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.
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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