War Books: Admiral James Stavridis, (USN, Ret)
By Loren Thompson, RealClearDefense: “Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn - A searing portrait of a young Marine officer’s first sixty days in vicious combat in Vietnam. Counterinsurgency turned upside down. Read it alongside Arkady Babchenko’s One Soldier’s War, about the Soviet experience in Chechnya ...
War Books: Jacob Olidort on How to Read
By Jacob Olidort, Modern War Institute: ““How” to read seems a strange and perhaps even condescending way to propose a book list. However, given that reading takes time, and that those who might have the most use for good reads often have little time and long lists to go through, as well as many outlets to consult (including blogs, tweets, recommendations), it might be more useful to reflect on how I go about choosing what books I read and how I consume information.”
America is turning away from support for democrats in Arab countries in favor of 'pragmatic' deals with tyrants to defeat violent Islamist extremism. For too many policymakers, Arab democracy is seen as a dangerous luxury. In Realism and Democracy, Elliott Abrams marshals four decades of experience as an American official and leading Middle East expert and shows that deals with tyrants will not work. Islamism is an idea that can only be defeated by a better idea: democracy. Through a careful analysis of America's record of democracy promotion in the region and beyond, from the Cold War to the Obama years, Abrams proves that repression helps Islamists beat democrats, while political openings offer moderates and liberals a chance. This book makes a powerful argument for an American foreign policy that combines practical politics and idealism and refuses to abandon those struggling for democracy and human rights in the Arab world.
The post-Khomenei era has profoundly changed the socio-political landscape of Iran. Since 1989, the internal dynamics of change in Iran, rooted in a panoply of socioeconomic, cultural, institutional, demographic, and behavioral factors, have led to a noticeable transition in both societal and governmental structures of power, as well as the way in which many Iranians have come to deal with the changing conditions of their society. This is all exacerbated by the global trend of communication and information expansion, as Iran has increasingly become the site of the burgeoning demands for women's rights, individual freedoms, and festering tensions and conflicts over cultural politics. These realities, among other things, have rendered Iran a country of unprecedented-and at time paradoxical-changes. This book explains how and why.
Senator John McCain’s Summer Reading List
By John McCain, The Medium: “Summertime — filled with vacations and trips to the beach — offers an important opportunity for Americans to read. As an avid reader, I have always believed in the power of books to educate, entertain and inspire. With summer underway, I encourage all Americans to pick up a book and read this summer — from fiction to history, you can do no better for your mind than to read.”
War Books: Something Missing From the CSA's Reading List
By Miranda Summers Lowe, Modern War Institute: “At their best, professional development reading lists form a canon of respected work that creates shared understanding and common background knowledge in military professionals. These books become a cultural standard, a reflection of not just what we want our soldiers to read, but who want our soldiers to be.”
War Books Profile: Col. Jim Greer, U.S. Army (Ret)
From Jim Greer, Modern War Institute: “Col. Boyd’s A Discourse on Winning and Losing shaped me in so many ways. I was lucky in that I heard Col. Boyd present his famous Patterns of Conflict pitch. His work is much more than the OODA Loop for which he is known; it is a systemic approach to understanding and engaging in combat and military operations in order to accomplish the ends of strategy.”
ADM Stavridis' Latest Reading List
By Christopher Nelson, War on the Rocks: “Now Stavridis is out of uniform, but ever the voracious reader and advocate for self-improvement, he has co-authored a book titled The Leader’s Bookshelf, for which he interviewed 200 general officers and flag officers about their reading habits and their favorite books.”
Chief of Staff of the Army’s 2017 Reading List
From Modern War Institute: “U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, released his 2017 Professional Reading List last week, we’re kicking it off by highlighting the 111 books, in six categories, that made Gen. Milley’s list. "
The turmoil which has been rattling the Middle East in recent years has confronted Israel with fresh challenges and opportunities and requires it to rethink the three levels of its strategy and security policies: National security Strategy (sometimes referred to as Grand Strategy), National Security Policy and National Military Strategy. The book points to the years 1979–1981 as the years of transition from conventional military challenges faced by Israel to the novel challenges of terrorism, missiles and rockets, sub-state guerrilla organizations on its borders and the prospect of nuclear weapons in hostile hands.
Some of these challenges have been exacerbated by the unraveling of neighboring Arab states. The book's review of the evolution of Israeli policies through almost seven decades of war and conflicts shows the absence of a full-fledged grand strategy, the structural weakness of national security policy formulation by successive governments at the cabinet level and the dominant role of the IDF. This state of affairs helps explain why and how Israel has responded to the recent turmoil in a piecemeal fashion rather than formulate a comprehensive policy that would enhance its ability to respond to the new challenges and take advantage of the new opportunities.
Hoover Institution Press Release
What do you do when an entire civilization is crumbling around you? You do everything. This is a book about how to get started.
Providence College professor Anthony Esolen, blunt and prophetic, makes the case that the decay of Western civilization is alarmingly advanced. Our sickly, sub-pagan state resembles a bombed-out city.
We have to assess the damage, but merely lamenting it does no good. There is work to be done.
The first step is the restoration of truth. America’s most powerful institutions—including the government—are mass producers of deceit. We have to recognize the lies and clear our minds of cant.
Our culture produces only the drab or the garish. We must restore beauty—in art, architecture, music, and worship.
There are two things wrong with our schools—everything our children don’t learn in them, and everything they do learn. Public schools are beyond reform; we have to start over.
Our universities are as bad as our schools. A few can be saved, but for the most part, we must build new ones. In fact, this is already being done. We have to support these efforts as if our children’s souls depended on it.
