USSOCOM Commander’s Reading List 2017

USSOCOM Commander’s Reading List 2017

Joint Special Operations University Library

Leadership in Complexity

  • Washington’s Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer (2006)
  • Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, by L. David Marquet (2013)
  • Six Simple Rules: How to Manage Complexity without Getting Complicated, by Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman (2014)

Adapting to Uncertainty

  • Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2014)
  • Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease, by Rafe Sagarin (2012)

Disruptive Technology

  • Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, P.W. Singer and August Cole (2016)
  • 3D Printing Will Rock the World, by John Hornick (2015)
  • The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries, by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan (2015)

Perspectives and Emergence

  • Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World, by Tim Marshall (2016)
  • Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, by Peter Pomerantsev (2015)
  • Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, by Walter Laqueur (2015)
  • The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, by Michael Pillsbury (2016)
  • The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa, by Deborah Brautigam (2011)
  • A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind, by Michael Axworthy (2016)
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick (2010)
  • Special Operations from a Small State Perspective: Future Security Challenges, New Security Challenges, by Gunilla Eriksson and Ulrica Pettersson, editors (2017)
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I enjoyed Fischer's book very much. Paul Revere's Ride, also by Fischer, is equally good. Lots of sourced background information added to the traditional stories with which we are familiar.

What happened to the study of history as the basis of the military profession? This looks like a lot of forgettable poli sci reads and the kind of books bankers read at airports.

I read a great deal to find small insights to help better understand the challenges we face and how to best shape/employ SOF in strategically effective ways.

But I doubt I will read any of the books on this list.