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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Daniel Ford
"What God abandoned, these defended / And saved the sum of things for pay." 

In the bleak winter of 1941-1942, no American or British force could stem the tide in Southeast Asia, as the Philippines, Thailand, Malaya, and Singapore fell to the victorious Japanese. Only in Burma was there a ray of hope. There, over beleaguered Rangoon, a few dozen Americans clawed Japanese warplanes from the sky for a cash bounty from the Chinese government. Wearing mismatched uniforms, with Chinese insignia, and flying cast-off fighter planes, they did what no other air force seemed able to do, and won immortality as the Flying Tigers. 

Daniel Ford wrote "the definitive history" of the American Volunteer Group, as it was formally known. Here, he has collected five e-books about the Flying Tigers into an omnibus that details the AVG's planes, pilots, and history as remembered in the United States and in Japan. An essential collection for every admirer of the Flying Tigers. 

"The AVG's first encounter with the Japanese Air Force over Kunming, China,  on 20 December 1941 is often written about. The version Dan Ford presents  here is probably the most complete picture extant." (First Blood for the  Flying Tigers) 

"I can wholeheartedly recommend his work to anyone desiring insight into  the early years of the JAAF" (Rising Sun Over Burma) 

"Very well written and full of new information about a fascinating time in
our history" (100 Hawks for China) 

"A unique insight into how the Japanese appeared to the pilots meeting  them, and how the AVG learned to deal with them" (AVG Confidential)  
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