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Current Reads Thread


Sturgeon
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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know why, but I can't just buy a single book at a time. I must buy about half a dozen before I'm satisfied. My newest additions to my bookshelf:

  • Kill Chain by Andrew Cockburn
  • American Tanks and AFVs of WWII by Michael Green
  • Germs, Guns, Steel by J. Diamond
  • ISIS: State of Terror by J. Stern and J. M. Berger
  • Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front by R. A. Forczyk 
  • Revenge of Geography by R. Kaplan
  • The Kaiser's Holocaust by O. Olusoga 
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  • 3 weeks later...

So I've finished 4 books over the last couple weeks.

 

Kill Chain - This work explores the rise of drones in warfare and is ultimately extremely critical of their effectiveness in combat combated to CAS aircraft. It discusses Igloo White and American efforts to use sensors to target enemy "critical nodes" and the belief that killing off leaders and attacking these nodes will win wars. It is critical of smart bombs against targets as it uses an example of USAF claims of dozens of Serbian tanks killed in Kosovo contrasted with ground reports of light casualties and a total of 3 Serb tanks KO'd. Which I find similar to WWII "tankbuster" claims.

 

The author discusses the convoluted history of the MQ-1's development and trials while constantly referring to errors of the drone pilots misidentifying nearly everything. It discusses several drone strikes which killed civilians and the US policy of identifying civilians as military-aged males which makes them targets. 

 

I also enjoyed the discussion on the Millennium Challenge 2002 wargame.

 

It was a good fluid read and it does source its material. I find it is a little too critical on UAVs as a whole, but it doesn't devaule the book.

 

 

 

ISIS: State of Terror - This is the story of how and why ISIS formed, how it operates, and what its motives are. It was really well put together, but it only goes up to Jan, 2015 so it has a short shelf life. 

 

 

Rommel Reconsidered - A stackpole book comprised of 4 different sections that explores Rommel's ties to Hitler, his failures in North Africa, and his (lack of) ties to the 20th July Plot, and the German and British media's portrayal of the man. Short and sweet. 

 

 

Byzantium - A basic history of the Greeks' Eastern Roman Empire exploring all different aspects of the geopolitics, trade, culture, and importance of Byzantium. Some parts I found particularly boring, but most of the book is rather fresh and makes a good read. 

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So I've finished 4 books over the last couple weeks.

 

Kill Chain - This work explores the rise of drones in warfare and is ultimately extremely critical of their effectiveness in combat combated to CAS aircraft. It discusses Igloo White and American efforts to use sensors to target enemy "critical nodes" and the belief that killing off leaders and attacking these nodes will win wars. It is critical of smart bombs against targets as it uses an example of USAF claims of dozens of Serbian tanks killed in Kosovo contrasted with ground reports of light casualties and a total of 3 Serb tanks KO'd. Which I find similar to WWII "tankbuster" claims.

 

 

 

The Serbs were skilled at making fake tanks is the explanation I heard.  The decoys could have been identified as such if there had been anyone on the ground in contact with the USAF, but making something look convincingly like a tank from the air is apparently fairly easy to do.

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So I've finished 4 books over the last couple weeks.

 

Kill Chain - This work explores the rise of drones in warfare and is ultimately extremely critical of their effectiveness in combat combated to CAS aircraft. It discusses Igloo White and American efforts to use sensors to target enemy "critical nodes" and the belief that killing off leaders and attacking these nodes will win wars. It is critical of smart bombs against targets as it uses an example of USAF claims of dozens of Serbian tanks killed in Kosovo contrasted with ground reports of light casualties and a total of 3 Serb tanks KO'd. Which I find similar to WWII "tankbuster" claims.

 

The author discusses the convoluted history of the MQ-1's development and trials while constantly referring to errors of the drone pilots misidentifying nearly everything. It discusses several drone strikes which killed civilians and the US policy of identifying civilians as military-aged males which makes them targets. 

 

I also enjoyed the discussion on the Millennium Challenge 2002 wargame.

 

It was a good fluid read and it does source its material. I find it is a little too critical on UAVs as a whole, but it doesn't devaule the book.

 

 

 

ISIS: State of Terror - This is the story of how and why ISIS formed, how it operates, and what its motives are. It was really well put together, but it only goes up to Jan, 2015 so it has a short shelf life. 

 

 

Rommel Reconsidered - A stackpole book comprised of 4 different sections that explores Rommel's ties to Hitler, his failures in North Africa, and his (lack of) ties to the 20th July Plot, and the German and British media's portrayal of the man. Short and sweet. 

 

 

Byzantium - A basic history of the Greeks' Eastern Roman Empire exploring all different aspects of the geopolitics, trade, culture, and importance of Byzantium. Some parts I found particularly boring, but most of the book is rather fresh and makes a good read. 

 

kill chain sounds great

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T___A has fat little toes. 

 

The Kaiser's Holocaust has been a fantastic read, only a chapter left to finish. It really links together the trend in Germany towards biological racism in the late 19th century and the wars against the Herero and the Nama and the links between SW Africa and early Nazi ideology. The narratives of Hendrik Witbooi and other African leaders shows their side of the story extremely well and documentary sources show them in a light than is rarely seen among native people in their struggle against imperialism. Wonderful read. 

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  • 1 month later...

Having a family member who works in a public library is great.

 

Things I read recently:

 

Too Far From Home

Decent, but read like a magazine article at times. Could tell it wasn't written by someone with a spaceflight background. Felt it had spent a bit too much time on the background and not enough attention on dudes actually living in the incomplete ISS. 6/10

 

Forgotten Fifteenth

 

Dry at times, but very good and detailed account of the 15th Air Force's operations in the Mediterranean. More interesting than I expected. 9/10

 

Currently reading: The Martian. Very good, only real complaint is that the main character is a colossal turbonerd (though I suppose that goes with the program). Haven't finished it yet, preliminary 9/10.

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