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CSAF Reading List
General Ronald Fogleman created the CSAF Professional Reading Program in 1996 to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members -- officers, enlisted, and civilians -- to help each of us become better, more effective advocates of air and space power. Each CSAF since then has enhanced and continued the Professional Reading Program.
Leadership & Decision Making
Deep Work by
Call Number: BF323.D5 N49 2016
Publication Date: 2016-01-05
Read the Wall Street Journal Bestseller for "cultivating intense focus" for fast, powerful performance results for achieving success and true meaning in one's professional life (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take). Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way. In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. 1. Work Deeply 2. Embrace Boredom 3. Quit Social Media 4. Drain the Shallows A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world. An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & Leadership Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller A Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ
The Art of Thinking Clearly by
Call Number: BF442 .D6313 2013
Publication Date: 2014-05-06
The Art of Thinking Clearly by world-class thinker and entrepreneur Rolf Dobelli is an eye-opening look at human psychology and reasoning -- essential reading for anyone who wants to avoid "cognitive errors" and make better choices in all aspects of their lives. Have you ever: Invested time in something that, with hindsight, just wasn't worth it? Or continued doing something you knew was bad for you? These are examples of cognitive biases, simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking. But by knowing what they are and how to spot them, we can avoid them and make better decisions. Simple, clear, and always surprising, this indispensable book will change the way you think and transform your decision-making--work, at home, every day. It reveals, in 99 short chapters, the most common errors of judgment, and how to avoid them.
Turn the Ship Around! by
Call Number: HD57.7 .M39245 2012
Publication Date: 2013-05-16
"One of the 12 best business books of all time.... Timeless principles of empowering leadership." - USA Today "The best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution." --FORTUNE Since Turn the Ship Around! was published in 2013, hundreds of thousands of readers have been inspired by former Navy captain David Marquet's true story. Many have applied his insights to their own organizations, creating workplaces where everyone takes responsibility for his or her actions, where followers grow to become leaders, and where happier teams drive dramatically better results. Marquet was a Naval Academy graduate and an experienced officer when selected for submarine command. Trained to give orders in the traditional model of "know all-tell all" leadership, he faced a new wrinkle when he was shifted to the Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine. Facing the high-stress environment of a sub where there's little margin for error, he was determined to reverse the trends he found on the Santa Fe: poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention rate in the fleet. Almost immediately, Marquet ran into trouble when he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why, the answer was: "Because you told me to." Marquet realized that while he had been trained for a different submarine, his crew had been trained to do what they were told--a deadly combination. That's when Marquet flipped the leadership model on its head and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! reveals how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control to his subordinates, and creating leaders. Before long, each member of Marquet's crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became completely engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day. The Santa Fe set records for performance, morale, and retention. And over the next decade, a highly disproportionate number of the officers of the Santa Fe were selected to become submarine commanders. Whether you need a major change of course or just a tweak of the rudder, you can apply Marquet's methods to turn your own ship around.
The Aviators by
Call Number: TL539 .G73 2013
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
"Written by gifted storyteller Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump), The Aviatorstells the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage. This is the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age of flight. These cleverly interwoven tales of their heart-stopping adventures take us from the feats of World War I through the heroism of World War II and beyond, including daring military raids and survival-at-sea, and will appeal to fans of Unbroken, The Greatest Generation, and Flyboys. With the world in peril in World War II, each man set aside great success and comfort to return to the skies for his most daring mission yet. Doolittle, a brilliant aviation innovator, would lead the daring Tokyo Raid to retaliate for Pearl Harbor; Lindbergh, hero of the first solo flight across the Atlantic, would fly combat missions in the South Pacific; and Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace, would bravely hold his crew together while facing near-starvation and circling sharks after hi
The Wright Brothers by
Call Number: TL540.W7 M28 2015
Publication Date: 2015-05-05
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their "mission" to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.
Beyond Horizons: a Half Century of Air Force Space Leadership by
Call Number: [CSAF] UG1515 .S65 1998
Publication Date: 2012-05-27
This manuscript is a study of the United States Air Force in space. Of all the military services, the Air Force has been preeminently involved for the past fifty years in initiating, developing, and applying the technology of space-based systems in support of the nation's national security. Yet there has been no single-volume overview of the Air Force space story to serve as an introduction and guide for interested readers. This book tells the story of the origins and development of the United States Air Force's space program from its earliest beginnings in the post Second World War period to its emergence as a critical operational presence in the Persian Gulf War.
