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CDS reading list and Clausewitz

#1
Like the young, ambitious thruster that I am, I've printed off CDS' little list, and purchased some of the books from amazon. The majority of the titles on there I've little problem with, and can "reflect" on them in a critical manner etc, however as a dark blue type, I've limited (i.e. no) exposure to Clausewitz. Can any-one point me in a direction of a website, article or book that allows me to do some "reflective learning" on the new book I've got?

VMT

Al

For other young thrusters - a copy can be found in Armynet:

Armynet -> reference portal -> DIN -> DIN 2010 -> DIN 07-036
 
#2
On War. My god, what a dull dull read, and depending on who youi listen to, possibly written by his wife :)

Personally I don't rate Clausewitz, he majors on 'big war' and strategic/grand strategic. I prefer Sun Tzu, seems more tactical/operational focused. Easier to read, easier to remeber and draw from and some of the lessons transfer neatly into other disciplines.

Entertainingly there is a 'Sun Tzu for Managers' which sets the Art of War in a corporate enviroment and is actually very good despite its odd title.

The Prince by Machiavelli, very interesting. Especially when discussing the Military and the state, i.e. limiting the Generals power by statute.

Utility of Force, like eating dry museli. Good for you but hard work. Joking aside, it is worth reading.

Might also suggest:

Campaign Planning - Alexander Svechin
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#3
Rather than read Clauswitz you may be better served by other material that reviews his works in a modern context.

At the moment I am finishing off "A savage war of peace - Algeria 1954-1962" by Alistair Horne. ISBN 978-1-59017-218-6

Check the reviews......
 
#4
I fear I may not have passed the point across very well...

The Grand High Poobah has recommended "Clausewitz: A Very Short Introduction", and thus I will be reading it. I was looking for an article/book/etc/ to place in context, to point out the flaws and more importantly, to show it's relevance to me, as a senior Junior Officer (as it were), working predominately in the Maritime and Littoral.

I suspect I'm supposed to read it because 'Joint' is spelled A-R-M-Y and pronounced 'Land'....
 
#5
If you want exposure to von Clausewitz without wading through the mud that is 'On War' (never made it myself) get 'A Very Short Introduction to Clausewitz' by Michael Howard. Michael Howard has done the hard work so you don't have to. Ninety pages or so, perfect. In discussions you can give it some ' as Clausewitz said.....' and prepare for groans.

.......... and depending on who youi listen to, possibly written by his wife
I didn't think there was any doubt that his wife put his papers together after he died, but I've never heard anyone suggest she wrote the thing.

ATG, we can't keep meeting like this!
 
#7
KnightsofRowallan said:
alfred_the_great said:
I suspect I'm supposed to read it because 'Joint' is spelled A-R-M-Y and pronounced 'Land'....
LOL, Like it. Mind if I use that in my travels.
Go for it - I claim no provenance, except it's a fairly standard RN phrase. Perhaps it demonstrates quite how jaded we are!
 
#14
alfred_the_great said:
I fear I may not have passed the point across very well...

The Grand High Poobah has recommended "Clausewitz: A Very Short Introduction", and thus I will be reading it. I was looking for an article/book/etc/ to place in context, to point out the flaws and more importantly, to show it's relevance to me, as a senior Junior Officer (as it were), working predominately in the Maritime and Littoral.

I suspect I'm supposed to read it because 'Joint' is spelled A-R-M-Y and pronounced 'Land'....
One of my favourite quotes is "Given the nature of the subject, we must remind ourselves that it is simply not possible to construct a model for the art of war that can serve as a scaffolding on which the commander can rely for support at any time."

The lesson I suggest we should all take from Clausewitz is the use of the dialectic method in analysing our problems, i.e. the idea of balancing conflicting priorities, that there is never one simplistic right answer like fire-power or strategic bombing. That I would suggest is it's universal relevance, why it has lasted as long as it has and why it is relevant to you.
 
#15
DPM said:
barbs said:
Try clausewitz.com which even has a FAQ entitled "Where can I find some choice quotations?"
barbs,

Tell me you've got that on your 'Favourites'!

How are you btw? Hope all's well. Long time since I've been on here...

dpm
Yes, it is in my favourites... along with all the articles I need to write my own book on COIN, Which is, afterall, what we have been implored to do.

Very well, glad to see that you are still alive. You haven't missed much...
 
#17
barbs said:
Yes, it is in my favourites... along with all the articles I need to write my own book on COIN, Which is, afterall, what we have been implored to do.

Very well, glad to see that you are still alive. You haven't missed much...
Alive in body, but not in soul - is it just me, or are Qs 4-7 of childcare harder to answer than in a tricky Bde estimate?

Back to Shaun the bloody Sheep...

dpm
 
#18
For those of you who don't have access to ARMYNET or DII, below are the texts recommended by CDS for his Strategic Thinking Initiative.

*If a MOD really objects to me placing this on the Internet, feel free to delete. I'm on leave for the rest of the month, so I won't be answering PMs and such like!

DEVELOPING STRATEGIC THINKERS - CDS' READING LIST

PRIMERS

• Clausewitz: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Howard. Oxford University Press, 2002
• Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by David Miller. Oxford University Press, 2003
• International Relations: A Very Short Introduction by Paul Wilkinson. Oxford University Press, 2007
• Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age by Peter Paret. Princeton University Press, 1986

CORE

• Classical Strategy Making
o Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought by Michael I Handel. Frank Cass, 2001
o The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States and War by Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox and Alvin Bernstein. Cambridge University Press, 2007
o Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis. Oxford University Press, 2005
o Strategy: The Indirect Approach by B H Liddell Hart. Faber, 1967

• Contemporary
o Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century by Paddy Ashdown. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2007
o Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World by Rupert Smith. Penguin, 2006
o War Made New: Weapons, Warriors and the Making of the Modern World by Max Boot. Gotham Books, 2007
o Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare by Colin Gray. Phoenix, 2005
• Political/Military Relationships
o Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke - War Diaries 1939-1945 edited by Alex Danchev and Dan Todman. Phoenix, 2002
o Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses who led the West to Victory in World War II by Andrew Roberts. Penguin, 2009

• Thought Provoking
o The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. Penguin Classics, 2004
o The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Beckstrom and Rod Brafman. Portfolio, 2008