Joint Chiefs Of Staff Reading List


7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores the Changing Face of War in the 21st Century
by Andrew Krepinevich

A global pandemic finds millions swarming across the U.S. border. Major American cities are leveled by black-market nukes. China’s growing civil unrest ignites a global showdown. Pakistan’s collapse leads to a hunt for its nuclear weapons. What if the worst that could happen actually happens? How will we respond? Are we prepared?

Twentieth Century American Biography Series: George C. Marshall
by Mark A. Stoler, Johm Milton Cooper

Series Editor: John Milton Cooper, Jr., University of Wisconsin-Madison.This distinguished series provides complete interpretive biographies of influential twentieth-century figures. Based on extensive research and written by a prominent scholar, each concise study examines the subjects career, private life, political milieu, public image, and impact on modern society.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek

The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY — the third most popular TED video of all time.
 

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom

If you cut off a spider’s head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world.

What’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women’s rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths?

The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Belknap Press S)
by Samuel P. Huntington

In a classic work, Samuel P. Huntington challenges most of the old assumptions and ideas on the role of the military in society. Stressing the value of the military outlook for American national policy, Huntington has performed the distinctive task of developing a general theory of civil–military relations and subjecting it to rigorous historical analysis.

Once an Eagle
by Anton Myrer

Required reading for West Point and Marine Corps cadets, Once An Eagle is the story of one special man, a soldier named Sam Damon, and his adversary over a lifetime, fellow officer Courtney Massengale. Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self-interest. Massengale, however, brilliantly advances by making the right connections behind the lines and in Washington’s corridors of power. Beginning in the French countryside during the Great War, the conflict between these adversaries solidifies in the isolated garrison life marking peacetime, intensifies in the deadly Pacific jungles of World War II, and reaches its treacherous conclusion in the last major battleground of the Cold War—Vietnam.

On War
by Carl von Clausewitz

Carl von Clausewitz’s On War is the most significant attempt in Western history to understand war, both in its internal dynamics and as an instrument of policy. Since the work’s first appearance in 1832, it has been read throughout the world, and has stimulated generations of soldiers, political leaders, and intellectuals.

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power
by Robert D. Kaplan

On the world maps common in America, the Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the Indian Ocean region all but disappears. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now-departed twentieth century, but in the twenty-first century that focus will fundamentally change. In this pivotal examination of the countries known as “Monsoon Asia”—which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania—bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power

Some Principles of Maritime Strategy
by Julian S. (Julian Stafford) Corbett

Writing in the early 20th century, Corbett draws upon centuries of naval battles and identifies several common strains to discuss. The development of sound war strategies at sea was often a process of trial and error – the author elects to explain how strategy evolved as much from calamity as from proven practice. How a naval force should be assembled, how it should assume formation upon the sea, and how concentrations and dispersal of ships should be organized each receive discussion.

The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)
by A. T. Mahan

First published almost a century ago, this classic text on the history and tactics of naval warfare had a profound effect on the imperial policies of all the major powers. Kaiser Wilhelm is said to have “devoured” this book, and it was avidly read by presidents (including both Roosevelts), kings, prime ministers, admirals, and chancellors.

George Washington and the American Military Tradition (Mercer University Lamar Memorial Lectures Ser.)
by Don Higginbotham

In George Washington and the American Military Tradition, Don Higginbotham investigates the interplay of militiaman and professional soldier, of soldier and legislator, that shaped George Washington’s military career and ultimately fostered the victory that brought independence to our nation. Higginbotham then explores the legacy of Washington’s success, revealing that the crucial blending of civil and military concerns characteristic of the Revolution has been variously regarded and only seldom repeated by later generations of American soldiers.

The Command of The Air (USAF Warrior Studies)
by Giulio Douhet, Dino Ferrari

Reprint of the 1983 translation by staff of the United States Office of Air Force History.

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
by Robert Coram

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever — the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country’s most legendary fighter aircraft — the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story.

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility” (Incerto)
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.

The Art of War
by De Jomini, Baron Antoine-Henri

Antoine-Henri Jomini was the most celebrated writer on the Napoleonic art of war. Jomini was present at most of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars. His writing, therefore, is the most authoritative on the subject. “The art of war, as generally considered, consists of five purely military branches,-viz.: Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, and Tactics. A sixth and essential branch, hitherto unrecognized, might be termed Diplomacy in its relation to War. Although this branch is more naturally and intimately connected with the profession of a statesman than with that of a soldier, it cannot be denied that, if it be useless to a subordinate general, it is indispensable to every general commanding an army.” -Antoine-Henri Jomini

The Art Of War
by Sun Tzu, Lionel Giles

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It
by Joshua Cooper Ramo

Today the very ideas that made America great imperil its future. Our plans go awry and policies fail. History’s grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to improve lives, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions made to stem a financial crisis guarantee its worsening. Environmental strategies to protect species lead to their extinction. The traditional physics of power has been replaced by something radically different.

A Message to Garcia: And Other Essential Writings on Success
by Elbert Hubbard, Charles Conrad

Elbert Hubbard penned his classic essay, “A Message to Garcia” in one hour after a dinnertime discussion with his family. The family’s conclusion? The true hero of the Spanish-American war was Captain Rowan, a messenger who braved death by carrying a note behind the lines to Garcia, the leader of the insurgents who was hiding somewhere in Cuba.  But where?  No matter, Rowan found him and delivered his message! Hubbard saw that Rowan’s initiative contained lessons for everyone, not just those in the military.  Hubbard calls upon readers to be like Rowan, worthy of carrying their own ‘message to Garcia.’  “A Message to Garcia” was distributed around the globe by the millions in the 1900s.  The fact that it still has currency today is testimony not only to Rowan, but to Hubbard, who saw an opportunity to call attention to an important life principle, and seized it.