Repudiating the Sexual Revolution, that prodigious engine of misery, requires more than zipping up. The modern world has made itself ignorant about sex—in particular that there are two of them and they’re profoundly different. We must restore manhood and womanhood.
In our servile economy, we raise bureaucrats not craftsmen. We must rediscover how to make things that are beautiful and lasting—the products of human work. And we must dispense with the “rent-seekers”—the proliferating middlemen whose own work contributes nothing.
We have turned sports into a job for our children. Instead of playing we “work out.” A genuine civilization is based on celebration. We must restore play to human life, seeing all the other days of the week in light of the Sabbath.
The gigantic scale of government has made us a nation of “idiots,” incapable of attending to public affairs and the common good. We must insist that the Constitution is not whatever judges say it is, complying with but not obeying their edicts while we reclaim our freedom of religion one outdoor procession, one public lecture, one parish picnic at a time.
We must love this world, but we have here no abiding city. The great division is between those who place all their hope in the present life and those who know that we are pilgrims. There is no retreat, but take courage—we have our map. Let us begin.
In a radical new vision for the future of Christianity, NYT bestselling author and conservative columnist Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life.
The light of the Christian faith is flickering out all over the West, and only the willfully blind refuse to see it. From the outside, American churches are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. From the inside, they are being hollowed out by the departure of young people and a watered-down pseudo-spirituality. Political solutions have failed, as the triumph of gay marriage and the self-destruction of the Republican Party indicate, and the future of religious freedom has never been in greater doubt. The center is not holding. The West, cut off from its Christian roots, is falling into a new Dark Age.
The bad news is that the roots of religious decline run deeper than most Americans realize. The good news is that the blueprint for a time-tested Christian response to this decline is older still. In The Benedict Option, Dreher calls on traditional Christians to learn from the example of St. Benedict of Nursia, a sixth-century monk who turned from the chaos and decadence of the collapsing Roman Empire, and found a new way to live out the faith in community. For five difficult centuries, Benedict's monks kept the faith alive through the Dark Ages, and prepared the way for the rebirth of civilization. What do ordinary 21st century Christians -- Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox -- have to learn from the teaching and example of this great spiritual father? That they must read the signs of the times, abandon hope for a political solution to our civilization's problems, and turn their attention to creating resilient spiritual centers that can survive the coming storm. Whatever their Christian tradition, they must draw on the secrets of Benedictine wisdom to build up the local church, create countercultural schools based on the classical tradition, rebuild family life, thicken communal bonds, and develop survival strategies for doctors, teachers, and others on the front lines of persecution.
Now is a time of testing, when believers will learn the difference between shallow optimism and Christian hope. However dark the shadow falling over the West, the light of Christianity need not flicker out. It will not be easy, but Christians who are brave enough to face the religious decline, reject trendy solutions, and return to ancient traditions will find the strength not only to survive, but to thrive joyfully in the post-Christian West. The Benedict Option shows believers how to build the resistance and resilience to face a hostile modern world with the confidence and fervor of the early church. Christians face a time of choosing, with the fate of Christianity in Western civilization hanging in the balance. In this powerful challenge to the complacency of contemporary Christianity, Dreher shows why those in all churches who fail to take the Benedict Option aren't going to make it.
In 1930, the American historian and philosopher Will Durant wrote that Britain s conscious and deliberate bleeding of India... [was the] greatest crime in all history . He was not the only one to denounce the rapacity and cruelty of British rule, and his assessment was not exaggerated. Almost thirty-five million Indians died because of acts of commission and omission by the British in famines, epidemics, communal riots and wholesale slaughter like the reprisal killings after the 1857 War of Independence and the Amritsar massacre of 1919. Besides the deaths of Indians, British rule impoverished India in a manner that beggars belief. When the East India Company took control of the country, in the chaos that ensued after the collapse of the Mughal empire, India s share of world GDP was 23 per cent. When the British left it was just above 3 per cent.
The British empire in India began with the East India Company, incorporated in 1600, by royal charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, to trade in silk, spices and other profitable Indian commodities. Within a century and a half, the Company had become a power to reckon with in India. In 1757, under the command of Robert Clive, Company forces defeated the ruling Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal at Plassey, through a combination of superior artillery and even more superior chicanery. A few years later, the young and weakened Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, was browbeaten into issuing an edict that replaced his own revenue officials with the Company s representatives.
Over the next several decades, the East India Company, backed by the British government, extended its control over most of India, ruling with a combination of extortion, double-dealing, and outright corruption backed by violence and superior force. This state of affairs continued until 1857, when large numbers of the Company s Indian soldiers spearheaded the first major rebellion against colonial rule. After the rebels were defeated, the British Crown took over power and ruled the country ostensibly more benignly until 1947, when India won independence. In this explosive book, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besides examining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture, he demolishes the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways.
The few unarguable benefits the English language, tea, and cricket were never actually intended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of the colonizers. Brilliantly narrated and passionately argued, An Era of Darkness will serve to correct many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods of Indian history.
Interview: RealClearDefense Editor David Craig interviews Dr. Michael R. Auslin on his new book, released today: The End of the Asian Century - War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World's Most Dynamic Region. Dr. Auslin explains why the Indo-Pacific region is so important, misunderstood, and the future risk factors facing this region. – Real Clear Defense
Tony Abbott writes: In “The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region,” Michael R. Auslin, a Yale academic turned American Enterprise Institute scholar, argues persuasively that most predictions for Asia are unrealistically rosy. War between China and Japan is said to be unlikely because economic ties are too deep or the consequences too great; North Korea won’t launch a nuclear strike because it would be suicidal; if China’s growth falters, India will take its place; and so on. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)