14 November 2012


Jayadeva Ranade
Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi

There have recently been more indications that China’s new leadership, which is to be installed at the 18th Party Congress that is scheduled to convene in Beijing on November 8, is preparing to take some new initiatives with regard to the Tibetan issue. This could include recommencement of talks—suspended since January 2010— with the Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala. Thinly cloaked as the venture of APECF, a Chinese government-sponsored so-called NGO manned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cadres, the initiative simultaneously seeks to revive plans to consolidate and expand China’s presence in Nepal and ingress India and its border regions, including by ostensibly centering on Buddhist tourism in Lumbini in Nepal. Discernible contours of this new overture suggest it has the potential to undermine the Indian initiative taken at the Global Buddhist Congregation in New Delhi in November 2011. Download full article

Army unsure about all-weather border fence

Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 12

Even as the Union Home Ministry plans to study the feasibility of an ‘impregnable’ all-weather fence along the 776-km-long Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir to ward off militants from Pakistan and Pak-occupied Kashmir, the Army described it a very difficult task that would cost crores of rupees.

“The LoC in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most difficult terrains in the world that witnesses heavy snowfall and avalanches during winter and landslides and floods during monsoon. We don’t know what kind of technology will be used to raise a permanent all-weather fence in such a terrain,” said a senior Army officer, who declined to be named. “But it sounds good to the ears and if it happens, nothing like it,” he added. The Union Home Ministry has decided to soon convene a high-level meeting with experts in the field of engineering and Army officials to ascertain the feasibility of erecting permanent fence along the LoC that can withstand heavy snowfall. The move is aimed at achieving zero-infiltration of militants from Pakistan and PoK. Even if such a technology is available in the world, the entire exercise would be a very costly affair running into crores of rupees but so far nobody in the world has ever tried to venture into such a project, said the officer. Another senior Army officer said, “The task would be very difficult.” “The Army had set up the present Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System, including a barbed fence, after studying various models across the world and this was the best model at that time, which still remains very effective,” he said. However, the Home Ministry might have been weighing some other options including the means of electronic surveillance, he added. He said the LoC under the responsibility of the Kashmir-based 15 Corps and Jammu-based 16 Crops was completely fenced in 2004. There are certain stretches which had to be left out because erecting the fence there was not possible, he added. A senior BSF officer said the 192-km-long international border had been covered with permanent fence and floodlights in 2002. To check illegal activities, including terrorism, the Union government had sanctioned 2043.63 km of border fencing and 2009.52 km of floodlighting along the Indo-Pak border; out of which 1940.72 km of border fencing and 1878.92 km of floodlig



11 TH NOVEMBER, 1998

Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am fully conscious of the privilege, which is mine, to have been invited here to address the college. A while ago, I was invited to a seminar where the subject was youth, and people said that the youth of this country was not pulling its weight, that society generally was not satisfied with how the young were functioning. When I was asked what I thought about it, I said that the youngsters of this country are disappointed, disturbed and confused. They cannot understand why all these untoward things are happening in this country. They want to know who is to blame. Not them. If they want to study at night and there is no power, they want to know who is to blame. Not them. If they want to have a bath, there is no water; they want to know who is to blame. Not them. They want to go to college and university and they are told there are not any vacancies; they want to know who is to blame. Not them. They say - here is a country which was considered the brightest jewel in the British Crown. What has happened to this Bright Jewel?

No longer are there excuses with the old political masters saying that the reason why we are in this state is because we were under colonial rule for 250 years. They turn around and say that the British left us almost fifty years ago. What have you done? They point to Singapore, they point to Malaysia, they point to Indonesia, and they point to Hong Kong. They say that they were also under colonial rule and look at the progress those countries have made.
They point to Germany and to Japan who fought a war for four and a half years- whose youth was decimated and industry was destroyed. They were occupied, and they had to pay reparations; Look at the progress those countries have made. The youngsters want an answer. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thought I should give you the answer.

The problem with us is the lack of leadership.

Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen, do not misunderstand me, when I say lack of political leadership. I do not mean just political leadership. Of course, there is lack of leadership, but also there is lack of leadership in every walk of life, whether it is political, administrative, in our educational institutions, or whether it is our sports organizations. Wherever you look, there is lack of leadership. I do not know whether leaders are born or made. There is a school of thought that thinks that leaders are born. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a population of 960 million people and we procreate at the rate of 17 million-equaling the total population of Australia-each year, and yet there is a dearth of leadership. So, those of you who still contribute to the fact that leaders are born, may I suggest you throw away your family planning, throw away the pill,throw away any inhibiting factor and make it free for all. Then perhaps someday a leader may be born.

So, if leaders are not born, can leaders be made? My answer is yes. Give me a man or a woman with a common sense and decency, and I can make a leader out of him or her. That is the subject which I am going to discuss with you this morning.

What are the attributes of leadership? The first, the primary, indeed the cardinal attribute of leadership isprofessional knowledge and professional competence. Now you will agree with me that you cannot be born with professional knowledge and professional competence even if you are a child of Prime Minister, or the son of an industrialist, or the progeny of a Field Marshal. Professional knowledge and professional competence have to be acquired by hard work and by constant study. In this fast- moving technologically developing world, you can never acquire sufficient professional knowledge.

You have to keep at it, and at it, and at it. Can those of our political masters who are responsible for the security and defence of this country cross their hearts and say they have ever read a book on military history, on strategy, on weapons developments. Can they distinguish a mortar from a motor, a gun from a howitzer, a guerrilla from a gorilla, though a vast majority of them resemble the latter.

Ladies and Gentlemen, professional knowledge and professional competence are a sine qua non of leadership. Unless you know what you are talking about, unless you understand your profession, you can never be a leader. Now some of you must be wondering why the Field Marshal is saying this, every time you go round somewhere, you see one of our leaders walking around, roads being blocked, transport being provided for them. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are not leaders. They are just men and women going about disguised as leaders – and they ought to be ashamed of themselves!

What is the next thing you need for leadership? It is the ability to make up your mind to make a decision and accept full responsibility for that decision. Have you ever wondered why people do not make a decision? The answer is quite simple. It is because they lack professional competence, or they are worried that their decision may be wrong and they will have to carry the can. Ladies and Gentlemen, according to the law of averages, if you take ten decisions, five ought to be right. If you have professional knowledge and professional competence, nine will be right, and the one that might not be correct will probably be put right by a subordinate officer or a colleague. But if you do not take a decision, you are doing something wrong. An act of omission is much worse than an act of commission. An act of commission can be put right. An act of omission cannot. Take the example of the time when the Babri Masjid was about to be destroyed. If the Prime Minister, at that stage, had taken a decision to stop it, a whole community – 180 million would not have been harmed. But, because he did not take a decision, you have at least 180 million people in this country alone who do not like us.

When I was the Army Chief, I would go along to a formation, ask the fellow what have you done about this and I normally got an answer, “Sir, I have been thinking… I have not yet made up my mind,” and I coined a Manekshawism. If the girls will excuse my language, it was ‘if you must be a bloody fool - be one quickly’. So remember that you are the ones who are going to be the future senior staff officers, the future commanders. Make a decision and having made it, accept full responsibility for it. Do not pass it on to a colleague or subordinate.

So, what comes next for leadership? Absolute Honesty, fairness and justice – we are dealing with people. Those of us who have had the good fortune of commanding hundreds and thousands of men know this. No man likes to be punished, and yet a man will accept punishment stoically if he knows that the punishment meted out to him will be identical to the punishment meted out to another person who has some Godfather somewhere. This is very, very important. No man likes to be superceded, and yet men will accept supercession if they know that they are being superceded, under the rules, by somebody who is better then they are but not just somebody who happens to be related to the Commandant of the staff college or to a Cabinet Minister or by the Field Marshal’s wife’s current boyfriend. This is extremely important, Ladies and Gentlemen.

We in India have tremendous pressures- pressures from the Government, pressures from superior officers, pressures from families, pressures from wives, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and girlfriends, and we lack the courage to withstand those pressures. That takes me to the next attribute of Leadership- Moral and Physical Courage.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not know which of these is more important. When I am talking to young officers and young soldiers, I should place emphasis on physical courage. But since I am talking to this gathering, I will lay emphasis on Moral Courage. What is moral courage? Moral courage is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and having done so, say so when asked, irrespective of what your superiors might think or what your colleagues or your subordinates might want. A ‘yes man’ is a dangerous man. He may rise very high, he might even become the Managing Director of a company. He may do anything but he can never make a leader because he will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So shallow– the ‘yes man’.

I am going to illustrate from my own life an example of moral courage. In 1971, when Pakistan clamped down on its province, East Pakistan, hundreds and thousands of refugees started pouring into India. The Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi had a cabinet meeting at ten o’clock in the morning. The following attended: the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh, the Defence Minister, Mr. Jagjivan Ram, the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Rao, and I was also ordered to be present.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. A very angry Prime Minister read out messages from Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. All of them saying that hundreds of thousands of refugees had poured into their states and they did not know what to do. So the Prime Minister turned round to me and said: “I want you to do something”.

I said, “What do you want me to do?”

She said, “I want you to enter East Pakistan”.

I said, “Do you know that that means War?”

She said, “I do not mind if it is war”.

I, in my usual stupid way said, “Prime Minister, have you read the Bible?”And the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh (a Punjabi Sikh), in his Punjabi accent said, “What has Bible got to do with this?”, and I said, “the first book, the first chapter, the first paragraph, the first sentence, God said, ‘let there be light’’ and there was light. You turn this round and say ‘let there be war’ and there will be war. What do you think? Are you ready for a war? Let me tell you –“it’s 28th April, the Himalayan passes are opening now, and if the Chinese gave us an ultimatum, I will have to fight on two fronts”.

Again Sardar Swaran Singh turned round and in his Punjabi English said, “Will China give ultimatum?”

I said, “You are the Foreign Minister. You tell me”.

Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, last year you wanted elections in West Bengal and you did not want the communists to win, so you asked me to deploy my soldiers in penny pockets in every village, in every little township in West Bengal. I have two divisions thus deployed in sections and platoons without their heavy weapons. It will take me at least a month to get them back to their units and to their formations. Further, I have a division in the Assam area, another division in Andhra Pradesh and the Armoured Division in the Jhansi-Babina area. It will take me at least a month to get them back and put them in their correct positions. I will require every road, every railway train, every truck, every wagon to move them. We are harvesting in the Punjab, and we are harvesting in Haryana; we are also harvesting in Uttar Pradesh. And you will not be able to move your harvest.

I turned to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, “If there is a famine in the country afterwards, it will be you to blame, not me.” Then I said, “My Armoured Division has only got thirteen tanks which are functioning.”

The Finance Minister, Mr. Chawan, a friend of mine, said, “Sam, why only thirteen?”

“Because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking for money for the last year and a half, and you keep saying there is no money. That is why.” Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, it is the end of April. By the time I am ready to operate, the monsoon will have broken in that East Pakistan area. When it rains, it does not just rain, it pours. Rivers become like oceans. If you stand on one bank, you cannot see the other and the whole countryside is flooded. My movement will be confined to roads, the Air Force will not be able to support me, and, if you wish me to enter East Pakistan, I guarantee you a hundred percent defeat.”

“You are the Government”, I said turning to the Prime Minister, “Now will you give me your orders?”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have seldom seen a woman so angry, and I am including my wife in that. She was red in the face and I said, “Let us see what happens”. She turned round and said, “The cabinet will meet four o’clock in the evening”.

Everyone walked out. I being the junior most man was the last to leave. As I was leaving, she said, “Chief, please will you stay behind?” I looked at her. I said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, would you like me to send in my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?”

“No, sit down, Sam. Was everything you told me the truth?”

“Yes, it is my job to tell you the truth. It is my job to fight and win, not to lose.”

She smiled at me and said, “All right, Sam. You know what I want. When will you be ready?”
“I cannot tell you now, Prime Minister”, I said, but let me guarantee you this that if you leave me alone, allow me to plan, make my arrangements, and fix a date, I guarantee you a hundred percent victory”.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as I told you, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. Just an example of moral courage. Now, those of you who remembered what happened in 1962, when the Chinese occupied the Thag-la ridge and Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister, sent for the Army Chief, in the month of December and said, “I want you to throw the Chinese out”. That Army Chief did not have the Moral courage to stand up to him and say, “I am not ready, my troops are not acclimatized, I haven’t the ammunition, or indeed anything”. But he accepted the Prime Minister’s instructions, with the result that the Army was beaten and the country humiliated.

Remember, moral courage. You, the future senior staff officers and commanders will be faced with many problems. People will want all sorts of things. You have got to have the moral courage to stand up and tell them the facts. Again, as I told you before, a ‘yes man’ is a despicable man.

This takes me to the next attribute: Physical courage. Fear, like hunger and sex, is a natural phenomenon. Any man who says he is not frightened is a liar or a Gorkha. It is one thing to be frightened. It is quite another to show fear. If you once show fear in front of your men, you will never be able to command. It is when your teeth are chattering, your knees are knocking and you are about to make your own geography- that is when the true leader comes out!

I am sorry but I am going to illustrate this with another example from my own life. I am not a brave man. In fact, I am a terribly frightened man. My wife and I do not share the same bedroom. “Why?” you will ask. Because she says I snore. Although I have told her, No, I don’t. No other woman has ever complained”.

I am not a brave man. If I am frightened, I am frightened of wild animals, I am frightened of ghosts and spirits and so on. If my wife tells me a ghost story after dinner, I cannot sleep in my room, and I have to go to her room. I have often wondered why she tells me these ghost stories periodically.

In World War II, my battalion, which is now in Pakistan, was fighting the Japanese. We had a great many casualties. I was commanding Charlie Company, which was a Sikh Company. The Frontier Force Regiment in those days had Pathancompanies. I was commanding the Sikh Company, young Major Manekshaw. As we were having too many casualties, we had pulled back to reorganize, re-group, make up our casualties and promotions.

The Commanding Officer had a promotion conference. He turned to me and said, “Sam, we have to make lots of promotions. In your Sikh company, you have had a lot of casualties. Surat Singh is a senior man. Should we promote him to the rank of Naik?” Now, Surat Singh was the biggest Badmaash in my company. He had been promoted twice or three times and each time he had to be marched up in front of the Colonel for his stripes to be taken off. So I said, “No use, Sir, promoting Surat Singh. You promote him today and the day after tomorrow, I will have to march him in front of you to take his stripes off”. So, Surat Singh was passed over. The promotion conference was over, I had lunch in the Mess and I came back to my company lines. Now, those of you who have served with Sikhs will know that they are very cheerful lot- always laughing, joking and doing something. When I arrived at my company lines that day, it was quite different, everybody was quiet. When my second-in-command, Subedar Balwant Singh, met me I asked him, “What has happened, Subedar Sahib?” He said, “Sahib, something terrible has happened. Surat Singh felt slighted and has told everybody that he is going to shoot you today”.

Surat Singh was a light machine gunner, and was armed with a pistol. His pistol had been taken away, and Surat Singh has been put under close arrest. I said, “All right, Sahib. Put up a table, a soap box, march Surat Singh in front of me”. So he was marched up. The charge was read out- ‘threatening to shoot his Commanding officer whilst on active service in the theatre of war’. That carries the death penalty. The witnesses gave their evidence. I asked for Surat Singh’s pistol which was handed to me. I loaded it, rose from my soap box, walked up to Surat Singh, handed the pistol to him then turned round and told him, “You said you will shoot me”. I spoke to him in Punjabi naturally. I told him, “Have you got the guts to shoot me? Here, shoot me”. He looked at me stupidly and said, “Nahin, Sahib, galtee ho gayaa”. I gave him a tight slap and said, “Go out, case dismissed”. 

I went around the company lines, the whole company watching what was happening. I walked around, chatted to the people, went to the Mess in the evening to have a drink, and have my dinner, but when I came back again Sardar Balwant Singh said, “Nahin Sahib, you have made a great mistake. Surat Singh will shoot you tonight”.
I said, “Bulao Surat Singh ko”.

He came along. I said, “Surat Singh, aj rat ko mere tambu par tu pehra dega, or kal subah 6 bjay, mere liye aik mug chai aur aik mug shaving water lana”. Then I walked into my little tent.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I did not sleep the whole night. Next morning, at six o’clock, Surat Singh brought me a mug of tea and a mug of shaving water, thereafter, throughout the war, Surat Singh followed me like a puppy. If I had shown fear in front of my men, I should never have been able to command. I was frightened, terribly frightened, but I dared not show fear in front of them. Those of you, who are going to command soldiers, remember that. You must never show fear.So much for physical courage, but, please believe me, I am still a very frightened man. I am not a brave man.

What comes next? The next attribute of leadership is loyalty. Ladies and Gentlemen, you all expect loyalty. Do we give loyalty? Do we give loyalty to our subordinates, to our colleagues? Loyalty is a three way thing. You expect loyalty, you must therefore, give loyalty to your colleagues and to your subordinates. Men and women in large numbers can be very difficult, they can cause many problems and a leader must deal with them immediately and firmly. Do not allow any non sense, but remember that men and women have many problems. They get easily despondent, they have problems of debt, they have problems of infidelity- wives have run away or somebody has an affair with somebody. They get easily crestfallen, and a leader must have the gift of the gab with a sense of humor to shake them out of their despondence. Our leaders, unfortunately, our “so-called” leaders, definitely have the gift of the gab, but they have no sense of humor. So, remember that.

Finally, for leadership; men and women like their leader to be a man, with all the manly qualities or virtues. The man who says, “I do not smoke, I do not drink, I do not (No, I will not say it)’, does not make a leader. Let me illustrate this from examples from the past. You will agree that Julius Caesar was a great leader- he had his Calphurnia, he had his Antonia, he also had an affair with Cleopatra and, when Caesar used to come to Rome, the Senators locked up their wives. And you will agree that he was a great leader. He was known in Rome as every woman’s husband and he was a great leader. Take Napoleon, he had his Josephine, he had his Marie Walewska, he had his Antoinette and Georgettes and Paulettes. And you will agree he was a great leader. Take the Duke of Wellington- do you know that the night before the battle of Waterloo, there were more Countesses, Marchionesses and other women in his ante-chamber than staff officers and Commanders. And you will agree he was a great leader. Do you know, Ladies and Gentlemen, a thought has just struck me. All these leaders- Caesar, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington- they had one facial feature in common, all had long noses.

So much, Ladies and Gentlemen, for leadership, but no amount of leadership will do this country much good. Yes, it will improve things, but what this country needs is discipline. We are the most ill-disciplined people in the world. You see what is happening- you go down the road, and you see people relieving themselves by the roadside. You go into town, and people are walking up and down the highway, while vehicles are discharging all sorts of muck. Every time you pick up a newspaper, you read of a scam or you read of some other silly thing. As we are the most ill-disciplined people in the world, we must do something about discipline.

What is discipline? Please, when I talk of discipline, do not think of military discipline. That is quite different. Discipline can be defined as conduct and behavior for living decently with one another in society. Who lays down the code of conduct for that? Not the Prime Minister, not the Cabinet, nor superior officers. It is enshrined in our holy books; it is in the Bible, the Torah and in the Vedas, it is in the teachings of Nanak and Mohammad. It has come down to us from time immemorial, from father to son, from mother to child. Nowhere is it laid down, except in the Armed Forces, that lack of punctuality is conduct prejudicial to discipline and decent living.

