U.S. Army Chief of Staff's Professional Reading List, Sublist 4, for Senior Leaders above Brigade Leval
Thinking in Time / Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest MayHistory is an invaluable tool for decision makers; but if used without careful consideration, it can blind the unwary with false analogies. This classic book offers senior leaders invaluable suggestions on how to use and avoid misusing the valuable experience that history can provide.
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order / Samuel HuntingtonA prescient and controversial analysis of post–Cold War world challenges that sees the poverty and religious extremism of the Third World as the next great threat to world order. In this incisive work, the renowned political scientist explains how “civilizations” have replaced nations and ideologies as the driving force in global politics today. While not all will agree with the author’s main thesis, one cannot afford to ignore this important and persuasive book.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization / Thomas FriedmanThomas Friedman, the well-traveled New York Times foreign-affairs columnist, peppers The Lexus and the Olive Tree with engaging stories that illustrate his central theme: that globalization, the Lexus, is the central organizing principle of the post–Cold War world, even though many individuals and nations resist by holding on to what has traditionally mattered to them—the olive tree. An important primer on the modern world for all leaders.
War in European History / Michael HowardIn this slim but important volume, one of England’s most distinguished historians brilliantly summarizes the evolution of warfare in Europe from the Roman Empire to the nuclear age. For the American senior leader, Howard’s book offers an excellent and thought-provoking introduction to the broader history of the profession of arms and the role that war has played in the evolution of Western civilization.
Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age / Edited by Peter ParetA wonderful anthology on the evolution of strategic thought. Moving from Machiavelli to the present in twenty-eight insightful essays, the authors examine such topics as the role of doctrine, the genius of Napoleon, the limits of air power, and nuclear strategy. A primer for all senior leaders who must think strategically on a variety of issues.
The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War / Edited by Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox, and Alvin BersteinSome of the most respected scholars in the field of strategic studies examine the formulation of strategy in all its complexity. Senior leaders will find useful insight into the cultural, social, political, and organizational dimensions of strategic decisions as explored in specific cases ranging from the Peloponnesian Wars of the fifth century BCE to the formulation of twentieth-century U.S. nuclear policy. The seventeen cases display continuities in the principles of strategic thinking and break this 700-page volume into conveniently sized individual readings.
The Peloponnesian War / Donald KaganSenior leaders will want to read this valuable account of coalition warfare on land and sea in Ancient Greece. This book focuses on the strategic planning of Athens and Sparta, their shifting alliances, and the impact that individual leadership and civil-military relations had on the implementation of those plans. The lessons of this great war between two powerful city-states in the ancient world are still valid after twenty-four centuries: economic strength does not guarantee victory, nor does military might ensure the ability to make peace.
Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam / H. R. McMasterIn this important book, the author argues persuasively that President Johnson wanted to fight the war on poverty, not the war in Vietnam, and that he made decisions he believed would allow him to do both. This was a recipe for disaster, which the Joint Chiefs of Staff exacerbated by failing to provide the president with their best advice. Dereliction of Duty is a cautionary tale about how the military and its civilian leadership failed at the highest levels.
Victory on the Potomac / James R. Locher IIIVictory on the Potomac is a fascinating story of how Congress forced the Pentagon to undergo major reform in the mid-1980s. Locher, who was a major participant in the process, tells the inside story of the Goldwater-Nichols reforms of 1986 that set the stage for increased jointness in the services. This is an excellent primer on the creation of public policy and the interface between the Pentagon and Congress.
The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300–2050 / Edited by MacGregor Knox and Williamson MurrayThe editors provide a conceptual framework and historical context for understanding the patterns of change, innovation, and adaptation that have marked war in the Western world since the fourteenth century. Case studies and a conceptual overview offer to all senior leaders an indispensable introduction to military change.
The Challenge of Change: Military Institutions and New Realities, 1918–1941 / Edited by Harold R. Winton and David R. MetsThe Challenge of Change examines how military institutions attempted to meet the demands of the new strategic, political, and technological realities of the turbulent era between the First and Second World Wars. The contributors chose France, Germany, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States as focus countries because their military institutions endeavored to develop both the material capacity and the conceptual framework for the conduct of modern industrialized warfare on a continental scale.
Transformation under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights / Douglas A. MacgregorBuilding on the success of his first work, Breaking the Phalanx, the author lays out a blueprint for revolutionary change in how America’s Army is organized and fights. Macgregor argues that America needs a radically different military force to fight the global joint expeditionary warfare required by the Global War on Terrorism. This book is an interesting, if controversial, prescription that has many followers in today’s Army. Transformation under Fire is important reading for senior Army leaders, providing a starting point for any discussion on transformation.