Sunday, September 21, 2008

The John Boyd Roundtable, Debating Science, Strategy, and War

NEW BOOK - The John Boyd Roundtable: Debating Science, Strategy and War

Early this year I was invited by to participate in an online Roundtable on: Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Therory of John Boyd by Mark Safranski. The roundtable consisted of eight contributors who wrote essays and exchanged discussion comments as we reviewed the book Science, Strategy, and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd" by Dr. Frans Osinga.

After the discussion ended I wrote a postscript describing my feelings at being invited to be a part of this discussion.

It was a pleasure to participate in this discussion and read the comments of the other participants. This type of forum, held online holds promise for future discussions. No great decision was reached, and I doubt if anyone's mind was changed by any of the arguments. But everyone gained by reading the thoughts of others on the same subject.
This intersection of views gives purchase to a new tool with which to discuss the revelevant topics of the day. A sort of Junto society if you will, where in 1727 Benjamin Franklin founded a society to discuss the issues of the day. The Junto's Friday evening meetings were organized around a series of questions that Franklin devised, covering a range of intellectual, personal, business, and community topics. These questions were used as a springboard for discussion and community action. In fact, through the Junto, Franklin promoted such concepts as volunteer fire-fighting clubs, improved security (night watchmen), and a public hospital.
Ever since I began to read blogs and now write my own, I am struck with the similarities of the original intent of Franklin's group and the online blog community today. Another point that todays blog community has with American history is the similar tone and function of the blogs, in relationship to the prevalence of pamplets, extolling the virtues and vices of life under the British. Much has been made by historians, that this grass roots element was insturmental in uplifting the American spirit towards revolution, by the reading of thousands of pamplets in taverns every night.
Today's blogs instead of talking of revolution, are formulating revolutionary thinking, where new ideas are given an intersection to meet, and reasonable men and women can offer thought and comment, in order to find new innovations for the challenges that confront us.

Shortly after we completed the roundtable, the editors Nimble Press of approached us for permission to compile our essays into book form. The result of that effort has been published this week.

I want to introduce the authors begining with our editor, Mark Safranski, followed by Thomas Barnett, who graciously wrote the forward.

Mark Safranski - Teacher, Educational consultant. Adviser, Conversationbase, LLC. Contributor, HNN. Member, Small Wars Council. Blogger, Zenpundit, Chicago Boyz.

Thomas Barnett, Best selling author of "The Pentagons New Map" Blueprint for Action and
soon to be released "Great Powers, America and the World after Bush. "

Daniel H. Abbott is a doctoral candidate at the University ofNebraska-Lincoln. He writes at the blogs and He has also written Revolutionary Strategies in EarlyChristianity: The 4GW Against Rome and the COIN to Save It,published by Nimble Books.

Dr. Chet Richards of Defense and the National Interest, a mathematician and business consultantand was one of Colonel John Boyd's close associates and collaborators.The only authorized briefer of Boyd's Patterns of Conflict, Dr. Richardsoperates two websites dedicated to Boyd's strategic theories, Defense& The National Interest and Dr. Richards is theauthor of numerous books on business and military strategy includingCertain to Win, A Swift Elusive Sword and most recently, If We CanKeep It. Richards is also a retired Colonel in the USAF and wasformerly the Reserve Air Attache in Saudi Arabia.

Lexington Green, is an attorney and a blogger of Chicago Boyz

Shane Deichman is a nuclear physicist and the President/COOof EMC2 LLC. Deichman is the former Science Adviser to MarineCorps Forces-Pacific, was Experiment Operations Director at U.S.Joint Forces Command, and has served as director at scientific andprivate sector institutions such as The New England Complex SystemsInstitute, the Institute for Advanced Technologies in Global Resilienceat Oak Ridge National Laboratory and at Enterra Solutions, LLC. He blogs at Wizards of Oz, Dreaming 5GW.

Adam Elkus - free-lance writer for Defense & The National Interest, The Huffington Post,
Athena Intelligence, Foreign Policy in Focus. Blogger, Rethinking Security, Dreaming 5GW.

Frank Hoffman, a former Marine Officer and national security consultant, is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia as well as at The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies; and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Center on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. Hoffman is the author of Decisive Force: The New American Way of War and a contributing author to the new U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual.

Dr. Frans Osinga - Colonel, Royal Netherlands Air Force. Fighter Pilot. Associate Professor of War Studies at the Netherlands Defense Academy. Formerly, of Nato’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation. Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute of International Relations. Author of Science, Strategy and War:The Strategic Theory of John Boyd.

And finally, your humble scribe, HG, whom by simple deduction is revealed within the pages of yonder book.

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