Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Books: Textbooks

When I originally corresponded with The Director (of the Strategic Studies program) a couple of years ago, he sent me the reading list for the program. I began reading a couple of those books before I left the Middle East earlier this year, and have completed several more since then. The ones I've finished thus far are indicated by a tick mark (√), and each book is linked to its corresponding listing on Amazon.

  • Thomas G. Mahnken and Joseph A. Maiolo: Strategic Studies: A Reader
  • James F. Hodge and Gideon Rose: How Did This Happen? Terrorism and the New War (√)
  • Michael Quinlan: Thinking About Nuclear Weapons: Principles, Problems and Prospects (√)
  • Robert Kagan: The Return of History and the End of Dreams (√)
  • John Baylis et al.: Strategy in the Contemporary World
  • Colin Gray: Another Bloody Century (√)
  • Lawrence Freedman: The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy
  • Colin Gray: Modern Strategy
  • John J. Weltman: World Politics and the Evolution of War (√)
  • L. Schoultz: Beneath the United States: A History of US Policy Towards Latin America
  • Mark Ungar: Policing Democracy: Overcoming Obstacles to Citizen Security in Latin America
  • Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham: The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations

    When I received the welcome letter for the 2010 intake as a reference document, I learned that the teaching staff had eliminated a course on international security organizations and replaced it with a course on Latin America. I'm sure Latin America's wonderful, but since I've spent most of my time studying the international community or the Middle East, I wasn't excited about the course about Latin America. I decided that, since that particular course would be completed during the second term, I would save the two books about Latin America until I was actually in Scotland. Then, I received the welcome letter for the 2012 intake a few weeks ago, I learned that the second semester's curriculum had changed, and that I would now have the option of choosing two courses from a total of four offerings. Another three readings were also added, and these are listed below.

  • Elinor C. Sloan: Modern Military Strategy: An Introduction
  • Sherard Cowper-Coles: Cables from Kabul
  • Christine Gray: International Law and the Use of Force

    I'm more likely to take the courses that include these three new books, so if I were a betting man, I'd bet that I don't wind up reading those two books about Latin America. I also imagine that having read the books about nuclear strategy will prove to have been time wasted if I don't enroll in the course on nuclear policy, but that's alright because nuclear strategy interests me more than Latin America.

    Carl von Clausewitz's incomparable treatise has been mentioned in several of the books I've read so far, and I hope to read it in its entirety by the time I've completed the program. I'd also very much like to read Niccolo Machiavelli's The Art of War. As neither of them are actually required, only time will tell whether I read either or not.
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