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A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's War on Terror Paperback – May 4, 2010


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A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's War on Terror + Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War + The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451589816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451589818
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Ford has spent a lifetime reading and writing about the wars of the past hundred years, from the Irish rebellion of 1916 to the counter-guerrilla operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is best known for his history of the American Volunteer Group--the 'Flying Tigers' of the Second World War--and his Vietnam novel that was filmed as Go Tell the Spartans, starring Burt Lancaster. Most recently, he has turned to the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and Soviet Russia. Most of his books and many shorter pieces are available for Amazon's Kindle ebook reader. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

More About the Author

Daniel Ford has spent a lifetime studying and writing about the wars of the past hundred years, from the Irish rebellion of 1916 to America's misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is best known for his history of the American Volunteer Group--the 'Flying Tigers' of the Second World War--and his Vietnam novel that became the acclaimed Burt Lancaster film, 'Go Tell the Spartans'. Most recently, he has turned to the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and Soviet Russia. Most of his books and many shorter pieces are available for Amazon's Kindle ebook reader. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Myers on October 18, 2010
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Dan Ford, after exhaustive study of all the available sources on Boyd's thought has written a very useful and concise summary of his major theories. Having read everything written about John Boyd, I found Ford's treatment perhaps the best treatment of his thought for those not interested or unable to invest the time in the very dense work of Osinga or the more breezy account by Coram. Ford's treatment of the OODA loop is particularly helpful and may be the best explication available. If this short work is your first introduction to John Boyd, it will surely whet your appetite for more. As others have said, for a concentration on the theories, see Hammond; for more on the personal life, read Coram. If you're willing to be challenged intellectually, spend time with Osinga. Well done, Mr. Ford!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 12, 2010
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Short, but an interesting read. I'm not sure if this would be the best introduction to Boyd's work, but it fills some gaps and provides some clarity around Boyd's ideas. Coram is a good place to start if you're interested in the person; Hammond if you're more interested in his ideas or Osinga if you're an academic. If you've already read the above, you should read this, too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DDC VINE VOICE on December 31, 2012
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I've been studying Boyd and the OODA loop for the past 2-3 years - reading his briefings online, reading books about him and his work (the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Special Studies in Military Affairs) and The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security were helpful), and pestering the Army and Marine Officers that I work with. From this perspective, I really appreciated this book. If you've studied Liddell-Hart and Sun Tzu, you may find some of this repetitive, but the integration of points that Boyd relied on is helpful.

The book is a great synthesis of a lot of different information. Even if you don't agree with some of the author's conclusions, his clear presentation of Boyd's theories are worth the price. If you are new to this topic, you can't go wrong starting here. If you've already spent time with the OODA loop, I think you'll still find this helpful. I highly recommend this to you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Retired Reader on November 5, 2011
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This book provides an accurate and concise description of the ideas and thinking of Colonel John Boyd (USAF ret. 1927-1997). Ford uses his understanding of Boyd's ideas to somewhat gingerly explore what sort strategy Boyd might have advised for the misnamed Global War on Terror. However the chief value of this book is its brief, but well thought out examination of Boyd's tactical, operational and strategic thinking. As such the book makes an excellent introduction to the more detailed and in depth study of Colonel Boyd by Frans P.B. Osinga, "Science, Strategy, and War: The strategic theory of John Boyd" (2007 Routledge). Boyd's ideas resonate as much today as they did in the 20th Century.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Graham on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a worthy addition to the literature on Colonel John Boyd (1927-1997).

Colonel Boyd of the USAF has also had a significant influence within the RAAF, and the Australian military in general.

Boyd's forthright character and career are as interesting as his thinking on military strategy and his OODA loop (for observe, orient, decide and act).

See John Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, by Robert Coram, for Boyd's life and career.

[ASIN:0316796883 Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SDN on February 10, 2013
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Being ex-AF myself, I was surprised that I had not heard of Col Boyd. Interesting process - it can be applied to any situation where an action is required.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 5, 2012
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As the other reviews have noted, great breakdown of Boyd's theories, BUT surprisingly decides, in the section on counter-insurgency, to indicate that Boyd would've eventually decided to side with the North-Vietnamese Communist insurgency against South Vietnam, or Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Also assumes that every culture and opponent play by the same rules in war and has the exact, same Western mentality as to the waging of war. Apparently, Ford and Boyd never heard of the "siding with the Strong Horse" mentality in Arab/Muslim cultures, or, for that matter, the "Saving Face" notion in Oriental cultures.

It's utterly laughable to suggest, as Ford does, that all the US and the West have to do is show their "good sides" and Al-Qaeda will just surrender.....
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By Brian FitzGerald on December 11, 2014
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After reading "Boyd, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art of War", I thought "Noble" would consist of new revelations uncovered in that seminal book particularly as regards what might be called supra-national conflict.
Sorry, but I don't think it delivered that.
While it did make a pass at Boyd's ideas regarding "Worldview" disagreements or "group psych" being the root cause of war, there was nothing prescriptive for addressing this.
Therefore I did not see anything fundamentally new here.
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