Technology & Innovation
The Difference by
Call Number: HF5549.5.M5 P34 2008
Publication Date: 2008-08-31
In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The Difference is about how we think in groups--and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? And why are the best group decisions and predictions those that draw upon the very qualities that make each of us unique? The answers lie in diversity--not what we look like outside, but what we look like within, our distinct tools and abilities. The Difference reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. Diversity yields superior outcomes, and Page proves it using his own cutting-edge research. Moving beyond the politics that cloud standard debates about diversity, he explains why difference beats out homogeneity, whether you're talking about citizens in a democracy or scientists in the laboratory. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples, from the redesign of the Chicago "El" to the truth about where we store our ketchup. Page changes the way we understand diversity--how to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.
Skunk Works by
Call Number: TL565 .R53 1994
Publication Date: 1996-02-01
From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America's high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of cold war confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with narratives from the CIA and from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century.
The Space Barons by
Call Number: TL789.85.A1 D38 2018
Publication Date: 2018-03-20
The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program. Nearly a half-century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons-most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen-are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel, and send humans even further than NASA has gone. These entrepreneurs have founded some of the biggest brands in the world-Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, PayPal-and upended industry after industry. Now they are pursuing the biggest disruption of all: space. Based on years of reporting and exclusive interviews with all four billionaires, this authoritative account is a dramatic tale of risk and high adventure, the birth of a new Space Age, fueled by some of the world's richest men as they struggle to end governments' monopoly on the cosmos. The Space Barons is also a story of rivalry-hard-charging startups warring with established contractors, and the personal clashes of the leaders of this new space movement, particularly Musk and Bezos, as they aim for the moon and Mars and beyond.
Cyberspace in Peace and War by
Call Number: [CSAF] U163 .L519 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-15
In a world in which cyberspace is becoming every country's center of gravity, the issue of cyberwar can no longer be ignored. Cyberspace in Peace and War is the first comprehensive, instructional guide to the challenge of cyberwar: how to conduct it but, more importantly, how to avoid it using a mix of cybersecurity policies coupled with deterrence, escalation, signaling, and norms strategies. The result of over twenty years of analysis and assessment by author Martin C. Libicki, this text should be of particular interest to those concerned with the current and future challenges that face the digital frontier. Though written from a U.S. perspective, the principles discussed are globally relevant. Cyberspace in Peace and War presents a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity, cyberwar, and cyber terrorism. From basic concepts to advanced principles, Libicki examines the sources and consequences of system compromises, addresses how cybersecurity policies can strengthen countries defenses--leaving them less susceptible to cyberattack, and explores cybersecurity in the context of military operations, highlighting unique aspects of the digital battleground and strategic uses of cyberwar. He provides the technical and geopolitical foundations of cyberwar necessary to understand the policies, operations, and strategies required for safeguarding an increasingly online infrastructure. Cyberspace in Peace and War guides readers through the complexities of cybersecurity and cyberwar and challenges them to understand the topics in new ways.
Airpower Applied by
Call Number: UG 633 .A695 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-15
Airpower Applied reviews the evolution of airpower and its impact upon the history of warfare. Through a critical examination of twenty-nine case studies in which various U.S. coalitions and Israel played significant roles, this book offers perspectives on the political purpose, strategic meaning, and military importance of airpower. The authors demystify some of airpower's strategic history by extracting the most useful teachings to help military professionals and political leaders understand what airpower has to offer as a "continuation of politics by other means." This volume explores how warfare has changed over the last few decades and why airpower has become a dominant factor in war. The case studies emphasize the importance of connecting policy and airpower: operational effectiveness cannot substitute for poor statecraft. As the United States, its allies, and Israel have seen in their most recent applications of airpower, even the most robust and capable air weapon can never be more effective than the strategy and policy it is intended to support. By analyzing the operational history of the world's most battle-tested air forces, the accounts in this book can give military professionals insight into the political context in which air operations must be assessed, build their appreciation of the strategic value of airpower, and serve as a practical guide to the best uses of this potentially decisive tool.
