Suggested Reading Thread

buffy9

Member
Is there the possibility of creating a thread for essential reading in regards to defence matters/topics?

I enjoy the discussion and information gathered from the forum though often find my ability to contribute limited. I am seeking to improve via reading material (books and documentation) and was wondering if is the possibility of creating an "essential reading" section, as to inform newer and possibly more senior members of the basics/essentials, in order to contribute more comprehensively to discussion.
 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Is there the possibility of creating a thread for essential reading in regards to defence matters/topics?

I enjoy the discussion and information gathered from the forum though often find my ability to contribute limited. I am seeking to improve via reading material (books and documentation) and was wondering if is the possibility of creating an "essential reading" section, as to inform newer and possibly more senior members of the basics/essentials, in order to contribute more comprehensively to discussion.
I have learnt a massive amount by just going through the threads on here, there are links here to thousands upon thousands of documents, news articles, etc. Find threads you are interested in and start reading from page 1, but check the date before you reply to something.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Would suggested YouTube content be suitable or is that inviting a mess?
There is some great stuff on YouTube and also a massive amount of rubbish, I wouldn’t come here with some YouTubers personal list of the top 10 Frigates and use that as a acceptable source.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Would suggested YouTube content be suitable or is that inviting a mess?
No, a reading list is published material such as texts by accredited professionals / academics etc. For example I will be including the Sun Tsu Ping Fa - Sun Tsu Art of War, Corbett's Principal of Maritime Strategy, and Mahan's Influence of Sea Power on History to name but a few. Others will links to other reading lists from FVEY military leadership.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
No, a reading list is published material such as texts by accredited professionals / academics etc. For example I will be including the Sun Tsu Ping Fa - Sun Tsu Art of War, Corbett's Principal of Maritime Strategy, and Mahan's Influence of Sea Power on History to name but a few. Others will links to other reading lists from FVEY military leadership.
I would also add On War by von Clausewitz to the list as well.
 

buffy9

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
I have learnt a massive amount by just going through the threads on here, there are links here to thousands upon thousands of documents, news articles, etc. Find threads you are interested in and start reading from page 1, but check the date before you reply to something.
I have been doing that for some of the threads, however more often than not it is the exchange of more advanced information rather than key principles and foundational work. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is helpful to have an understanding of the basics before branching off into other areas of expertise.

That and it is an extremely daunting task to go through some threads, especially going back more than ten years.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I have been doing that for some of the threads, however more often than not it is the exchange of more advanced information rather than key principles and foundational work. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is helpful to have an understanding of the basics before branching off into other areas of expertise.

That and it is an extremely daunting task to go through some threads, especially going back more than ten years.
Yea it took me about 4-5 months to get through the RAN thread, and that was before it got to a 1000 pages.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
READ ME.
I've started my suggested reading list which is locked, but still readable and the links accessible. This thread is for any comments, suggestions etc. The reason that I have it this way is so that the list doesn't become polluted with comments etc., and remains strictly a list. It's a work in progress so will take time.
 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
READ ME.
I've started my suggested reading list which is locked, but still readable and the links accessible. This thread is for any comments, suggestions etc. The reason that I have it this way is so that the list doesn't become polluted with comments etc., and remains strictly a list. It's a work in progress so will take time.
Thanks for the time and effort NG much appreciated.
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
READ ME.
I've started my suggested reading list which is locked, but still readable and the links accessible. This thread is for any comments, suggestions etc. The reason that I have it this way is so that the list doesn't become polluted with comments etc., and remains strictly a list. It's a work in progress so will take time.
One specific tweak: I'd change your Thucydides edition to the Landmark edition. It's the recommended version for ACSC, CDSS and a number of the FVEY academies. The notes. maps and summaries make it easier to analysis for a modern reader.

Now for a general point - I wouldn't really recommend most "must reads" to beginners or intermediates. Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz - none of them. Without a guide, they are just too hard to read and too many esoteric arguments about them online. You need to have some basis of understanding beforehand. Even then Clausewitz (especially) can just be too dense or confusing to read.

Instead, I'd look at some of the doctrine out there for various militaries. LWD-1 (any year) from the Australian Army is a fine start. That plus significant articles about Clausewitz et al. Most things by the "great three" - Lawrence Freedman, Eliot A. Cohen or Colin S. Gray are well worth reading first. As an aside, it's worth keeping your eye on ANU / Staff College websites as in the past these people and others have come out to lecture and often put on publicly available presentations.

