Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What The UK Of Chief Of Defence Staff Is Reading

For those interested in military reading, I commend this list of recommended reading from the Britain's top soldier, as published by the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. Here are three titles from that list that I am hoping to track down and read this summer.

The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers
by Nancy Sherman

Review (written by Air Commodore Paul Lyall)
War imposes incredible stresses on those that wage it on behalf of others. It can involve fighting, killing, and seeing your mate be killed or injured. In this book, Nancy Sherman looks at the impact this can have on individuals and on how the transition from civilian to soldier - and more importantly, back again - can be hugely traumatic. Considering what many of our young soldiers have experienced on recent operations, this book is a real reminder that we owe them not just a debt of gratitude, but our enduring support.

Defeat into Victory
by Field Marshal Viscount William Slim

Review (written by Air Commodore Paul Lyall)
This book tops the reading list of the Higher Command and Staff Course. It was written by a Field Marshal who seemed unclouded by ego – a man who learnt from his mistakes, grew into a great commander through reflection and dedication, and was eager to record his experiences in order to help develop future leaders. It is a work of great humanity and humility which perfectly illustrates the demands of military operational command and the weight of responsibility that falls on senior shoulders. The prologue is one of the great works of military literature.

Morality and War: Can War be Just in the Twenty-first Century?>
by David Fisher

Review (written by RCDS)
David Fisher is a former civil servant in the Ministry of Defence and defence adviser to the Prime Minister. This book originated as a PhD thesis in the Department of War Studies at Kings College London. In it, the author revisits the Just War tradition and its revival following the end of the Cold War, and then goes beyond that to suggest that we need a new framework for thinking about war in the modern world. Fisher uses the Aristotelian concept of virtues to offer a notion of virtuous consequentialism as a guide to wise action.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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