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These resources are intended as overviews of relevant discussion and do not represent endorsement by TRADOC.
U.S. Army Chief of Staff’s Professional Reading List (2017)
The Art of War by
Call Number: Print & AudioCD & eBook
This work is the most famous study of military strategy ever written and has had an extraordinary influence on the history of warfare. Its principles were used by Mao Tse-tung, General Vo Ngyuen Giap, and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. First translated two hundred years ago, it has been credited with influencing Napoleon, the German general staff, and even the planning for Operation Desert Storm.
Big Stick: the limits of soft power and the necessity of military force by
Call Number: Print & AudioCD
Publication Date: 2017
"Speak softly and carry a big stick" Theodore Roosevelt famously said in 1901, when the United States was emerging as a great power. It was the right sentiment, perhaps, in an age of imperial rivalry but today many Americans doubt the utility of their global military presence, thinking it outdated, unnecessary or even dangerous. InThe Big Stick, Eliot A. Cohen-a scholar and practitioner of international relations-disagrees. He argues that hard power remains essential for American foreign policy. While acknowledging that the US must be careful about why, when, and how it uses force, he insists that its international role is as critical as ever, and armed force is vital to that role. Cohen explains that American leaders must learn to use hard power in new ways and for new circumstances. The rise of a well-armed China, Russia's conquest of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran, and the spread of radical Islamist movements like ISIS are some of the key threats to global peace. If the United States relinquishes its position as a strong but prudent military power, and fails to accept its role as the guardian of a stable world order we run therisk of unleashing disorder, violence and tyranny on a scale not seen since the 1930s. The US is still, as Madeleine Albright once dubbed it, "the indispensable nation."
Carnage and culture : landmark battles in the rise of Western power by
Call Number: Print Copy
Publication Date: 2002
Examining nine landmark battles from ancient to modern times--from Salamis, where outnumbered Greeks devastated the slave army of Xerxes, to Cortes’s conquest of Mexico to the Tet offensive--Victor Davis Hanson explains why the armies of the West have been the most lethal and effective of any fighting forces in the world. Looking beyond popular explanations such as geography or superior technology, Hanson argues that it is in fact Western culture and values–the tradition of dissent, the value placed on inventiveness and adaptation, the concept of citizenship–which have consistently produced superior arms and soldiers. Offering riveting battle narratives and a balanced perspective that avoids simple triumphalism, Carnage and Culture demonstrates how armies cannot be separated from the cultures that produce them and explains why an army produced by a free culture will always have the advantage.
Connectography : mapping the future of global civilization by
Call Number: Print Copy
Publication Date: 2016
From the visionary bestselling author of The Second World and How to Run the World comes a bracing and authoritative guide to a future shaped less by national borders than by global supply chains, a world in which the most connected powers--and people--will win. Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty-first century. Mankind is reengineering the planet, investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure linking the world's burgeoning megacities together. This has profound consequences for geopolitics, economics, demographics, the environment, and social identity. Connectivity, not geography, is our destiny. In Connectography, visionary strategist Parag Khanna travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, Pakistan to Nigeria, and across the Arctic Circle and the South China Sea to explain the rapid and unprecedented changes affecting every part of the planet. He shows how militaries are deployed to protect supply chains as much as borders, and how nations are less at war over territory than engaged in tugs-of-war over pipelines, railways, shipping lanes, and Internet cables.
Direction of War : Contemporary Strategy in Historical Perspective by
Call Number: Print Copy
Publication Date: 2013
The wars since 9/11, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, have generated frustration and an increasing sense of failure in the West. Much of the blame has been attributed to poor strategy. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, public enquiries and defence think tanks have detected a lack of consistent direction, of effective communication, and of governmental coordination. In this important book, Sir Hew Strachan, one of the world's leading military historians, reveals how these failures resulted from a fundamental misreading and misapplication of strategy itself. He argues that the wars since 2001 have not in reality been as 'new' as has been widely assumed and that we need to adopt a more historical approach to contemporary strategy in order to identify what is really changing in how we wage war. If war is to fulfil the aims of policy, then we need first to understand war.
The future, declassified : megatrends that will undo the world unless we take action by
Call Number: Print Copy
Publication Date: 2014
CIA Analyst Burrows--for the first time--has expanded the most recent Global Trends report into a full-length narrative, forecasting the tectonic shifts that will drive us to 2030. A staggering amount of wholesale change is happening--from unprecedented and widespread aging to rampant urbanization and growth in a global middle class to an eastward shift in economic power and a growing number of disruptive technologies. Even our physical geography is changing as sea levels rise and faster commercial shipping routes open up through a warming Arctic region. The book concludes with its most provocative section: four fictional paths to 2030 with imagined storylines and characters based on analysis by the most authoritative figures in the intelligence community. As Burrows argues, we are living through some of the greatest and most momentous developments in history. Either we take charge and direct those or we are at their mercy. The stakes are particularly high for America's standing in the world and for ordinary Americans who want to maintain their quality of life. Running the gamut from scary to reassuring, this riveting book is essential reading.