I will again tell you a little story about that. Some years ago, my wife and I were invited to convocation at a university. I was asked to be there at four o’clock. I got into the staff car with my wife, having chased her from about eleven o’clock in the morning. Don’t forget, darling, you have got to be on time. Get properly dressed; you have to leave at such and such time’. Eventually, I got her into the car. I told the driver, “Thoda aayisthe, thoda jaldi”, but we got to the university and the convocation address place at four o’clock. We were received by the Vice Chancellor and his Lady. We were taken into the convocation hall, and the Vice Chancellor asked me to get on the platform, asking my wife to do so, too. She gracefully declined, and said she much rather sit down below as she seldom had an opportunity of looking up to her husband. Anyway, on the platform, the Vice Chancellor sang my praises. As usual there were 2000 boys and girls who had come for the convocation. There were deans of university, and professors and lecturers. Then he asked me to go to the lectern and address the gathering. I rose to do so and he said (sotto voce), Field Marshal, a fortnight ago we invited a VIP from Delhi for the same function. He was allowed to stand on the same lectern for exactly twenty seconds. I wish you luck. “I said to myself, had the Vice Chancellor mentioned this in his letter of invitation, I wonder, if I should have accepted.

Anyway, I reached the lectern, and I addressed the gathering for my allotted time of forty minutes. I was heard in pin drop silence, and at the end of my talk, was given terrific ovation. The Vice Chancellor and his lady, the Dean, the professors and lecturers, the boys and girls, and even my own wife, standing up and giving me an ovation. After the convocation was over, we walked into the gardens to have refreshments. And I, having an eye for pretty girls, walked up to a pert little thing wearing a pair of tight fitting jeans and a body hugging blouse, and I started a conversation with her. I said, “My dear, why were you so kind to me, I not being an orator nor having the looks of Amitabh Bachhan, when only the other day you treated a VIP from Delhi so shamefully”. This pert little thing had no inhibitions. She turned round and said, and I quote, “Oh, that a dreadful man! We asked him to come at four o’clock. He came much later and that too accompanied with a boy and a girl, probably his grand children. He was received by the Vice Chancellor and his lady and taken to the platform. He was garlanded by the Student Union President, and he demanded garlands for those brats too. So, the Union President diverged with the garland that was meant for the Vice Chancellor and gave it to the brats. Then the Vice Chancellor started singing the worthy’s praises. Whilst he was doing so, this man hitched up his dhoti, exposing his dirty thighs, and scratched away. Then the Vice Chancellor said, “This man has done so much for the country, he has even been to jail”. And I nearly shouted out, ‘He should be there now’. Anyway, when the Vice Chancellor asked him to come to the lectern and address the convocation, he got up, walked to the lectern and addressed us thus, ‘Boys and girls, I am a very busy man. I have not had time to prepare my speech but, I will now read out the speech my secretary has written’. We did not let him stand there. Without exception, the whole lot of us stood and booed him off the stage.”

Now, you see, Ladies and Gentleman, what I mean by discipline. Had this man as his position warranted come on time at four o’clock, fully prepared and properly turned out, can you imagine the good it would have done to these 2000 young girls and boys? Instead of that, his act of indiscipline engendered further indiscipline. I thanked my lucky stars, having been in the Army for so many years, that I arrived there on time, that I had come properly dressed, that I didn’t wear a dhoti to show my lovely legs, that I didn’t exacerbate an itch or eczema, to hurt the susceptibilities of my audience, by indulging in the scratching of the unmentionables.

Now, Ladies and Gentleman, you understand what I mean by discipline. We are the most ill-disciplined people in the world. So far, all of you have been very, very disciplined. Will you bear with me for another two minutes? Having talked about leadership, having talked about discipline, I want to mention something about Character. We Indians also lack character. Do not misunderstand me, when I talk of character. I don’t mean just being honest, truthful, and religious, I mean something more- Knowing yourself, knowing your own faults, knowing your own weaknesses and what little character that we have, our friends, our fans, the ‘yes-men’ around us and the sycophants, help us reduce that character as well. Let me illustrate this by an example:

Some years ago, Hollywood decided to put up the picture of great violinist and composer, Paganini. The part of Paganini was given to a young actor who was conversant, somewhat, with the violin. He was drilled and tutored to such an extent that when the little piece, the Cadenza, was filmed, it was perfect. When the film was shown, the papers raved about it, and the critics raved about it. And this man’s fans, ‘yes-men’, sycophants, kept on telling him that he was as good a violinist as Heifetz or Menuhin. And do you know that I took eight months in a psychiatric home to rid him of his delusion?

Do you know, Commandant, that the same thing happened to me? After the 1971 conflict with Pakistan, which ended in thirteen days and I took 93000 prisoners, my fans, the ‘yes-men’ around me, the sycophants, kept on comparing me to Rommel, to Field Marshal Alexander, to Field Marshal Auchinleck, and just as I was beginning to believe it, the Prime Minister created me a Field Marshal and sent me packing to the Nilgiris. A hard-headed, non-nonsense wife deprived a psychiatric home (what we in India call a lunatic asylum), of one more inmate.

I thank you very much indeed. Thank you.

Question: In 1962 war, what was your appointment, were you in a position to do something about the situation?

FM: In the 1962 war, I was disgrace. I was a Commandant of this Institution.

Mr. Krishna Menon, the Defence Minister, disliked me intensely. General Kaul, who was Chief of General Staff at the time, and the budding man for the next higher appointment, disliked me intensely. So, I was in disgrace at the Staff College. There were charges against me – I will enumerate some of them – all engineered by Mr. Krishna Menon.

I do not know if you remember that in 1961 or 1960, General Thimayya was the Army Chief. He had fallen out with Mr. Krishna Menon and had sent him his resignation. The Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, persuaded General Thimayya to withdraw his resignation. The members of Parliament also disliked Mr. Krishna Menon, and they went hammer and tongs for the Prime Minister in Parliament.

The Prime Minister made the following statement, “I cannot understand why General Thimayya is saying that the Defence Ministry interferes with the working of the Army. Take the case of General Manekshaw. The Selection Board has approved his promotion to Lieutenant General, over the heads of 23 other officers. The Government has accepted that.”

I was the Commandant of the Staff College. I had been approved for promotion to Lieutenant General. Instead of making me the Lieutenant General, Mr. Krishna Menon levied charges against me. There were ten charges, I will enumerate only one or two of them – that I am more loyal to the Queen of England than to the President of India, that I am more British than Indian. That I have been alleged to have said that I will have no instructor in the Staff College whose wife looks like an ayah. These were the sort of charges against me.

For eighteen months my promotion was held back. An enquiry was made. Three Lieutenant Generals, including an Army Commander, sat at the enquiry. I was exonerated on every charge. The file went up to the Prime Minister who sent it up to the Cabinet Secretary, who wrote on the file, ‘if anything happens to General Manekshaw, this case will go will down as the Dreyfus case.’ So the file came back to the Prime Minister. He wrote on it, “Orders may now issue”, meaning I will now become a Lieutenant General. Instead of that, Ladies and Gentleman, I received a letter from the Adjutant General saying that the Defence Minister, Mr. Krishna Menon, has sent his severe displeasure to General Manekshaw, to be recorded. I had it in the office where the Commandant now sits. I sent that letter back to the Adjutant General saying what Mr. Krishna Menon could do with his displeasure, very vulgarly stated. It is still in my dossier.

Then the Chinese came to my help. Krishna Menon was sacked, Kaul was sacked and Nehru sent for me. He said, “General, I have a vigorous enemy. I find out that you are a vigorous General. Will you go and take over?”

I said, “I have been waiting eighteen months for this opportunity,” and I went and took over.
So, your question was 1962, and what part did I play, none whatsoever, none whatsoever.
I was here for eighteen months, persecuted, inquisitions against me but we survive….I rather like the Chinese.

Question: The Army has changed and progressed. Do you find any difference in the mental makeup of the young officers compared to your time?

FM: Over the years, things have changed…… there is a lot of difference, dear. In my time, my father used to support me until I became a Lieutenant Colonel. I used to get an allowance to be able to live. Today, the young officer has not only to keep himself but has to send money home.

In my time, we did not have all these courses. The only course I ever did, (of course, we had the four rounds of courses that every officer had to do), but we had mules there so I had to do a course in training mountain mules. Today the young officer hardly stays in his regiment. He is sent from one place to another to do this course and that course, and he does not get a chance of knowing his men.We knew our men. Also there wasn't so much work in those days. We got up in the mornings, did Physical Training for half an hour , came back ,dressed, had breakfast , then went to our company lines and spent all our time avoiding the Commanding Officer.

Those Commanding Officers were nasty chaps. They did not give a damn for anybody. I will give an example of the Commanding Officer. I was made quartermaster of my battalion. The Commanding Officer sent for the Adjutant and myself. He said, I want to take the battalion out tomorrow morning for an exercise. “We did not have motor cars, we had to indent for mules, so, I as quartermaster intended for a company of mules. He said we were going to leave for the exercise at 6:30, so I ordered the company of mules to arrive at six. At eleven o’clock at night, the commanding officer changed his mind. He said, “I will not go at 6:30, we will go at nine o’clock. “There was nothing I could do. I got on my bicycle, went off to the lines, where the mules had arrived. I told them to unsaddle, and go into the shade, when who should arrive on a horse but the Cavalry Officer with his daughter!

I touched my hat. He said, “What are those animals doing here, young man?” I said that we were going out on an exercise.

“When are you going?”

“Nine o’clock.”

He tore strips off me – “going at nine o’clock and you have the animals waiting here at six o’clock”. He was riding with his daughter on a horse. What could I say to a General officer, I had two pips on my shoulder. Suddenly, who should be coming on a bicycle, but the Commanding Officer! He touched his hat, said, “Morning, General.”

Turning to me, he said, “What is the matter, Sam?”

I said, “Sir, the General is angry with me because we are going out at nine o’clock and the mules are here at six.”

He turned round to face the General, and said, I will thank you General to know who commands this regiment. Me, and not this young man. I will not have you ticketing him off in front of your daughter.”

He turned back to me and said, “Have you had your breakfast, Sam?”


“Go along. Have your breakfast.”

I was delighted to go off. But when we came back from the exercise, at about eight o’clock in the evening, in my letter rack, was a letter from the General’s wife, inviting me to tea the next day. Now, I did not want to have tea with the General’s wife! But that’s the sort of thing that happens.

