17 January 2009

AF Reading List

Each year the Air Force comes out with a recommended reading list. This years reading list includes 12 books. This year's reading list is organized into three areas: 1) Military History; 2) Mission, Doctrine, Profession; and 3) Our Nation and Our World. Here are 3 books that General Schwartz highlights.

The first book speaks to our Military History. American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day, by Robert Coram, details the life of a heroic man in the United States Air Force. Coram's superb biography of the most decorated living American veteran begins with Bud Day's childhood and follows him through joining the Air Force, marrying his high school sweetheart, and flying demanding missions in Vietnam. It is a truly remarkable story of a great Airman and Medal of Honor recipient.

The second book, Modern Strategy by Colin S. Gray, makes sense of the strategic history of the 20th Century and what this implies for the 21st Century. Gray recently wrote a thought-provoking Strategic Studies Quarterly article about Airpower and Irregular Warfare, and this book is an excellent backdrop for better understanding the demands on our Air Force.

The third book for this quarter is Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win, by Jeffrey Record. This book examines the phenomenon of victories by the weak over the strong, and more specifically, insurgencies that succeeded against great powers. Mr. Record reviews eleven insurgent wars from 1775 to the present and suggests why the seemingly weaker side won. He concludes that external assistance correlates more consistently with insurgent success than any other explanation.

Mission, Doctrine, Profession

Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice - David Galula
Twenty-First-Century Strategy: An Introduction to the Modern National Security Processes and Problems - Dennis M. Drew and Donald M. Snow
Modern Strategy - by Colin S. Gray
Thinking about America's Defense: An Analytical Memoir - Glenn A. Kent

Our Nation and World

Afghanistan: A Short History of its People and Politics - Martin Ewans
Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win - Jeffrey Record
Contemporary Nuclear Debates: Missile Defense, Arms Control, and Arms Races in the Twenty-First Century - Alexander Lennon
Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda - Sean Naylor

Military History

American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day - Robert Coram
Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers: Innovation in the U.S. Army, 1917-1945 - David E. Johnson
One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam - Timothy Castle
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power - Max Boot

Happy Reading.