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Recommended Reading

This kind of post is supposed to be a Sunday thing, but summer means throwing patterns overboard, while walking around in khaki shorts and drinking overpriced microbrew. Been working on a big “think” post, on and off, but it is not ready yet.

Top Billing! Lexington GreenDavid Kilcullen at the Pritzker Military Library

….Waiting in line to get my book autographed, after the talk, the guy in front of me asked Dr. Kilcullen, “could you recommend three books on counterinsurgency?” Kilcullen started to hedge, “well, I can’t really … .” I intervened, “c’mon, your on the spot, go ahead and name three.” He smiled and sat back and said, “well, OK, I’d say Seven Pillars, and Galula on Counterinsurgency, you know Galula? And also one, by an Al Qaeda theorist, called the Management of Savagery“.

You have to imagine all that in an Australian accent.

An interesting top three. Galula is pretty much the Bible, though there are dissenters, who dismiss Mao-era counter-insurgency as outdated. Obviously, Kilcullen does not think so. And T.E. Lawrence seems to have a more mixed reputation, but Kilcullen came up with his book first. And I am a fairly obsessive amateur, yet I had never heard of the Management of Savagery


Thomas P.M. BarnettHong Kong’s membership in a larger China: the liberty maintained for now, but the elections still postponed and The weak tug of Tiananmen among China’s youth

Chinese takeout from Tom. The Chinese students of 1989 might end up being akin to the European generation of 1848.

SWJ How to Think about Mexico and Beyond

….Our worst hemispheric nightmare would be a country with desperation of Haiti, the hostility of Cuba, the cash of Venezuela, the capabilities of Brazil, and the proximity of Mexico… and that country could be Mexico.

Mexico is the national security community’s elephant – wait, no, mastodon – in the room.
Information DisseminationThe Industry and Social Software

Galrahn takes a short break from Naval gazing to tackle another of his areas of expertise.

Whoa – our special envoy thinks a Pushtun tent is a cocktail reception in Paris and that he is Roman Polanski. Hat tip to Abu Muqawama.

Whirledview -CKRThose Crowds in the Streets

Cheryl ties Khameini to Nicholas II via biographer and historian Robert K. Massie in a thoughtful post.

Fabius Maximus The best geopolitical webposts, ever

Love the pony.

Steve CollIran’s Perpetual Revolution

Always a sober voice.

Foreign PolicyThe Next Big Thing

Mini-futurism. Parag Khanna decides to be the shorter Martin van Creveld in four paragraphs.

That’s it!

6 Responses to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Lexington Green Says:

    Thanks, ZP.
    The Parag Khanna piece is very good.
    Cheryl’s piece was good, too. 

  2. Stephen Pampinella Says:

    Ha great description of Holbrooke.

  3. Charles Cameron Says:

    Interesting.  I don’t have Seven Pillars (maybe in storage?) I don’t have Galula (keeping my eyes out, to be sure) — but thanks to the CTC, I do have The Management of Savagery. On my PC.  So I’d just like to say a word in praise of http://ctc.usma.edu/ and their publications.

  4. zen Says:

    Hi Charles,
    Word of praise is entered into the record. Did you ever snag a a review copy of Fighting Identity ?

  5. T. Greer Says:

    It seems I have already read all of these (with the exception of Coll’s piece). A slightly humorous thought- does this mean I am reading all the best sources, or am I simply part of an inclusive community who shuffles the same few links and pieces back and forth? 

  6. zen Says:

    Hi T. Greer,

    There’s  several explanations:
    1. Congruence, as you suggested.
    2. I was way late on doing a R.R. post.
    3.  I tend to cast my net narrowly one time and then widely the next. Narrowly when I am pressed for time, widely when my progeny and spouse are too preoccupied to pester me. 🙂

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