When I became the field Marshal, I was the guest of her majesty in England. I had given a reception at India House, where the Commanding Officer with his wife were also invited. He came in, shook hands with my wife, shook hands with me, and walked off. Everybody was drinking. After about half an hour, when everybody had arrived, I walked up to him with a glass of whisky in my hand, and he turned round to me, “May I call you Sam?”

“Please do, Sir. You used to call me ‘bloody fool’ before. I thought that was my Christian name!”

The difference between the officer now and then – my first confidential report written by him. Before you went in to sign your confidential report, you had to go in front of the Adjutant, beautifully turned out. We did not have any medals in those days. We had to have a sword to go into the CO’s office then. I walked in there, saluted the Adjutant, he looked me up and down and said, “You are going to see the Colonel, now? Look at you! Your bloody strap is filthy dirty, look at your belt, it is disgusting. Go on, go and get dressed.” I walked out, waited for five minutes and came back.

He looked me up and down, “Much better.”

Then he said, “You are going in there. Do you have a fountain pen?”

I said, “Yes.”

“The CO will read your report. You will initial on the left hand corner. Is that understood?”


I walked in there, saluted the Colonel, “Mr. Manekshaw reporting, Sir.”

He looked me up and down, thrust the report on me online- “This officer, I beg his pardon, this man, may someday become an officer.”

I initialed it and walked out.

Khalid Sheikh, another officer from my regiment, who became the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and a Governor there, came out. “Khaled, what report have you got?” I said. He said “Online- this officer tends to be irresponsible”. I said, “That’s a bad report, Khalid.” He said, Uh! Last year the bugger said I was irresponsible.”

But we did not mind. Today, if the commanding Officer writes and says this officer is irresponsible, the officer wants to appeal to the President of India saying he is more responsible than the Commanding Officer.

That was the difference, dear. We simply did not give a cuss.

Anything else?

Thank you Gentlemen, thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your patience and your discipline. I am delighted to see you all here.

Embedded Staff Officer Survival on an Asymmetric Battlefield

by James M. Shelley

Journal Article | November 7, 2012

The Army’s training for deploying troops has continually evolved over that past ten years from one-size-fits all to a tiered approach based on mission set. The training, however, still relies on standard required training packages that are normally not modified based on unique mission requirements. This has truly come to light with the recent attacks on staff officers working side-by-side with Afghan partners (Green-on-Blue attacks). The inability of staff officers to respond with appropriate aggressiveness to a threat underscores that chasm between the idea of a warrior ethos and the reality of the response.

Traditionally, Army combat skills such as marksmanship are trained, tested, and validated on courses with the closest distance of 25 meters. In a recent Green-on-Blue attack in an Afghan ministry, the assailant was well within 10 feet (3 meters) of his two victims. In another Green-on-Blue attack, nine advisors were murdered by a lone gunman. None of the victims in either attack had a chambered round in their weapon nor were the weapons in holsters that allowed rapid withdraw.

Reaction to this type of attack is not part of a standard training program for military personnel, although at least one NATO organization in Afghanistan does conduct a close quarter combat shooter reaction course for its embedded advisors. Neither current required weapons training nor combative (unarmed combat against an unarmed opponent) training replicate real world conditions and miss the mark at providing a holistic skill set that can be applied to personnel functioning as embedded advisors. Commanders have the option based on their mission analysis to include additional training for deploying personnel. Additional training, however, must be balanced against the growing list of mandated training competing for the valuable resource of time.

Skills training and drills are only one part of the equation for survival as an embedded advisor. Warrior attitude, the ability to quickly transition to the offense in reaction to a threat, is often missing. Instead, the response tends toward being, “just a staff officer” building spread sheets and slides in an office setting with retreat in the presence of a threat. This was evident the passive language in some of the written emergency response plans to an armed threat where the plan was to lock down and avoid conflict instead of actively destroying the enemy. Combat can occur anywhere on an asymmetric battlefield. Active shooter programs in the US advocate a passive response that is not appropriate for combat environments. In a combat theater, everyone’s mission is to seek and destroy the enemy, not lock oneself in an office and wait for help. Non-warrior mindset is reinforced when military personnel are required to have a letter from a general officer in order to leave the compound during periods of high threat, part of a risk adverse mindset. All Soldiers must be prepared to transition from non-threat to threat, responding in an aggressive, offensive manner.

Solution: Most US civilian police agencies employ a number of techniques for confronting an armed suspect, including methods other than shooting when disarming an armed person in close quarters. Some of these techniques may seem counterintuitive such as rushing and armed person. All scenarios must be trained and drilled until sufficient “muscle memory” is developed. This includes weapons posture; whether the weapon, particularly the side arm, is carried loaded with a chambered round. In the United States, civilian law enforcement officers usually carried loaded side arms with a round chambered without being considered a safety risk. In a combat zone, however, most staff officers follow weapons posture requirements or personal choices that vary from location to location and vary between being unloaded to loaded and one chambered round. Numerous negligent discharges from “unloaded” weapons have occurred, some with serious or fatal consequences where a loaded, holstered weapon remains safe. It was not uncommon to observe officers, outside the wire with unloaded weapons or weapons carried in manner that renders the weapon difficult to employ. Not until August 2012 did the commander of the International Security Assistance Force has mandated that all military personnel carry their weapons loaded.

Required training must focus on the skill sets that will be encountered by deployed personnel, in particular for those in the embedded environment. A uniform, constant, across the theater policy on weapon status must be established and enforced. Operating as an embedded advisor during an ongoing insurgency is inherently risky; no measure will completely remove that risk. For staff officers and other personnel operating as embedded advisors enhanced close combat training and a ready weapons posture is imperative for survival. The question will be whether this is a lesson identified or lesson learned?

Predicting the Next Army Transformation: From the BCT to the Small Unit of Action

by Greg Moore

Journal Article | November 9, 2012

The Army’s transformation to Brigade Combat Teams was the formal recognition of changes in tactics and task organization that had been in practice in the field for almost twenty years. The predictable next step is a near-term transformation to battalion-based Battle Groups, similar to how many of our allies fight. Our current practice of task organization already treats the brigade headquarters as a generic interchangeable headquarters for Battalion Task Forces and specialty companies. While self-contained Battalion Task Forces planning and directing operations are the new normal, the emerging trend is Company Command Posts rapidly expanding in capability and carving out a new role. From observing current practice in the field and task organization of Special Operations Forces, the future of this trend leads toward an Objective Force structure based on a small platoon-sized Unit of Action and company-level First C2 Node, with additional echelons providing geographic or mission-based grouping under higher headquarters. This article is not intended to propose a new concept, but recognize and predict the eventual outcome of a trend that is already happening in the field.

A Lesson from History

A few years ago I was at an Army conference, and a four-star general was giving a briefing on Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Transformation. A slide that caught my attention showed a trend line through history of the Army’s key “unit of action” going from Army Groups and Armies to Corps, to Divisions, and then to Brigades, with points about the reasons for these historical trends. The slide created the feeling that the continuing trend towards being smaller and more empowered at the lower units inevitably resulted in the move from division-based formations to brigade-based formation.

I heard my own version of the history of this BCT Transformation from veterans of the Army in the 1980’s. From their description, units in Germany had determined that a Division composed of Infantry Brigades with separate battalions for supporting warfighting functions (Intelligence, Engineers, etc.) was unwieldy, and they had created an innovative idea of breaking up the old structure into ‘teams’ of habitually grouped functional units that deployed in support of each brigade. This grew in popularity until habitual relationships were codified into having “direct support” companies within the separate battalions, that were aligned with specific brigades, and “general support” companies still supporting the division as a whole. It was already common practice to refer to a brigade and its habitual enablers deploying as a force package, whether to Kosovo or the National Training Center, as a “brigade combat team.” As they told it, after twenty years of operating in this fashion, when the Army went through a “transformation” of re-organizing units into Brigade Combat Teams, it just acknowledged the de facto structure and made it official.

During the question and answer period, I asked the general, based on this trend line through history, how long did he think it would be until we made the next transformation to “Battalion Combat Teams?” He replied that we would not have another transformation because the Brigade Combat Team was as low an echelon as we could effectively organize around.

I was shocked by the lack of vision and awareness in his answer, because I had deployed on what was essentially a stand-alone “Battalion Combat Team” several years before in 2003, and it should be evident to those currently fighting in the field that we are already beyond a Brigade Combat Team-centric paradigm in current practice. The focus of our formations today is already on battalions and is shifting to companies. The U.S. Marine Corps operates primarily in a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) framework, with a formation built around a Battalion Landing Team. Many of our allies already operate in battalion-centric formations called Battle Groups (or Battlegroups in the UK) along with Company Task Groups, and a paradigm that allows multinational interoperability within NATO and the EU militaries. Few of our allies deploy brigade-sized forces for expeditionary operations, and it’s much more common to see battalion or company-sized contingents provided by allies. In fact, our Special Operations Forces are normally task organized around even smaller formations in detachments, platoons, sections, or “action arms” that are similar in size across forces, and work directly for a more capable “First C2 Node” that is frequently controlled by a headquarters acting as a hybrid of battalion and company.

Battle Groups and Battalion Task Forces

Around the same time that our Army was implementing the first Brigade Combat Teams, the Australian Army announced a reorganization into Battle Groups. This formation is also used by the British Army and many European allies. The European Union militaries are even organizing into multinational Battle Groups.

The Battle Group concept is very similar to our currently used Battalion Task Forces, which are essentially focused on creating self-contained force packages built around a maneuver battalion headquarters. Battalion Task Forces are the major echelon we focus on today in Afghanistan for owning and understanding their assigned battlespace. Enabling warfighting functions including Intelligence, Fire Support, and Sustainment, to focus on operating within Battalion Task Force frameworks and providing support to companies and their patrols. Within the Intelligence warfighting function, battalion S2s are considered the experts on the ground for their battlespace.

The Battalion Task Force is likely to be on the “Patch Chart” of the future, with more flexibility to deploy Battalion-sized elements from different specialties (light infantry, armor, Stryker) under generic Brigade headquarters. I had my own experience with this in 2003, deploying to Iraq as a separate Infantry Battalion from 10th Mountain Division, and spending time attached to different parent headquarters in the Army and Marines through our deployment. We integrated enablers including engineer companies, an artillery battery, a partial Military Intelligence Company, Marine Corps Intelligence and Communications teams, and occasional attachment of armor and mechanized teams.

