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From A to B: How Logistics Fuels American Power and Prosperity Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Wow -- was I disappointed in the seemingly disjointed and haphazard manner in which this book was presented. Instead of a tight and focused look on the underpinnings and means in which modern logistics operate, the reader is left with a series of seemingly disjointed and disconnected vignettes on the development of robotic cars, to a tangent on how mass transportation will never be effective in the United States. Although I have always enjoyed stories intertwined with real world examples of real people overcoming challenges -- even these sidebars in this book felt forced.
My final impression was these were a series of short articles written in the past and sandwiched into a book.
Here's to hoping the next effort is a little more flushed out, focused and relevant.
Using many of his past writings as a baseline, Axe takes us on a tour of the land, sea and air elements of what's happening now and what's coming next in American logistics. These are, at times, sobering (convoy operations in Iraq in 2004-2005 using makeshift armor and prayer), spellbinding (an at-sea refueling operation that , in and of itself, is worth the price of the book), and infuriating(the carefully canned narrow-view statements of various industry hacks). The glimpses of the future are equally stunning: autonomous cars, vast sea bases, airships, and space marines (I dare you to say that last one aloud without giggling).
Flaws? Axe makes clear up front that this is not meant to be an in-depth treatment of the subject, and he's right. Because this is pieced together from lots of his previous work, the transitions between some subjects are pretty tenuous. But I should also make clear that although there are clear outlines of his previous postings from War is Boring and Danger Room, there is a wealth of new material here worth your time.
If nothing else, I guarantee that you will never use the term "hybrid car" the same way again.
"From A to B" is a great survey course in the importance of logistics to our military, and to our globalized economy as a whole. He deftly moves between all the possible modes to transport men and materiel around the globe - from cars and trucks to ships and airplanes to zeppelins and space planes. His use of tangible examples from his years of reporting on these issues makes the book engaging and easily digested.
Axe begins the book by establishing the importance of logistics to our military operations, but also as "dirty, dangerous work" that is "probably the most complex aspect of military planning." He provides as an example the "logistical surge" of MRAPS into Iraq and Afghanistan to protect American troops. From there Axe discusses an alternate solution to the expensive MRAPs - robotically-controlled logistical transport - think the merging of today's commercial semi-trucks with the technological power of Unmanned Arial Vehicles. These vehicles could decrease the need for manned vehicles on dangerous roads and provide more time and attention to manned security vehicles.
As I am primarily focused on American land power, Axe's section on our "most capacious and underappreciated logistical system: her naval ships" was amazing. The depiction of how difficult, yet crucial, at-sea refueling is to power projection throughout the world provided me a much greater appreciation of how the US is unlike any other Navy in the history of the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amateurs talk tactics - Professionals talk logistics.
I read From A to B: How Logistics Fuels American Power and Prosperity when it came out only a few years ago. Read more
"From A to B" is an interesting but disjointed survey of a hodge-podge of transportation systems used for military and civilian materials transport. Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by Jeremy H. Brown