A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the Ooda Loop, and America's War on Terror

Daniel Ford
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John Boyd was arguably the greatest American military theorist since the sea power strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan at the turn of the 20th Century. Best known for his formulation of the OODA Loop as a model for competitive decision making, Colonel Boyd was also an original thinker in developing tactics for air-to-air combat, designing warplanes, and the fluid, mobile warfare known to the Germans as blitzkrieg and to modern armies as "maneuver warfare." As much as anyone, John Boyd was the architect of the two great campaigns against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, both the 1991 liberation of Kuwait and the 2003 "March Up" to Baghdad by the U.S. Army and Marines.But what of the costly, drawn-out insurgency that baffled the invaders once Baghdad had fallen? In this short book, Daniel Ford applies Boyd's thinking to the problem of counter-insurgency. Unlike the U.S. military in 2003, it turns out that Boyd had indeed put considerable thought into what might transpire after an effective "blitz" campaign. Indeed, he found many similarities between "blitzers" and what he preferred to call guerrillas, and he thought that they might be defeated by turning their own tactics against them. This is an expanded version of a dissertation submitted in the War Studies program at King's College London.
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About the author

Daniel Ford is a late-blooming graduate of the War Studies program at King's College London (M.A. 2010). He is best known for his prize-winning history of the "Flying Tigers," American pilots who flew and fought for China in the opening months of the Pacific War. A stint as a reporter in South Vietnam inspired him to write a black-humor novel about that unhappy venture into counterinsurgency, a story that became the acclaimed Burt Lancaster film, "Go Tell the Spartans." Here he turns a lifetime interest in the U.S. military to the problem it faced in Iraq and Afghanistan against Islamists who always seemed a step ahead of the ponderous Goliath of American power.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Daniel Ford
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Published on
May 4, 2010
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Pages
74
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ISBN
9781451589818
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Strategy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"A teacher is never a giver of truth—he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst."—Bruce Lee

Within the pages of Striking Thoughts, you will find the secrets of Bruce Lee's incredible success— as an actor, martial artist, and inspiration to the world. Consisting of eight sections, Striking Thoughts covers 72 topics and 825 aphorisms—from spirituality to personal liberation and from family life to filmmaking—all of which Bruce lived by.

His ideas helped energize his life and career and made it possible for him to live a happy and assured life, overcoming challenging obstacles with seeming ease. His ideas also inspired his family, friends, students, and colleagues to achieve success in their own lives and this personal collection will help you in your journey too.

Sections include:On First Principles—including life, existence, time, and deathOn Being Human—including the mind, happiness, fear, and dreamsOn Matters of Existence—health, love, marriage, raising children, ethics, racism, and adversityOn Achievement—work, goals, faith, success, money, and fameOn Art and Artists—art, filmmaking, and actingOn Personal Liberation—conditioning, Zen Buddhism, meditation, and freedomOn the Process of Becoming—self-actualization, self-help, self-expression, and growthOn Ultimate (Final) Principles—Yin-yang, totality, Tao, and the truth This Bruce Lee Book is part of the Bruce Lee Library which also features:Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden DragonBruce Lee: The Tao of Gung FuBruce Lee: Artist of LifeBruce Lee: Letters of the DragonBruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human BodyBruce Lee: Jeet Kune Do
The Art of War is a classic of military strategy. It is ascribed to Sun Tzu, also called Sunzi or Sun Wu, a quasi-legendary figure. The work has been dated from between the 6th to the 3rd century BCE. It is known worldwide and is considered required reading for students of political and military science.

As with other classics, many of its themes are timeless. Quotations from the work can be meaningful apart from the thousands of years which separate us from the time and place of its creation.

The Art of War is itself a brief work. However, it is generally packaged with extensive commentary and additional essays, so that it appears to be a book of around 200 pages or more. (This new modern edition is only 40 pages in length.)

Much of what is added to these editions is only interesting to academics or students of the minutiae of history. At the same time, the intentions of readers tends to be to find out what it is that makes this work such a classic, not learn about the history of its commentaries.

This new edition meant to address the needs of the modern reader. By honing the language down to clear formulations, The Art of War can be more readily understood, more enjoyable to read, and more relevant to today.

The English is based on the original translation by Lionel Giles. The 1910 English prose of Giles is awkward to our modern ears, and slows down our reading and appreciation of this classic.

The new modern edition of The Art of War is meant to communicate the authentic essence and meaning of this work in modern, accessible English prose. This version is an abridgement, a shortened form of a work which nevertheless retains the same meaning and upholds the unity of the original.

Abridgement is foremost a cutting away of the inessential parts, which ends up in condensing the work. The key to abridging is to ensure the prose is extremely clear and transparent in meaning, requiring little additional guidance or interpretation to reach understanding.
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