The Second Nuclear Age by
Call Number: [CSAF] JZ5665 .B73 2013
Publication Date: 2013-11-26
A leading international security strategist offers a compelling new way to "think about the unthinkable." The cold war ended more than two decades ago, and with its end came a reduction in the threat of nuclear weapons--a luxury that we can no longer indulge. It's not just the threat of Iran getting the bomb or North Korea doing something rash; the whole complexion of global power politics is changing because of the reemergence of nuclear weapons as a vital element of statecraft and power politics. In short, we have entered the second nuclear age. In this provocative and agenda-setting book, Paul Bracken of Yale University argues that we need to pay renewed attention to nuclear weapons and how their presence will transform the way crises develop and escalate. He draws on his years of experience analyzing defense strategy to make the case that the United States needs to start thinking seriously about these issues once again, especially as new countries acquire nuclear capabilities. He walks us through war-game scenarios that are all toorealistic, to show how nuclear weapons are changing the calculus of power politics, and he offers an incisive tour of the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia to underscore how the United States must not allow itself to be unprepared for managing such crises. Frank in its tone and farsighted in its analysis,The Second Nuclear Age is the essential guide to the new rules of international politics.
Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age by
Publication Date: 2017-11-01
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to orbit the Earth. Six decades later, space-faring nations face a much different space environment, one that's more diverse, disruptive, disordered, and dangerous. Today's space domain presents a number of asymmetries that differ from other domains, creating a deterrence environment with unique policy implications. Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age, a report from the CSIS Aerospace Security Project, discusses the evolution of space as a contested domain, the changing threats to U.S. space systems, deterrence theory and its applications to the space domain, and findings from a space crisis exercise administered by CSIS in late 2016.
The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy by
Call Number: UA23 .K783 2018
Publication Date: 2018-02-22
For decades, the reigning scholarly wisdom about nuclear weapons policy has been that the United States only needs the ability to absorb an enemy nuclear attack and still be able to respond with a devastating counterattack. So long as the US, or any other nation, retains such an assuredretaliation capability, no sane leader would intentionally launch a nuclear attack against it, and nuclear deterrence will hold. According to this theory, possessing more weapons than necessary for a second-strike capability is illogical.This argument is reasonable, but, when compared to the empirical record, it raises an important puzzle. Empirically, we see that the United States has always maintained a nuclear posture that is much more robust than a mere second-strike capability. In The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy, MatthewKroenig challenges the conventional wisdom and explains why a robust nuclear posture, above and beyond a mere second-strike capability, contributes to a state's national security goals. In fact, when a state has a robust nuclear weapons force, such a capability reduces its expected costs in a war,provides it with bargaining leverage, and ultimately enhances nuclear deterrence. This book provides the first coherent theoretical explanation for why military nuclear advantages translate into geopolitical advantages. In so doing, it resolves one of the most-intractable puzzles in internationalsecurity studies.Buoyed by an innovative thesis and a vast array of historical and quantitative evidence, The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy will force scholars to reconsider their basic assumptions about the logic of nuclear deterrence.
Crowded Orbits by
Publication Date: 2014-04-29
Space has become increasingly crowded since the end of the Cold War, with new countries, companies, and even private citizens operating satellites and becoming spacefarers. This book offers general readers a valuable primer on space policy from an international perspective. It examines the competing themes of space competition and cooperation while providing readers with an understanding of the basics of space technology, diplomacy, commerce, science, and military applications. The recent expansion of human space activity poses new challenges to existing treaties and other governance tools for space, increasing the likelihood of conflict over a diminishing pool of beneficial locations and resources close to Earth. Drawing on more than twenty years of experience in international space policy debates, James Clay Moltz examines possible avenues for cooperation among the growing pool of space actors, considering their shared interests in space traffic management, orbital debris control, division of the radio frequency spectrum, and the prevention of military conflict. Moltz concludes with policy recommendations for enhanced international collaboration in space situational awareness, scientific exploration, and restraining harmful military activities.
The Accidental Superpower by
Call Number: [CSAF] JZ1480 .Z44 2016
Publication Date: 2016-02-23
In the bestselling tradition of The World Is Flat and The Next 100 Years, THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER will be a much discussed, contrarian, and eye-opening assessment of American power. Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world's oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners. We think of this system as normal-it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time. In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that-alone among the developed nations-is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order. For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime.
