Military Theory and Strategy
Black Glasses Like Clark Kent
A GI's Secret From Postwar Japan
Paperback ISBN: 1555974902
The author describes how, following her elderly uncle's suicide, she undertook to investigate his experiences as an MP in Japan following the end of World War II, interviewing many of his fellow former GIs and visiting Japan to search fro the truth about the so-called military justice of the era. Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. Original.
Afghanistan And the Troubled Future of Unconventional Warfare
Hardcover ISBN: 159114745x
Rothstein (defense analysis, US Naval Postgraduate School) analyzes the lessons of the US war in Afghanistan, suggesting that success in overthrowing the Taliban should not obscure the organizational and operational inability of US Special Operations Forces to conduct unconventional warfare against the irregular forces of al-Qaeda. Setting his study within the framework of organizational and contingency theory, he argues that Defense Department structures are ill suited for the organizational innovation required by unconventional warfare. He recommends the creation of a separate unconventional warfare service with a regional and cultural focus that emphasizes language, network analysis, intelligence collection, basic civics, international relations, interagency familiarization, and negotiating skills, in addition to other organizational and cultural changes. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Paperback ISBN: 1439181772
In 1979 a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known accepted military practice -- and indeed, the laws of physics -- they believed that a soldier could adopt a cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror. With firsthand access to the leading players in the story, Ronson traces the evolution of these bizarre activities over the past three decades and shows how they are alive today within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in postwar Iraq. Why are they blasting Iraqi prisoners of war with the theme tune to Barney the Purple Dinosaur? Why have 100 debleated goats been secretly placed inside the Special Forces Command Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina? How was the U.S. military associated with the mysterious mass suicide of a strange cult from San Diego? The Men Who Stare at Goats answers these and many more questions.
Glory and Terror
The Growing Nuclear Danger
Paperback ISBN: 1590171306
Steven Weinberg, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, writes that America today "has an unprecedented opportunity to begin to escape from the risk of nuclear annihilation." But, he warns, President Bush is not only letting this opportunity slip away, he is, in some respects, moving in the wrong direction. Bush's abrogation of the 1972 treaty limiting anti-ballistic missile systems is one example. Another, equally worrying, is the "revival of the idea of developing nuclear weapons for use, rather than solely for deterrence." The development of low-yield, earth-penetrating nuclear weapons for use in attacking underground bunkers "would be foolishness on a scale that even medieval knights might find implausible," Weinberg argues. Such weapons would be "one sort of folly to which war is especially well suited: the lust for glory." The temptation to prize military glamour over sensible strategy has always been with us, as Weinberg shows in examples from the Middle Ages onward, but may have a particularly dangerous effect on defense policies in our age of high-tech armaments. Anthony Lewis writes in his preface concerning these proposed weapons: "In the face of official folly so great, most of us tend to turn off. The subject is too difficult, and too frightening. But Steven Weinberg does not turn off. He grapples with the danger and the folly in understandable and elegant prose."