While brigade headquarters continue to play a key role in Afghanistan as Battlespace Owners (BSOs), fewer of their operations are focused on being a tactical headquarters and more are focused on acting as sub-regional commands. The BSOs may be a BCT headquarters or may be formed from another O6 (Colonel) level command, such as a Fire Brigade or Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, and frequently have joint and coalition forces in their task organization. In Afghanistan, they may be organized to control the forces in a particular province, such as Combined Task Force - Zabul. The BSOs, like the Regional Commands (RCs) based around Division headquarters, focus on resourcing and coordinating the efforts of Battalion Task Forces, developing campaign plans for long term effects nested into the RC’s campaign plan, and using key leaders to engage host nation political and security force leadership. Day-to-day warfighting, while tracked in the Brigade’s Tactical Operations Center, is frequently planned, decided, and executed at the Battalion Task Force. The brigade will normally be at a large regional base, such as the provincial capital, while Battalion Task Forces are deployed to Forward Operating Bases (FOBs).

While this Battalion Task Force framework is already the ‘new normal’ and has been emerging for over a decade, a new trend is beginning to emerge in the field now. The company level is becoming the focus of new capabilities intended to more directly the support the soldier on the ground. Increasingly, the most common missions are being conducted by patrols of platoon or smaller size, and the command and control (C2) of these missions is being done by a company Command Post (CP) that is rapidly growing in size and complexity. In Afghanistan, the Company is often deployed further forward from the Battalion FOB, to its own Combat Outpost (COP), and often has its platoons pushed even further forward to patrol bases, which may be more temporary locations.

Predicting the Trend: The Objective Small Unit of Action and First C2 Node

Is the Battalion Task Force the next Army Transformation? Or will we leap ahead to Company Teams? With the Army’s new focus on bottom-up capability improvement of the Squad, what is the ultimate “Unit of Action” where our historical trend line will approach its limit? The answer lies in the framework of the Small Unit of Action and the First C2 Node.

There are some good indicators available from the current fight, and from how our Special Operations Forces (SOF) are operating. Patrols, whether mounted or dismounted, have frequently found that the nine-man Army Squad is too small. Patrols are frequently undertaken at a Section, half-platoon level. This equates to about twenty soldiers, and fits well into four or five small tactical vehicles, two personnel carriers, or two medium helicopters. This unit size of twelve to twenty is extremely common, including Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alphas, Navy SEAL platoons, and other SOF teams.

In the SOF world, these units frequently conduct missions with consistent support of a highly capable C2 node that is their immediate higher echelon. The unit in the field can provide intelligence, receive mission approvals, receive fire support and MEDEVAC, and request additional resources through this first C2 node. While there is the desire to do this in the conventional Army, a lack of resources and flexible doctrine frequently requires coordination to be done at Company, Battalion, Brigade, and possibly higher to provide immediate situational awareness information or to coordinate for needed additional resources. A number of common tactics, techniques, and procedures have sprung up to address this, such as company quick-fire nets for artillery support, use of ROVER devices for receiving Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) feeds direct to the team on the ground, and the creation of the Company Intelligence Support Team (COIST) for providing fused, all-source intelligence directly to the patrol from the company CP.

Based on how these small units have been operating in the field in the Global War on Terror era (and going back to books from Vietnam and World War II, such as Platoon Leader by James R. McDonough, Company Commander by Charles B. Macdonald, or S2 in Action by Shipley Thomas), there are some key lessons to be extracted about the level of warfare where combat actually takes place, which are predictive of where the limit of decentralized operations will be reached. The key assumptions for this framework are that a fighting unit (patrol / section / detachment) is ideally sized around fifteen to twenty, and that the unit itself needs to be able to reach back to a Command Post that is out of direct fire and able to filter, fuse, and prioritize information flow to the unit. This suggests that our Small Unit of Action and First C2 Node are the limit for decentralization.

Institutionally, a company-centric force should not be hard for the Army to implement around Company Teams with their subordinate platoons. The Army is already organized around the company administratively: all soldiers are assigned to a company with its Unit Identification Code (UIC) on their documents, units are tracked and statused by UIC, property is accounted for by company under the UIC, and the company commander is the primary authority for administrative actions.

The greater challenge lies in increasing the capability of the company, especially in the Command Post, to be able to train, deploy, plan and conduct operations, and coordinate and integrate additional resources (Intelligence, Aviation, Fire Support, Sustainment) at their level. The number of personnel in a company CP cannot be expanded without limitation, so these skill sets will have to come from a small number of personnel with sufficient seniority, experience, and training to provide them. These personnel will require more unified and streamlined Mission Command Network Systems to bring all of that information together rapidly and intuitively, using tools that are accessible to cross-trained and multi-functional operators in a small command post.

Implications for Capabilities Developers and Mission Command Network Systems

One of the driving factors for this continued empowerment and focus on lower echelons in Afghanistan is a persistent problem getting timely, relevant information below brigade level to the patrol leaving the wire and the Soldier on the ground. Part of this is because of the mantra at echelons about brigade that they are “supporting the BCT” and once they get information to the BCT, their mission is accomplished. In fact, there are huge problems with the communications, classification, knowledge management, and horizontal and vertical sharing of information at echelons below the BCT. Too often the focus is on trying to solve this as a BCT problem, instead of on recognizing the need to focus on and address echelons below brigade.

While there is a growing amount of “stuff” being pumped into company-level formations today, from weapons systems to vehicle platforms to ISR data, the manning of the company does not include personnel with the experience, training, or authority to effectively integrate and employ all of these as capabilities. This will require significant changes to personnel design at the company level and battalion level, as well as some changes in thinking about career paths for some supporting warfighting functions.

An early place this needs to be addressed is in a unified Mission Command system at the company level that will allow the small, senior team to integrate multifunctional and multi-disciplinary information quickly. Instead of having single stand-alone boxes from each warfighting function silo co-located but not able to collaborate directly, the Mission Command Network System needs to be designed to function like the bridge of a ship… all functions integrated seamlessly at the local level, able to reach over the horizon to the network for more resources but not dependent on disadvantaged, intermittent, limited bandwidth communications to go back to a functional center and return before information can be shared across the room. An operator in the CP needs to be able to switch between Operations, Intelligence, Fire Support, Communications, and Sustainment views in a single view and without hundreds of hours learning function-specific software. There are a number of initiatives designed to provide the soldier in the field direct access to theater-level data through handheld devices. Without the intervention of the First C2 Node, this is likely to be overwhelming to some and underused by others, as the soldier on the ground needs concise, relevant information tailored to their immediate situation, not to be walking around on patrol searching for information.

Another institutional change will be required to share this framework across the joint services and the larger Defense community and Intelligence community, in order to get out of the “my work is done when I get information to the BCT” mindset, and focus on measuring effectiveness as delivery to the small unit filtered and prioritized through the First C2 Node.

A good secondary outcome of this framework is that it can be shared with allies. Countries that cannot afford to field Brigade-sized formations can instead focus on much more capable small units, with interoperability focused between their Company CP and other coalition forces. These interoperable companies will be able in the future to form Coalition Battle Groups.

A shift to Company-centric formations will not eliminate the need for higher echelons. However, their roles will take on a higher-level focus on campaign-level planning, resourcing and coordinating the efforts of Companies on the ground especially in large operations, and achieving higher-level effects in the battlespace.


As an intelligence officer, my job was to predict and model what was actually happening, rather than imagine new futuristic scenarios. In that spirit, this essay should not be seen as proposing a new idea, but rather predicting the outcome of ongoing momentum and where it leads. By recognizing the eventual outcome of this continuing trend, and looking to design tactics, doctrine, and organizations for that objective force, today’s Capability Developers can get ahead of the curve and maximize their relevance and value to the warfighter.

A Caution on Civil-Military Relations

by Peter J. Munson

Journal Article | November 12, 2012

This brief post represents only a few quickly dashed thoughts in the hope of getting something on paper that might morph into a longer and more useful essay on civil-military relations. I believe that civil-military relations in the United States are deeply troubled. The issues are lurking mostly in the background right now. On the surface, our leadership—civilian and military—has been able to negotiate some relatively complex rapids without any of the major drama that has cropped up in the past. The falling out between Truman and MacArthur comes to mind. Nonetheless, there are serious background issues that will only get worse in 2014 and beyond. There are several reasons for concern.

The all-volunteer force has fought two brutal wars for over a decade while a (guilty or thankful) American population has stood by with very little involvement. There have been no war bonds, no victory gardens, no bandage wrapping drives, no air raid drills—nothing to make them feel a part of the conflict other than the human interest stories about killed and wounded veterans and the once-nightly footage of shattered HMMWVs and burning convoys. This has created an inequality in experience and sacrifice that the public has generally attempted to repay through extreme deference and ever-multiplying shows of thankfulness, the likes of which have never been seen in American society. Part of this is as a corrective to the disgraceful treatment of our Vietnam veterans, to be sure, but it has consequences nonetheless. In the face of such an inequality of experience and service and in such a deferential environment, public criticism of the military is all too easily dismissed as unpatriotic. Not only is this foil used to deflect criticism, but its threat deters many from bringing up much needed commentary and dissent. Likewise, unquestioning support of the military plays no small factor in making any discussion of rationalizing military budgets and targeting wasteful military spending difficult, if not impossible.

Late addition: This dynamic plays out in media coverage of the military, as well, leading to an insufficient criticality, or at least a lack of perspective, in much coverage. At worst, the media becomes a propaganda arm or engages in a cult of hero worship that perpetuates the dynamics above. As this coverage creates narratives that impact critical national security decisions, it likewise skews civil-military relations. The media is a central part of any civil-military dynamic in a democracy, providing the information that informs public discourse and shapes the decision-making space. If the media is incapable of being a relatively objective arbiter, this contributes to a flawed civil-military dynamic.