Speaking of ACSC, their reading lists used to be online but I can't find it now. There is an older one that Cohen ran that has a great list: Strategy & Policy 2001 syllabus
 

buffy9

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
READ ME.
I've started my suggested reading list which is locked, but still readable and the links accessible. This thread is for any comments, suggestions etc. The reason that I have it this way is so that the list doesn't become polluted with comments etc., and remains strictly a list. It's a work in progress so will take time.
Cheers, appreciate it and looking forward to new entries.

If I may, I've been reading through "Understanding Modern Warfare" recently. Still going through it as time permits, but I've found it simple enough to understand with well written explanations of strategic theory.

Aside from strategy it also covers land, air and sea domains as well as the unconventional/assymetrical. It is from 2008 however, so may be outdated in regards to some more modern ideas/theories (noting it came prior to the later years of Afghanistan and key geopolitical/geostrategic events).

It is written by six authors: David Jordan, James D. Kiras, David J. Donsdale, Ian Speller, Christopher Tuck and C. Dale Walton.

ISBN = 9781 1077 17725

One specific tweak: I'd change your Thucydides edition to the Landmark edition. It's the recommended version for ACSC, CDSS and a number of the FVEY academies. The notes. maps and summaries make it easier to analysis for a modern reader.

Now for a general point - I wouldn't really recommend most "must reads" to beginners or intermediates. Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz - none of them. Without a guide, they are just too hard to read and too many esoteric arguments about them online. You need to have some basis of understanding beforehand. Even then Clausewitz (especially) can just be too dense or confusing to read.

Instead, I'd look at some of the doctrine out there for various militaries. LWD-1 (any year) from the Australian Army is a fine start. That plus significant articles about Clausewitz et al. Most things by the "great three" - Lawrence Freedman, Eliot A. Cohen or Colin S. Gray are well worth reading first. As an aside, it's worth keeping your eye on ANU / Staff College websites as in the past these people and others have come out to lecture and often put on publicly available presentations.

Speaking of ACSC, their reading lists used to be online but I can't find it now. There is an older one that Cohen ran that has a great list: Strategy & Policy 2001 syllabus
I'll keep it all noted. With regards to lectures, I'm often having to read from screens nowadays - so they always work well for an explanation of how or why things are done, especially from different perspectives.
 

gowthamn

New Member
READ ME.
I've started my suggested reading list which is locked, but still readable and the links accessible. This thread is for any comments, suggestions etc. The reason that I have it this way is so that the list doesn't become polluted with comments etc., and remains strictly a list. It's a work in progress so will take time.
Deleted
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
One specific tweak: I'd change your Thucydides edition to the Landmark edition. It's the recommended version for ACSC, CDSS and a number of the FVEY academies. The notes. maps and summaries make it easier to analysis for a modern reader.

Now for a general point - I wouldn't really recommend most "must reads" to beginners or intermediates. Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz - none of them. Without a guide, they are just too hard to read and too many esoteric arguments about them online. You need to have some basis of understanding beforehand. Even then Clausewitz (especially) can just be too dense or confusing to read.

Instead, I'd look at some of the doctrine out there for various militaries. LWD-1 (any year) from the Australian Army is a fine start. That plus significant articles about Clausewitz et al. Most things by the "great three" - Lawrence Freedman, Eliot A. Cohen or Colin S. Gray are well worth reading first. As an aside, it's worth keeping your eye on ANU / Staff College websites as in the past these people and others have come out to lecture and often put on publicly available presentations.

Speaking of ACSC, their reading lists used to be online but I can't find it now. There is an older one that Cohen ran that has a great list: Strategy & Policy 2001 syllabus
Just a comment on the Thucydides reference. It's my copy that I have referenced and the replacement for the one I had when I did first year Greek history 30 years ago at university. It was an interest paper.

I looked at the Cohen syllabus link that you posted. I hated 1,000 word essays / assignments. They were the absolute pits. Far to short. 1,500 words was barely long enough, but as a first year they did appear to long. Once I did knock a 1 500 word one out during a lecture, and it was fully referenced, because it had to be submitted at the end of the lecture. Got a B- for it which was pretty good considering. I'd done all the research etc., just hadn't written it.

A mate (ex army) and myself did a one semester 100 level feminist studies paper one year because it was a gimme paper. Assessment was 3 x 1,500 word essays and no exams. We wrote one essay from scratch and just changed the words around for the other two pieces of assessment. We even turned up for lectures and some of tutorials for a while.
 
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I would suggest Unrestricted Warfare by Liang and Xiangshui. The version I read though was a few years back and was the english translation that was made less controversial apparently. The original I am told is the one to hunt for. May be helpful given recent events.

Regards Youtube content I was thinking more along the lines of presentations from RN (Rtd) Rear Admiral Chris Parry, USN Admiral J Stavridis and Peter Zeihan (former Stratfor commentator) come to mind.
 
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