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Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd (Strategy and History) 1st Edition
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Osinga accomplishes his mission magnificently. If you are interested in Boyd's problem of how to win regardless, stop right now and order the book. If you have not heard the briefings, my recommendation is to begin with chapter one, then skip back to chapter seven for a summary of Boyd's influence on strategy. Then, download the charts, go back to chapter two, and work your way through the rest of the book. [The briefings are all available on Defense and the National Interest.]
Is it a tough read? Do you know of anything really worthwhile that is easy? Just as there is no royal road to mathematics, there is no royal road to Boyd. I was present at the creation of many of these charts, and I found a lot in this book that was new and helpful in broadening my understanding (for one thing, I have not, as Osinga did, read Boyd's original notes in the source books).
This book is a distilled version of Col Osinga's Ph.D.Read more ›
Personally, after becoming acquainted with Boyd's work (I carry printed copies of his only published work, an essay called Destruction and Creation, in my computer bag read while traveling---giving copies to clients and friends) my business has changed and to a great extent, my life has changed. Boyd's method of synthesizing data from disparate sources has helped me to help clients solve problems and exposed me to areas I would have never investigated otherwise.
This book is important and highly recommended.
Although Osinga does not address it, John Boyd appears to have had what can only be called the mind of an engineer. The application of scientific principals to practical ends seemed to come naturally to him. He actually received a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech in 1962, but this appeared to have primarily credentialed his existing engineering talent.
Boyd was an experienced and successful fighter pilot from the Korean War and his initial engineering efforts had to do with designing an air superiority fighter. To this end Boyd developed a simple, but revolutionary concept for fighter design namely the relationship of Energy to Maneuverability or EM concept. Once Boyd developed the EM Concept it was obvious, but he was surprised to discover that no one had thought of it before. Application of this concept led directly to the development of the F-15 fighter and to the most cost effective and versatile fighter produced in the last quarter of the 20th Century, the F-16.
Boyd is best known for his brilliant and original concept of command and control (C2) processes, the so-called Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action (OODA) loop. Like the EM concept once somebody thinks of it the OODA loop is obvious, but only after Boyd developed it. The OODA loop describes what are quite complex C2 processes.Read more ›
The USAF, the service to which Boyd dedicated his career and life to, has hardly sought to purposefully encapsulated his concepts. For those areas where the USAF has attempted, it grossly missed the mark. The "big Air Force" fearfully revolted at Boyd's requirement for deep and challenging thinking (Sun Tzu, "know thyself" much?). Ergo, the raison d'être for Osinga's examination. Let me clear: this was fortuitous, for had the USAF not significantly dismissed Boyd's presentations and limited writings, Osinga wouldn't have needed to write his book (based upon his thesis for School of Advanced Airpower & Strategic Studies, the Air Force's preeminent center for strategic learning).
Osinga's work embarks upon the deep dive beyond the USAF's limited understanding of the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) Loop. Osinga himself describes this succienctly:
"[The] common perception is incomplete, as the OODA loop contains more elements for success than only tempo and information. This integral rendition of his work thus indicates that the popular notion of the 'rapid OODA loop' idea does not adequately capture what Boyd meant by it, and that Boyd must be remembered for more than only the idea that one can gain military victory by more rapidly OODA looping than the opponent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful, broad and comprehensive review of John Boyd's work and contribution. The author has done a great job taking us into Boyd's discoveries and contributions to postmodern... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr. A. B. ONEILL
Very thorough and in depth review of Boyd's work and just as importantly the main works that influenced Boyd. Absolutely essential to a deep understanding of Boyd's concepts.Published 8 months ago by Rick Hart
truth in lending, Osinga is a friend. this is the most thoroughgoing treatment of Boyd that I know... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Red Rose
A complex, comprehensive summary of a web of theories, insights and philosophic anayses that are alarming per current events, i.e. Read morePublished 18 months ago by thomas J. Rath
If you want to REALLY understand Boyd's thinking, this is the place. If you REALLY want to understand Boyd's thinking, read chapter 3 until you understand it, likely 3 or 4 times. Read morePublished 19 months ago by bob stucky
Just an excellent book for those interested n the key elements of combat at the strategic levelPublished 20 months ago by Stub
I bought this book as a gift for my older brother who loves reading this kind of stuff. He said it was really interesting and has been enjoying it so far!Published on January 16, 2013 by Ehren S. Rohbock