The military, itself, has internalized much of this adulation. When ushered to the front of boarding lines at the airport, offered discounts at a myriad of establishments, proffered all sorts of swag at any number of appreciation venues, and even venerated daily on cable news with the incredibly self-centered practice of surprise homecomings, it is difficult for members of the military not to fall victim to a culture of creeping narcissism. Faced with lengthy, rapid fire deployments that placed some military members away from the stabilizing influences of family and normality for years of their lives, the military itself had to play up a narrative of sacrifice and exceptionalism to help keep the trains running. This narrative was drummed into the military and reinforced by its members who saw themselves deploying again and again as society stayed home and placed them on a pedestal. This is not to say that the sacrifice was insignificant, but to acknowledge that there were second order effects of the adulation. Even within the military, there was a significant inequality in hardships faced, from “FOBbits” with daily access to all the comforts of home to infantrymen living in squalor and under the constant threat of not only death, but horrific dismemberment. This additional dynamic, as an aside, has led to a significant insecurity on the part of some (but surely not most or all) of those servicemembers who operated in support roles. You can see it in those who make cryptic references to their “special operations” background or play up training that they never rightfully received. You see, even within the military there is a distinct hierarchy of who has truly “been there and done that” and those who feel they must insinuate that they did. I may be wrong, but I get the sense that the post-WWII culture just assumed that everyone had done their part and little need be said about it.

In all, this adds up to a military that at least in part feels it has earned entitlement, that it deserves the deferential treatment it receives, and that America needs to sacrifice to provide for the military—whether that be benefits or budget outlays. This is an incredibly dangerous cultural artifact, especially in light of the coming period of adjustment. As America’s involvement in Afghanistan winds down and as the nation is forced to adjust to new fiscal realities, the military will face a time of significant adjustment and likely austerity. A military with an entitled culture and an inability to countenance searing introspection will be unable to properly adjust to these new realities and will fail to make the necessary reforms, corrections, and resets that the strategic situation demands. More critically, the prospects for an unfavorable outcome in Afghanistan, coupled with significant budget cuts, will open the door for a “knife in the back” narrative that might argue that the civilian politicians and the American public “lost” the conflict by giving up on the great sacrifice and heroic efforts of the American military there and, furthermore, the government then slashed the military budget (and perhaps restructured some entitlements) betraying a military charged with facing a plethora of threats around the world. Such a narrative would be dangerous—poisonous—for civil-military relations.

In this it is important to recognize that our political institutions are undergoing a crisis of their own. Trust in government is at its lowest ebb in recent history. Political polarization is at its highest mark since the Great Depression. Demographic and economic pressures will multiply in coming years not only on the US, but more significantly on its key allies in Europe. The world will see a significant transformation of its power structure in the coming decades, all of which will put great strain on the country’s civil-military relations. Thus, it is of critical importance that we discuss, address, and correct any flaws in this dynamic now before they reach crisis proportions in the years to come.

The 2012 Warlord Loop Reading List

by The Warlord Loop

Journal Article | November 12, 2012

The U.S. national security community contains a slew of superlative political, military, economic, sociological, technological, and other specialists, but comparably qualified generalists prepared to cherry pick their products, then produce integrated policies, plans, programs, and conduct operations that best suit this great Nation’s needs, are exceedingly scarce. The Warlord Loop’s 2012 reading list, which features interdisciplinary topics that cover the conflict spectrum from normal peacetime competition to what Herman Kahn’s classic On Thermonuclear War called a “wargasm,” is explicitly designed to help correct that imbalance.

Contributors include active and retired officials in executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government, news media representatives, college professors, and military personnel from every service who range in rank from noncommissioned officers to four-star generals and admirals. Males, females, liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, nonpartisans, assorted age groups, and a few foreigners span the complete range of public opinion. The Warlord recently challenged them to identify two books apiece that would help practitioners and concerned citizens better understand increasingly complex problems and optional solutions despite mutating situational changes that now circle this globe at bewildering speed. A cross-section of responses appears below. Publishers, dates, and synopses are available on the Internet.

Brigadier General Chris Arney, USA (Retired), a professor of mathematics at West Point, focuses on information networks, modeling, intelligence processing, and artificial intelligence.

Mario Diani and Doug McAdam, Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action

Howard Steven Friedman Howard, The Measure of a Nation: How to Regain America's Competitive Edge and Boost Our Global Standing

Lieutenant General David Barno, USA, (Retired), who saw combat in Grenada and Panama, commanded all U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan from 2003-2005. He now is a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

Eliot Cohen, Supreme Command

Colin Gray, Another Bloody Century

Captain Sean Barrett, USMC, is a Fellow for the Marine Corps Director of Intelligence, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Treasury. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Intelligence Officer.

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

George Orwell, Animal Farm

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bateman, USA, formerly Office of Net Assessment, currently in International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan.

Azar Gat, A History of Military Thought

John Lynn, ed., Feeding Mars, Logistics in Western Warfare, from the Middle Age to the Present

Major Sunset Belinsky, USA, was chief Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Kabul and now is U.S. Army PAO and student of Public Relations at Georgetown University

Benazir Bhutto, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West

Paul Lockhart, The Drillmaster of Valley Forge

Anita Blair, formerly Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower & Reserve Affairs), now is Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief Human Capital Officer for the Treasury Department.

Herotodus, Histories

John F. Lehman, Jr., Command of the Seas

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Bloomberg, USA (Retired), a U.S. Army Special Forces officer, currently is NEK Advanced Securities Group’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Development for Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting.

Robert Caro, The Power Broker

Will Irwin, The Jedburghs

Andrew Borene, Esq, a former U.S. Marine intelligence officer, is Director and Counsel at ReconRobotics, Inc., Adjunct Professor at Macalester College, and Editor, U.S. Intelligence Community Law Sourcebook.

U.S. Marine Corps, Warfighting: MCDP 1

Roger Z. George and Harvey Rishikof, The National Security Enterprise: Navigating the Labyrinth

Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith was Legislative Director for Senator Patrick Leahy, then chaired the National War College Department of National Security Strategy, and now is the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Michael Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present

Tamim Ansary, Destiny Disrupted: World History through Islamic Eyes

Shawn Brimley was Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He now is Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council staff.

Robert Kaplan, The Revenge of Geography

Thomas Ricks, The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today

Paula Broadwell is a PhD student at Kings College London, a Research Associate at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership, an Army Reserve Military Intelligence officer, and co-authored All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.

Edmund Morris, Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy: Theodore Rex, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, and Colonel Roosevelt

Jean Edward Smith, Eisenhower: In War and Peace

Lieutenant General Frederic (Rick) Brown, PhD, U.S. Army (Retired), Olmsted Scholar Switzerland, was Chief of Armor/Cavalry and served on the Joint Staff, the National Security Council staff, and in the White House.

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom:The Civil War Era

John Keegan, A History of Warfare

Major Michael Burgoyne, USA, served twice in Iraq, was a Foreign Area Officer in Ecuador, and now is an MA candidate in Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Moisés Naím, Illicit

Max G. Manwaring, Gangs, Pseudo-Militaries, and Other Modern Mercenaries

Major Crispin Burke, USA, is a member of, and handles special projects for, the Commander's Initiatives Group, U.S. Army North.

Thomas E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Robert Boyd Corum, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

Colonel David “Hubble” CADE, USAF, is the Commander, 12th Air Force Detachment 1, representing the AFSOUTH/CC to Commander USSOUTHCOM and promoting effective interaction between the staffs.

Kenneth N. Waltz, Man, the State, and War

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

Colonel Bob Cassidy, USA, PhD, is a military professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.

Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

Robert Kaplan, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos

Dean Cheng is the Research Fellow for Chinese Political and Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

J. Bowyer Bell and Barton Whaley, Cheating and Deception

Major Generals Peng Guangqian and Yao Youzhi, The Science of Military Strategy. A translation of a textbook published by the Chinese Academy of Military Science that discusses the Chinese view of military strategy

Ensign Michael Clauser, USNR serves with U.S. Africa Command. He previously served as the National Security Legislative Assistant for Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees and in Administration of George W. Bush in the Pentagon. In 2011, he was named a Next Generation National Security Leader by the Center for a New American Security.

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

Mark Munn, School of History: Athens in the Age of Socrates

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Coglianese, USA, is the South Asia Branch Chief for Pacific Command J5. He was the first Olmsted Scholar to India and completed four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn

Between War and Peace: How America Ends Its Wars, edited by Matthew Moten.

Colonel John Collins, U.S. Army (Retired), aka Warlord, completed 54 years of Federal service, lastly with the National War College faculty, then the Congressional Research Service.

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000

Will and Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History

Dr. Sean Collins has been a ballistic missile defense specialist for 30 years and now is Vice President/Chief Technical Officer, Missile Defense Sector, Sparta, Inc.

Richard Rhodes, Arsenals of Folly: The Making of Nuclear Arms Race

Walter A. McDougall, The Heavens and Earth

Colonel William Coultrup, USA, Special Forces, served in Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, then led Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines. He now is Legislative Affairs Director for U.S. Special Operations Command.

Brian McAllister Linn, The Philippine War, 1899-1902

Garcia Burnham, In the Presence of My Enemies

Dr. Audrey Kurth Cronin, recently directed the National War College’s War and Statecraft course. She is now a senior professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.

Beatrice Heuser, The Evolution of Strategy

John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life

Dr. Patrick Cronin, formerly Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at National Defense University, now is Senior Advisor and Director of the Asia Program at the Center for a New American Security.

Spenser Wilkinson, War and Policy

Hugh White, The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power

Major Scott Cuomo, USMC, recently was Operations Officer for Battalion Landing Team 2/2. He now is the Director, Marine Infantry Officer Course.

Charles E. White, The Enlightened Soldier: Scharnhorst and the Militarische Gesellschaft in Berlin, 1801-1805

F. J. "Bing" West, The Village

J. Furman Daniel, III, is VP for Research and Operations at Lycurgus Fund, LP and an Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University.

