Small Wars Journal

SWJ Book Review

Facing the Impossible: A SWJ Book Review of “Warrior’s Creed” by Roger Sparks with Don Rearden

I can only describe this book as “honestly” written by a man that had nothing to prove as he spent his life demonstrating his ability to stand among the most elite warriors. Sparks’ use of colorful language and a total disregard for political correctness demonstrates his integrity to his worldview.

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Bones with No Meat: A SWJ Book Review of “Preparation Breeds Professionalism: A Consolidated Guide to Army Leadership” by Noel DeJesus

Flipping through the pages of this little book, I quickly realized that there was likely little there. Inside this 5”x8” book you will find 1”+ margins with the text more than single spaced. With maybe 100 words per page, the content of this entire book is probably a ~10 page “academic” article.

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A SWJ Book Review of “Rules of Engagement: A Novel” by David Bruns and J.R. Olson

This book might be uniquely suited to be used during peer-learning groups or “book clubs.” The chapters are short, and most are “self-contained” to provide some useful lesson. In this way, the book could be said to be a collection of useful vignettes.

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SWJ Book Review – “Rules for the Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History”

Do terrorism and rebel groups have rules of the game? Why do terrorist groups act in particular ways despite the obvious militarized reaction of states? Why do some attack large centers of power such as New York, Paris or London, and others prefer to exploit small shops in Mogadishu, run passers-by on the Ramblas in Barcelona or blow up a cooking pot in the Boston Marathon? These are questions that manage to generate new insights and methodological analyzes about the rationality of rebel actors and terrorist groups.

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SWJ Book Review – “The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB”

Christopher Andrew, the author of the book, "The Sword and The Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and The Secret History of the KGB", provides a fascinating account of the history of the Soviet secret service. The book is based on classified information from the archive of the KGB´s First Chief Directorate that was responsible for its foreign operations and intelligence activities.

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SWJ Book Review – ‘Any Place, Any Time, Any Where: The 1st Air Commandos in World War II’

'Operation Thursday' is not as well-known as other operations in World War II, but it should be. R.D Van Wagner, the author of, 'Any Place, Any Time, Any Where' wanted to ensure that the 1st Air Commando Group receives the historical attention and credit the unit deserves as the foundation of today’s Air Commandos.

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SWJ El Centro Book Review - Borderland Beat: Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The work "Borderland Beat: Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War" represents the first book (& ebook) to be published by this blog site. Borderland Beat is an informational and collaborative English language blog (drawing upon US and Mexican contributors) reporting on the Mexican narco wars.

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A Diplomat’s Last Mission: Book Review of ‘The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for its Renewal’ by Bill Burns

Bill Burns’ 'The Backchannel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and a Case for its Renewal' provides a skillful dissection of what he calls this “era of inversion” between force and diplomacy. Burns, who The Atlantic once described as “America’s secret diplomatic weapon,” is widely lauded by Presidents and Secretaries of State from both political parties. Reading The 'Backchannel', it is easy to see why.

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SWJ Book Review: Legion Versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World by Myke Cole

Myke Cole has written a new book covering ancient Hellenistic phalanx and Roman legion warriors. The author’s work focused on Hellenistic and Roman military unit formations with a tactical analysis. Cole’s work spans a time period from approximately the 3rd through the 2nd century BC battlefields with a discipline focus. Cole’s main argument focuses on the tactical success and failure of the phalanx and legion military units.

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