Essence of Decision by
Call Number: E841 .A44 1999
Publication Date: 1999-01-19
One of the most influental political science works written in the post World War II era, the original edition of Essence of Decision is a unique and fascinating examination of the pivotal event of the cold Cold War. Not simply revised, but completely re-written, the Second Edition of this classic text is a fresh reinterpretation of the theories and events surrounding the Cuban Missle Crisis, incorporating all new information from the Kennedy tapes and recently declassified Soviet files. Essence of Decision Second Edition, is a vivid look at decision-making under pressure and is the only single volume work that attempts to answer the enduring question: how should citizens understand the actions of their government?
Russia's Military Revival by
Publication Date: 2018-05-29
Russian annexation of Crimea and the subsequent air campaign over Syria took the world by surprise. The capabilities and efficiency of Moscow's armed forces during both operations signalled to the world that Russia was back in business as a significant military actor on the international stage. In this cutting-edge study, Bettina Renz provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of Russia's military revival under Putin's leadership. Whilst the West must adjust to the reality of a modernised and increasingly powerful Russian military, she argues that the renaissance of Russian military might and its implications for the balance of global power can only be fully understood within a wider historical context. Assessing developments in Russian Great Power thinking, military capabilities, Russian strategic thought and views on the use of force throughout the post-Soviet era, the book shows that, rather than signifying a sudden Russian military resurgence, recent developments are consistent with longstanding trends in Russian military strategy and foreign policy.
On China by
Call Number: [CSAF] DS775.8 .K47 2012
Publication Date: 2011-05-17
In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book-length to a country he has known intimately for decades, and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. Drawing on historical records as well as his conversations with Chinese leaders over the past forty years, Kissinger examines how China has approached diplomacy, strategy, and negotiation throughout its history, and reflects on the consequences for the global balance of power in the 21st century. Since no other country can claim a more powerful link to its ancient past and classical principles, any attempt to understand China's future world role must begin with an appreciation of its long history. For centuries, China rarely encountered other societies of comparable size and sophistication; it was the "Middle Kingdom," treating the peoples on its periphery as vassal states. At the same time, Chinese statesmen-facing threats of invasion from without, and the contests of competing factions within-developed a canon of strategic thought that prized the virtues of subtlety, patience, and indirection over feats of martial prowess. In On China, Kissinger examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy from the classical era to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the decades since the rise of Mao Zedong. He illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, Richard Nixon's historic trip to Beijing, and three crises in the Taiwan Straits. Drawing on his extensive personal experience with four generation of Chinese leaders, he brings to life towering figures such as Mao, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping, revealing how their different visions have shaped China's modern destiny. With his singular vantage on U.S.-China relations, Kissinger traces the evolution of this fraught but crucial relationship over the past 60 years, following its dramatic course from estrangement to strategic partnership to economic interdependence, and toward an uncertain future. With a final chapter on the emerging superpower's 21st-century world role, On China provides an intimate historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of the 20th century.
The Impossible State by
Publication Date: 2012-04-03
"A meaty, fast-paced portrait of North Korean society, economy, politics and foreign policy." -Foreign Affairs The definitive account of North Korea, its veiled past and uncertain future, from the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council In The Impossible State, seasoned international-policy expert and lauded scholar Victor Cha pulls back the curtain on this controversial and isolated country, providing the best look yet at North Korea's history, the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them. He illuminates the repressive regime's complex economy and culture, its appalling record of human-rights abuses, and its belligerent relationship with the United States, and analyzes the regime's major security issues--from the seemingly endless war with its southern neighbor to its frightening nuclear ambitions--all in light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong-il's recent death. How this enigmatic nation-state--one that regularly violates its own citizens' inalienable rights and has suffered famine, global economic sanctions, a collapsed economy, and near total isolation from the rest of the world--has continued to survive has long been a question that preoccupies the West. Cha reveals a land of contradictions, one facing a pivotal and disquieting transition of power from tyrannical father to inexperienced son, and delves into the ideology that leads an oppressed, starving populace to cling so fiercely to its failed leadership. With rare personal anecdotes from the author's time in Pyongyang and his tenure as an adviser in the White House, this engagingly written, authoritative, and highly accessible history offers much-needed answers to the most pressing questions about North Korea and ultimately warns of a regime that might be closer to its end than many might think--a political collapse for which America and its allies may be woefully unprepared.