The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War, ed. Robert B. Strassler, Richard Crawley, and Victor Davis Hanson

Williamson Murray, Military Adaptation in War: With Fear of Change

COL Zygmunt (Zyg) Dembek, USA (Retired), PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and biochemist. Currently a Senior Scientist with the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

John W. Kiser, Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader

H.R. McMaster, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam

John Dickert, a Vietnam War veteran, was a lexicographer for the Defense Technical Information Center, where he managed military strategy, tactics, and intelligence data bases.

Henry Kissinger, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problem of Peace 1812-1822

Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

David Dilegge, a retired USMCR intelligence officer, is currently Editor-in-Chief of Small Wars Journal and serves as a Director at Small Wars Foundation. He also served as an urban operations and irregular warfare senior analyst for the USMC and U.S. Joint Forces Command.

U.S. Marine Corps, Small Wars Manual

Robert B. Asprey, War in the Shadows (Volumes I and II)

Brigadier General Edward Donnelly, USA, is Deputy Commanding General for Supporting NATO Training Mission -- Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command -- Afghanistan.

William J. Bernstein, The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created

Aubrey S. Newman, The Human Element in Leadership (in three Volumes)

Captain Joel Doolin, USN, recently was the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Chief of Staff. He now is Legal Advisor for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance and Director of Naval Intelligence.

Philip Bobbitt, Terror and Consent: The Wars of the 21st Century

Shane Harris, The Watchers: the Rise of America's Surveillance State

Kimberly Dozier, formerly with CBS News, is an Associated Press correspondent covering intelligence and special operations. She authored Breathing the Fire, about surviving a car bomb in Baghdad in 2006.

Three volumes from The Fundamentalism Project: Fundamentalisms Observed; Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance; and Fundamentalisms and Society: Reclaiming the Sciences, the Family, andEducation, all edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby.

Seth Jones, Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11

Lieutenant Colonel David Duffy, USA (Retired), an Army Special Forces officer who possesses extensive unconventional warfare and information warfare experience, is Vice President of Strategic Studies for NEK Advanced Securities Group.

William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American

Robert Taber, War of the Flea

Major General Charles Dunlap, Jr., USAF (Retired) is the Executive Director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University Law School.

John Andreas Olsen, John Warden and the Renaissance of American Air Power

Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire

V. L. (Lani) Elliott, at National Intelligence University, emphasizes links between economics, instability, and internal war including terrorism. He co-authored Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy.

Jack Hirshleifer, The Dark Side of the Force: Economic Foundations of Conflict Theory

Walter Enders and Todd Sandler, The Political Economy of Terrorism, 2nd ed

Adam Elkus, a PhD student in International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C., concentrates on military operations and is Associate Editor of Red Team Journal.

Franklin Kramer, Stuart H. Starr, and Larry Wentz (eds), Cyberpower and National Security

James J. Schneider, The Structure of Strategic Revolution: Total War and the Roots of the Soviet Warfare State

Janice Elmore, a retired career Foreign Service Officer, served in eight countries as political officer and International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program Director. She currently is consulting and writing a book on the Sudanese Liberation Army and Darfur.

The World Economic Forum Water Initiative (author), Water Security: The Water- Food-Energy-Climate Nexus

The Constitution of the United States

Mieke Eoyang, Director of the National Security Program at Third Way, formerly was Defense Policy Advisor to Senator Edward Kennedy and Professional Staff Member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

L. Britt Snyder, The Agency and the Hill: CIA's Relationship with Congress 1946-2004

Ryan Evans is a Research Fellow at Center for National Policy. He served on a Human Terrain Team in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province and now is a PhD candidate at the King's College London War Studies Department.

Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics

John Bew, Castlereagh: A Life

Joseph Galloway recently retired as Senior Military Correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and a syndicated columnist. He spent 16 years as a foreign correspondent assigned to Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Singapore, and Moscow.

David Halberstam, The Coldest Winter

Dr. Bernard Fall, Street Without Joy

Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired), is past President of National Defense University and Monterey Institute of International Studies. He consults on international security and education issues.

Peter L. Bergen, The Longest War

Mark Perry, Talking to Terrorists

Lieutenant Colonel Allen Gill, USA (Retired) was Director of Georgetown University’s Center for Character, Leadership, and Excellence and now is speechwriter for General Shinseki at the Veteran’s Administration.

James Wright, Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who fought Them

Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death in the American Civil War

Robert Goldich focused on military manpower and history at the Congressional Research Service before retirement. He now is writing a book about the history of conscription.

T. R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War: Korea, a Study in Unpreparedness

Richard S. Faulkner, The School of Hard Knocks: Combat Leadership in the American Expeditionary Forces

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Grenier, a career Army Special Forces Officer and veteran of eleven combat tours, currently serves in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Robert W. Komer, Bureaucracy at War

Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, eds., Military Effectiveness, Volumes 1-3

Dr. Richard F. Grimmett, recently retired from the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, concentrated on war powers, U.S. intelligence policy and oversight, the international arms trade, and also ranged widely as a Specialist in International Security.

Crain Brinton, The Anatomy of Revolution

Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco: The American Adventure in Iraq

Colonel David Gurney, USMC (Retired), former Harrier squadron commander, J3 of Joint Task Force-Panama, then Editor of Joint Force Quarterly, now is Vice President of Tropic Oil Company and Deputy Warlord.

Friedrich August Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Fiftieth anniversary edition)

Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations

Robert Haddick, formerly a Marine Corps captain, is a director at the Small Wars Foundation. Until recently he wrote the "This Week at War" column for Foreign Policy magazine and was Managing Editor of Small Wars Journal.

Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766.

Gideon Rose, How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle.

Richard Halloran is a free lance writer in Honolulu, formerly with The New York Times as a foreign correspondent in Asia and military correspondent in Washington.

Ralph D. Sawyer, editor and translator, The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China

Susan L. Shirk, China: Fragile Superpower

Colonel T.X. Hammes,, PhD, USMC (Retired), a counterinsurgency authority and author of The Sling and the Stone, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at National Defense University.

Colin Gray, The Strategy Bridge

Walter Russell Mead, God and Gold

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Hanle, PhD, USAF, is Graduate Program Director, College of Strategic Intelligence, National Intelligence University.

Andrew Gordon, The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command

Carl H. Builder, The Icarus Syndrome: The Role of Airpower Theory in the Evolution and Fate of the U.S. Air Force

Dr. Jacqueline L. Hazelton studies the uses of military power; U.S foreign policy; military intervention; counterinsurgency; and terrorism. She is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, the University of Rochester.

Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence

Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars

Lieutenant Colonel Steven R. Heffington, USAF, is a Security Forces officer currently serving as an Afghanistan-Pakistan Hand. He previously was an advisor/liaison in the Executive Office of the President of Afghanistan.

Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

Ha-Joon Chang, Institutional Change and Economic Development

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Hoffman, USMCR (Retired), formerly the Navy Department’s Deputy Director, Office of Program Appraisal, now is Director, National Defense University Press and a Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies.

Colin S. Gray, Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare

MacGregor Knox, W. Murray, and Al Bernstein, The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States and War

Dr Michael Horowitz, an associate political science professor at Pennsylvania University and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, studies assorted national security issues.

Dennis E. Showalter, Railroads and Rifles: Soldiers, technology, and theunification of Germany

Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics

Dr. Timothy Hoyt is Professor of Strategy and Policy and John Nicholas Brown Chair of Counterterrorism at the U.S. Naval War College, with particular attention to Pakistan, the British Isles, and Mexico.

Sir Julian Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy

Colin Gray, The Leverage of Sea Power

Mark Jacobson, who spent 19 years in the Army and Navy Reserves, is a former Deputy NATO Senior Civilian Representative - Afghanistan, a Senate Armed Services Committee staffer, and supported the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

John Shy, A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence

Giulio Douhet, Command of the Air (USAF Warrior Studies), trans. by Dino Ferrari

Colonel David E. Johnson, Ph.D. USA (Retired), a Senior Political Scientist on leave from the RAND Corporation, is the Director, Chief of Staff of the Army Strategic Studies Group.

Elting E. Morison, Men Machines and Modern Times

Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Lieutenant Colonel Dave Jonas, USMC (Retired), Senior Executive Service, Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, was the first Defense Department lawyer to argue a case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Phillip Bobbitt, Shield of Achilles

Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn

Sean Kay, who chairs international studies at Ohio Wesleyan University and Mershon Associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at the Ohio State University, is a specialist in global security issues and NATO.

Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics

E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis

Noel Koch, served 11 months as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Wounded Warrior Transition Policy, was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa.

Truong Chinh, The Resistance Will Win

David Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla

Dr. Tracey Pérez Koehlmoos, who specializes in health systems research, is an adjunct professor at George Mason University and until recently headed the Health and Family Planning Systems Programme in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

J. Diamond, Disease and Conquest: Guns, Germs and Steel

Jerry Jenkins, Disaster Relief: The Night the Giant Rolled Over

Major Ryan Kranc, USA, was aide to the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program Manager. He now is the Regimental Operations Officer for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, California.

Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom, The Starfish and the Spider

Avigdor Kahalani, The Heights of Courage: A Tank Leader's War on the Golan

Colonel Cliff Krieger, USAF (Retired), was JCS Strategy Division Chief, held the National War College JCS Chairman’s Chair, and co-authored a National War College history.

Correlli Barnett, The Audit of War: The Illusion and Reality of Britain As a Great Nation

General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Krohn, USA (Retired), an author and Vietnam veteran, formerly was Deputy Chief of Public Affairs, U.S. Army.

Charles Miller, Battle for the Bundu

Lewis Sorley, Westmoreland: The General Who Lost the Vietnam War

Lieutenant Joshua (JD) Kristenson, USN, is a Surface Warfare Officer; an Olmsted Scholar (2009, Beijing, China); a graduate of Tsinghua University; and a Fellow at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the Naval War College.

Henry Kissinger, On China

George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower, U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776

Commander John Kuehn, PhD, USN (Retired), formerly a naval flight officer in the electronic warfare community, now is Associate Professor of Military History U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He won the Society of Military History Moncado Prize in 2010.

