The 2012 Warlord Loop Reading List at SWJ

Small Wars Journal has published the national security reading list  composed by members of  The Warlord Loop, a private listserv run by Colonel John Collins (ret.). You will find a wide-ranging list of titles in history, IR, strategic studies, military history, political philosophy and other fields recommended by experts and operators, soldiers and scholars and even a blogfriend or two. More than enough books to help fill out the empty shelves of your antilibrary.

The 2012 Warlord Loop Reading List

The U.S. national security community contains a slew of superlative political, military, economic, sociological, technological, and other specialists, but comparably qualified generalists prepared to cherry pick their products, then produce integrated policies, plans,  programs, and conduct operations that best suit this great Nation’s needs, are exceedingly scarce. The Warlord Loop’s 2012 reading list, which features interdisciplinary topics that cover the conflict spectrum from normal peacetime competition to what Herman Kahn’s classic On Thermonuclear War called a “wargasm,” is explicitly designed to help correct that imbalance.

Contributors include active and retired officials in executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government, news media representatives, college professors, and   military personnel from every service who range in rank from noncommissioned officers to four-star generals and admirals. Males, females, liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, nonpartisans, assorted age groups, and a few foreigners span the complete range of public opinion. The Warlord recently challenged them to identify two books apiece that would help practitioners and concerned citizens better understand increasingly complex problems and optional solutions despite mutating situational changes that now circle this globe at bewildering speed. A cross-section of responses appears below. Publishers, dates, and synopses are available on the Internet.

Brigadier General Chris Arney, USA (Retired), a professor of mathematics at West Point, focuses on information networks, modeling, intelligence processing, and artificial intelligence.

          Mario Diani and Doug McAdam, Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action

          Howard Steven Friedman Howard, The Measure of a Nation: How to Regain America’s Competitive Edge and Boost Our Global Standing               

Lieutenant General David Barno, USA, (Retired), who saw combat in Grenada and Panama, commanded all U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan from 2003-2005. He now is a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.   

          Eliot Cohen, Supreme Command

          Colin Gray, Another Bloody Century

Captain Sean Barrett, USMC, is a Fellow for the Marine Corps Director of Intelligence, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Treasury. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Intelligence Officer.

          Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

          George Orwell, Animal Farm

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bateman, USA, formerly Office of Net Assessment, currently in International  Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan.

          Azar Gat, A History of Military Thought

          John Lynn, ed., Feeding Mars, Logistics in Western Warfare, from the Middle Age to the Present   [….]

Read the rest here.

7 Responses to “The 2012 Warlord Loop Reading List at SWJ”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    Hi, Zen:
    I’ve thrown in a couple of suggestions of my own in the comments section of the SWJ listing — notably, Gregory Johnsen’s very recent book The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia, of which a review copy is winging its way to me, and which I hope to review here soon. But hey, how in hell does anyone choose even five books to read, out of such an extensive list?
    Anyway, I think the Loop should include films next time around, and maybe even games. I’ve just been watching two exceptional movies in tandem for an upcoming post: Gillo Pontecorvo’s classic The Battle of Algiers, and Black Friday, Anurag Kashyap’s no less brilliant telling of the 1993 Bombay / Mumbai attacks. Maybe I’m just getting too old for books… 

  2. zen Says:

    Hi Charles,
    I think they started work on a film list but I don’t recall what came of it. Maybe Adam or Crispin remembers. I do know The Godfather was suggested for it. 

  3. Charles Cameron Says:

    Coppola, eh?  Were any opinions voices about Apocalypse Now? I can imagine opinions on that one being divided…

  4. Justin Boland Says:

    That is one beautiful mess of a reading list. They must have very interesting conversations in this Loop of Warlords.

  5. Mr. X Says:

    Thank God, some Orwell on the SWJ reading list. Let us hope they read Orwell thoroughly and never produce another ‘let’s fight the Civil War over again in South Carolina’ piece again.

  6. zen Says:

    Sometimes. The sheer volume of posts is actually overwhelming. And like any established online community larger than 3 ppl, the Loop requires stringent policing by the moderators to keep the Flame Warriors in line.

  7. Mr. X Says:

    Relax Zen, I have an entire blog now devoted to the worst sort of flame warriors — those who may not yet be professionals but certainly aspire to be paid to defame their fellow citizens daily. I’ll leave that material over there.

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