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A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's War on Terror

A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's War on Terror [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Ford
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

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. (Updated in 2012)

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 short book is an expanded version of a dissertation submitted in the War Studies program at King's College London. About 21,000 words. Updated in 2012.

About the Author

Daniel Ford is a New Hampshire-based author and late-blooming degree candidate in War Studies at King's College London. 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 291 KB
  • Print Length: 74 pages
  • Publisher: Warbird Books; Revised 2013 edition (17 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003LO1GFU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #225,880 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Daniel Ford is a journalist, novelist, and historian based in New Hampshire, USA. He is the author of 'Incident at Muc Wa', the Vietnam story that became the acclaimed Burt Lancaster film, 'Go Tell the Spartans', and two other novels with a military-historical twist. He wrote the definitive history of the American Volunteer Group--the Flying Tigers of Burma and China--and several other non-fiction books, most recently the story of a young Polish girl's odyssey through the Russian Gulag to find safe haven in England, where they met as students at the University of Manchester. Dan also writes for the Wall Street Journal, Air&Space / Smithsonian, and Michigan War Studies Review. In 2010 he acquired an advanced degree from the War Studies programme at King's College London. (Photo by Liz Handy)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent short book that brings together all John Boyds theories and thinking on tactics linked to his sources and other peoples thoughts on the matter, whether directly involved with him or not.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview of John Boyd's Thinking 18 Oct 2010
By Michael Myers - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dan Ford, after exhaustive study of all the available sources on Boyd's thought has written a very useful and concise summary of his major theories. Having read everything written about John Boyd, I found Ford's treatment perhaps the best treatment of his thought for those not interested or unable to invest the time in the very dense work of Osinga or the more breezy account by Coram. Ford's treatment of the OODA loop is particularly helpful and may be the best explication available. If this short work is your first introduction to John Boyd, it will surely whet your appetite for more. As others have said, for a concentration on the theories, see Hammond; for more on the personal life, read Coram. If you're willing to be challenged intellectually, spend time with Osinga. Well done, Mr. Ford!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful addition to the John Boyd literature 12 Sep 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short, but an interesting read. I'm not sure if this would be the best introduction to Boyd's work, but it fills some gaps and provides some clarity around Boyd's ideas. Coram is a good place to start if you're interested in the person; Hammond if you're more interested in his ideas or Osinga if you're an academic. If you've already read the above, you should read this, too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very helpful overview with some nice points 31 Dec 2012
By DDC - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been studying Boyd and the OODA loop for the past 2-3 years - reading his briefings online, reading books about him and his work (the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Special Studies in Military Affairs) and The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security were helpful), and pestering the Army and Marine Officers that I work with. From this perspective, I really appreciated this book. If you've studied Liddell-Hart and Sun Tzu, you may find some of this repetitive, but the integration of points that Boyd relied on is helpful.

The book is a great synthesis of a lot of different information. Even if you don't agree with some of the author's conclusions, his clear presentation of Boyd's theories are worth the price. If you are new to this topic, you can't go wrong starting here. If you've already spent time with the OODA loop, I think you'll still find this helpful. I highly recommend this to you.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Distillation 5 Nov 2011
By Retired Reader - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides an accurate and concise description of the ideas and thinking of Colonel John Boyd (USAF ret. 1927-1997). Ford uses his understanding of Boyd's ideas to somewhat gingerly explore what sort strategy Boyd might have advised for the misnamed Global War on Terror. However the chief value of this book is its brief, but well thought out examination of Boyd's tactical, operational and strategic thinking. As such the book makes an excellent introduction to the more detailed and in depth study of Colonel Boyd by Frans P.B. Osinga, "Science, Strategy, and War: The strategic theory of John Boyd" (2007 Routledge). Boyd's ideas resonate as much today as they did in the 20th Century.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Importance of Colonel John Boyd USAF 27 May 2010
By J. P. Graham - Published on
This book is a worthy addition to the literature on Colonel John Boyd (1927-1997).

Colonel Boyd of the USAF has also had a significant influence within the RAAF, and the Australian military in general.

Boyd's forthright character and career are as interesting as his thinking on military strategy and his OODA loop (for observe, orient, decide and act).

See John Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, by Robert Coram, for Boyd's life and career.

[ASIN:0316796883 Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War]
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