Edward Miller, War Plan Orange

Al Nofi, To Train the Fleet for War

Colonel James Kurtz, USA (Retired), served extensively in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff before he became Deputy Director of the Joint Advanced Warfighting Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC

Robert M. Chesney, Military-Intelligence Convergence and the Law of the Title 10/Title 50 Debate (a paper available online here)

Colonel Richard A. Lacquement, Jr., PhD, USA, an Army strategist who emphasizes the military profession, stability operations and counterinsurgency, is the Dean of the School of Strategic Landpower, U.S. Army War College.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow

Charles Hill, Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft and World Order

Jon Lellenberg, a career OSD Policy official, was directing the Policy and Strategy office in SOLIC’s Special Operations & Combating Terrorism bureau when he retired in February 2006.

Michael Howard, The Continental Commitment: The Dilemma of British Defence Policy in the Era of Two World Wars

David Stafford, Churchill and Secret Service

Commander Thomas Mahnken, U.S. Navy, occupies the Jerome E. Levy Chair of Economic Geography and National Security at the U.S. Naval War College and is a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Merrill Center for Strategic Studies

Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Zhang Yuliang, The Science of Campaigns(2006 edition)

Al Mauroni, a senior policy analyst for Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, focuses on homeland security issues and ways to counter weapons of mass destruction. He has authored six books and numerous journal articles.

Michael Handel, Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought

Lieutenant General Frederic Brown, Chemical Warfare: A Study in Restraints

Colonel David Maxwell, US Army Special Forces (Retired) is the Associate Director of the Center For Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

Colin S. Gray, War, Peace, and International Relations: An Introduction to Strategic History (2d Edition)

John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life

Dr. Sean McFate, a former Army paratrooper, is an Assistant Professor at National Defense University and Adjunct at the RAND Corporation.

C. E. Callwell, Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice

R. Fisher, et al., Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Rear Admiral James McPherson, USN (Retired), was the Navy’s Judge Advocate General, then the General Counsel for DoD’s Counterintelligence Field Activity, and now is Executive Director of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Donald T. Phillips, Lincoln on Leadership

James MacGregor Burns, Leadership

Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger, USA (retired), remained on active duty nearly 40 years, much of it as a Ranger. His final assignments were as CSM for the Multi-National Force - Iraq (Aug 04 - May 07), then CSM, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Patricia Driscoll, Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts: Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD

Eric Hammel, The Root: The Marines in Beirut, August 1982-February 1984

Lieutenant Colonel Andy Morgado, USA, now the G3, Brigade Modernization Command at Fort Bliss, Texas, served 30 months in Iraq in a variety of command and staff positions.

Ian Kershaw. Fateful Choices. Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940- 1941

Dietrich Dorner. The Logic of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations

Carson Morris is a Member of Board of Directors, Association for Intelligence Officers; Advisor to U.S. Government Intelligence Agencies and Congressional Committees; and Chief Execeutive Officer, Intelsec Corporation.

Henry Crumpton, The Art of Intelligence

John Keegan, Intelligence in War: The Value--and Limitations--of What the Military Can Learn About the Enemy

Captain William (Liam) Murphy, New York Naval Militia (Retired), spent 29 years with the Office of Emergency Management, Westchester County. He now is Adjunct Instructor, Emergency Management, State University of New York Maritime College.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War, translated by Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith

Bloodworth, Dennis & Ching Ping, The Chinese Machiavelli: 3,000 Years of Chinese Statecraft

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Myers, U.S. Army (Retired), served in Latin America and Afghanistan. He is a PhD candidate in Auburn University’s Public Policy program focusing on terrorism and homeland security.

Ahmad Ibn Al-Naqib Al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik, translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller

Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers

Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, PhD, USA (Retired), a counterinsurgency specialist, is Minerva Professor in the History Department at the U.S. Naval Academy and a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest

James Wright, Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who Fought Them

Colonel Scott Nestler, USA, the Warlord Loop Administrator, is an Army operations research analyst currently studying at the Army War College.

Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff, The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life

Robert Powell, In the Shadow of Power: States and Strategies in International Politics

Michael Noonan, a former Army reserve armor captain and advisor with the Iraqi Army 2006-2007, directs the national security program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

General D’Armée André Beaufre, An Introduction to Strategy: with Particular Reference to Problems of Defence, Politics, Economics, and Diplomacy in the Nuclear Age

Jakub Grygiel, Great Powers and Geopolitical Change

Aki Peritz, formerly with the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) and National CTC, now is Third Way’s senior national security advisor and is writing a book about al Qaeda after 9/11.

James E. Baker, In the Common Defense: National Security Law for Perilous Times

Graham Greene, The Quiet American

Commander Michele Poole, USN, is a Surface Warfare Officer, PhD Candidate in Strategic Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, and an Afghanistan-Pakistan Hand assigned to the Afghanistan Division of the Joint Staff.

Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country

Alex Strick Van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan, 1970-2010

Christopher Preble, is Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute and a former Navy Surface Warfare Officer.

Ernest R. May and Richard E. Neustadt, Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers

Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World

Thomas Ricks is a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, and author of several military books that include The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today(forthcoming)

David Crist, The Twilight War

Timothy Noah, The Great Divergence

Dr. Joshua Rovner is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College and adjunct professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Richard K. Betts, American Force

John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment

Command Sergeant Major Robert Rush, USA (Retired) is a PhD at the Army Center of Military History who specializes in small unit cohesion and has deployed twice to Iraq as a command historian.

Richard Neustadt and Ernest May, Thinking in Time

Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx and Wagner

Mark Safranski is an educator and author. His Zenpundit.com blog connects national security issues with historical context, futurism, cognition, and other esoteric topics.

Venkatesh Rao, Tempo: Timing, Tactics and Strategy in Narrative Driven Decision Making

Charles Hill, Grand Strategies

Major General Robert Scales, USA (Retired), a former Army War College Commandant, is now President of Colgen, Inc, specializing in landpower, wargaming, and strategic leadership.

Robert Graves, Good-bye to All That

George McDonald Fraser, Quartered Safe Out Here: Recollection of War in Burma

Frank Schell, business consultant and former international banking executive, worked in India, teaches at Chicago University’s Harris School, and serves on the editorial board of Chicago's National Strategy Forum.

Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game

John L. Esposito, Georgetown University, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam

Captain Eleanor Schoonover, USNR (Retired), Intelligence Officer/Info Dominance Corps, Bioscience Coordinator, Hampton Roads Technology Council.

David McCullough, The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris

David McCullough, John Adams

Colonel Michael Shaler, USA (Retired), is the Special Advisor for Strategic Leader Development to the Chief of Staff, Army, a position he has held for the past three Chiefs of Staff.

Harry Summers, On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Dr. Joshua Sinai, Senior Manager, National Security Programs, Infinity Technology, LLC, McLean, VA.

Thomas Fingar, Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples

Stanley Sloan, PhD, was the Senior Specialist in International Security Policy at the Congressional Research Service after serving in the Central Intelligence Agency and as an Air Force officer. He now writes/lectures/ teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Wallace J. Thies, Why NATO Endures

Stanley R. Sloan, Permanent Alliance? NATO and the Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama

Lee Smith, a Senior Editor at the Weekly Standard and a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, writes extensively on Arab and Islamic affairs and U.S. Middle East policy.

Angelo Codevilla, Advice to War Presidents: A Remedial Course in Statecraft

Elie Kedourie, The Chatham House Version: And Other Middle Eastern Studies

David Southworth, currently a civilian US Air Force analyst, has previously supported the Human Terrain System and Office of the Secretary of Defense, Program Analysis and Evaluation (now Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation).

Barbara W. Tuchman, The Guns of August

Sebastian Junger, War

John Sullivan, a senior research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on Terrorism, is a lieutenant and urban operations specialist with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Manuel Castells, Communication Power

Saskia Sassen, Territory-Authority-Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages

Christopher Taylor is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Novitas Group, a global strategic and professional services firm that seeks solutions for extremely difficult security, economic, social, technology, and public health problems.

Richard Neustadt and Ernest May, Thinking in Time

Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Need, Speed, and Greed

Brigadier General Paula Thornhill, (USAF, Retired) is director of the strategy and doctrine program, RAND (PAF) and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).

J.C. Wylie, Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Lin Todd provides international security advice and support to a number of U.S. government departments and agencies and international organizations. He is president of Global Risk.

JFC Fuller, Generalship: Its Diseases and Their Cure

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Tompkins, USA (Retired), Army Special Forces, is Director of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies project with Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory.

John Steinbeck, The Moon is Down

Robert Taber, War of the Flea

Lieutenant General Bernard “Mick” Trainor, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), former director of plans, policies, and operations, U.S. Marine Corps; coauthor of two books, including The General’s War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf.

Chris Bellamy, Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War

Russell Weigley, The American Way of War

Lieutenant General Richard Trefry, USA (Retired), was the Army Inspector General, then ran the Army Force Management School at Fort Belvoir from 1992 to 2010. He now is a board member at American Military University and consults on military affairs.

John Keegan, Churchill’s Generals

Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, The President’s Club

Dr. Marc Tyrrell is a Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, an Instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies and a symbolic anthropologist.

Bronislaw Malinowski, The Dynamics of Culture Change

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan

John Walcott was Washington bureau chief of McClatchy and Knight-Ridder. He now is National Security and Foreign Affairs Team Leader, Bloomberg News

David Crist, The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality

General Volney Warner, USA (Retired), led the 9th Infantry Division, then XVIII Airborne Corps, and capped his career as Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command. He now heads V.F.Warner & Associates.

Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

R. Ernest Dupuy, Men of West Point

Captain John Allen (Jay) Williams, USNR (Retired), is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago and Chair and President of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society. He also is editor of The National Strategy Forum Review.

Sam C. Sarkesian, Revolutionary Guerrilla Warfare: Theories, Doctrines, and Contexts

Theodore Ropp, War in the Modern World

Rear Admiral George Worthington, USN (Retired), was first Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and culminated his career atop Naval Special Warfare Command.

Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of Midway Walter R. Borneman, The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King