Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics, and Theory

James M. Dubik, Lt. Gen USA (RET)

James M. Dubik, Just War Reconsidered, War Is My Business, WIMB, Review, Book Review

Dubik focuses mainly on addressing senior political and military leaders and those in managerial positions that have the responsibility to lead and contribute to important war-waging dialogue. Similarly, for-profit or non-profit businesses, their owners, chief executives, and leaders charged with providing subject matter expertise or managerial oversight into the decision making processes of that business would find value in what Dubik has written. If you or your people are in charge of developing courses of action for your organization then there are valuable commonalities between Dubik’s war-waging responsibilities and your business plans.

Just War Reconsidered - Review

Dereliction of Duty:

Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam

H.R. McMaster, Major USA - now Lt. Gen USA (RET)

H.R. McMaster, McMaster, Dereliction Duty Review, Dereliction of Duty, Vietnam Review, Vietnam, book review

McMaster focuses primarily on the senior civilian and military leaders who steered the United States towards its increased involvement in the Vietnam conflict and the numerous factors that had led them to do so. He showcases the flaws of the men that were ultimately in charge of shaping a nation’s course of action, and how the dynamic relationships that they had with each other impacted foreign policy decisions. With the release of The Pentagon Papers, and their memoirs, McMaster was able to derive the motives and opinions of these men. It provides a cautionary tale for the deciding bodies of business organizations, as much as it does for the United States and other nations.

Dereliction of Duty - Review

True Faith and Allegiance:

The Burden of Military Ethics

James H. Toner, PhD

james h. toner, true faith and allegiance, ethics, military ethics, business ethics, war is my business, wimb

What Toner can provide to us is not what it takes to be an ethical Soldier in combat, but a person that is able to see the bigger picture on the implications of our actions and a way to move forward even in times of great hardship. He will show you how to look at an ethical quandary, where extenuating circumstances may put us into a predicament, and provide us a rational methodology for weighing what we should and shouldn't do. Not something that one will easily find in other books on ethics.

True Faith and Allegiance - Review

Just and Unjust Wars:

A Moral Argument with

Historical Illustrations

Michael Walzer, PhD

just wars, unjust wars, michael walzer, just and unjust wars, war is my business, wimb

There is value in the discussion of whether or not going to war is just or unjust, as a business decision to carry out a particular course of action can might have similar justifications. A business has numerous stakeholders that need to be taken into account during the planning of a decision, and with who positive and negative impacts will invariably arise when a decision is finally executed. The terms just and unjust come with it a lot of baggage that deals with legality and morality, especially in the conduct of one of humanity’s most important human activities; organized violence, but that is the same for every other activity, only to a less severe degree. Just and unjust is about the justification for doing something, obviously, but in this way can mean the same thing as actions you “could and should do” and those that you “could and shouldn't do.”

Just and Unjust Wars - Review

The Soldier and the State:

The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations

Samuel P. Huntington

The Soldier and the State, Samuel P. Huntington

The Soldier and the Soldier by Huntington is quite a read, and it really digs into the issues between our liberal society and that of the more conservative military.  The reality is that for many organizations, they desire to produce a scenario that is inherently conservative for the business. They want group-focused individuals that will sacrifice for the company while maintaining a high level of professionalism and problem-solving capabilities. Military values are about shaping individuals into valuable and trusted team members, and what private-sector organization wouldn't want that? This book is about how that inherently came to be in regards to military professionalism, and its lessons can be applied to businesses as well.

The Soldier and the State - Review

Warriors & Citizens:

American Views of our Military

General James (Jim) Mattis & Kori Schake

Warrior & Citizens, james mattis, jim mattis, kori schake

Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military on the surface is an interpretation of survey data. This data helps us understand to what degree there is a familiarity gap between the military, the government, and the people. At its heart, however, is a series of assessments that warn the reader of the dangers of not having a shared understanding — a valuable read for military and government personnel. If you can appreciate the commonalities, a useful read for anyone involved in a business organization with a complex and departmentalized structure.

Warriors & Citizen -Review

Supreme Command:

Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime

Eliot A. Cohen

Supreme Command, Eliot A. Cohen, war is my business, civil-military relations

Eliot A. Cohen's Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime provides a new and valuable perspective on civil-military relations - a perspective that has parallels for large and departmentalized businesses. It has had an impact on contemporary discussions on how the relationship between the civilian government and the military should be and has provided it provides counters to many of the arguments that favor the "normal" theory put forth by Huntington.

Supreme Command - Review

The Big Stick:

The Limits of Soft Power &

the Necessity of Military Force

Eliot A. Cohen

The Big Stick, Eliot A Cohen, Hard Power, Military, Business, War Is My Business

Eliot A. Cohen's The Big Stick is fundamentally about the continued importance of the use of military power - hard power - and the need to continue to use and hone it in spite of arguments to the contrary. Those arguments are based more on a perceived desire for the world to become something that it isn't, and it is Cohen's position that hard power is still very much a critical instrument of national power. An instrument as necessary now, and in the future, as it was during the Cold War.

The Big Stick - Review

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything:

Tales from the Pentagon

Rosa Brooks

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, Rosa Brooks, War Is My Business

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks is a book about the author's experiences dealing with civil-military issues. It also serves as a tool for helping the citizenry, especially those in office and other civil servants, understand the military a little more, and be able to engage them more effectively. It shows the need for our society to understand that the military - for all its power and dedication to accomplishing its missions - has its limits.

How Everything Became War... - Review

On Killing:

The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

on killing, dave grossman, killing, war, society, war is my business

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman compares the uniqueness of the combat environment and that of human psychology. It looks at how society views warfare, its warfighters, and the act of killing to achieve its ends. It looks at how the individual chooses to kill or not to kill, and for those that kill, how they deal with the trauma involved. It looks at how we can condition our warfighters to kill more effectively, but also how to care for them after their return. What we see here is a scientific examination of the human condition taken to a particular extreme.

On Killing - Review

On Combat:

The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

on combat, dave grossman, killing, war, society, war is my business

On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, provides the reader with a glimpse of the human being under times of high stress and psychological trauma. We can learn what to expect when we or others become involved in these situations and can even begin to analyze and speculate others' actions. You begin to see why people act illogically, why a police officer may mistake a wallet or phone for a weapon, and why people who have to kill are constantly trying to justify the reasons why.

On Combat - Review

When Violence Is The Answer:

Learning How To Do What It Takes When Your Life Is At Stake

Tim Larkin

when violence is the answer, tim larkin, violence, war is my business

When Violence Is The Answer: Learning How To Do What It Takes When Your Life Is At Stake by Tim Larkin talks much about the tool of violence, but it isn't a tool we employ that much in the business sector. It is very much a tool of the military, police, and security sectors. Still, in Larkin's discussion of social and asocial violence, it is all about preparing for when people bring it to you, your people, and your customers. Understanding that there are people out there that will bring harm - regardless of what your business maybe - you can take the appropriate measures.

When Violence Is The Answer - Review

The Better Angels of Our Nature:

Why Violence Has Declined

Steven Pinker

when violence is the answer, tim larkin, violence, war is my business

In this book by Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, we look at the violent nature of humanity, the historical wranglings with it, and see ultimately that violence has indeed been in decline. The book's entirety seeks to explain why this is the case - why we are seeing historical reductions in violence and associated abuses. He supports his claims by looking at archeological and historical data points, psychology, sociology, and neurology sciences, as well as his own conclusions.

The Better Angels of Our Nature - Review

Leadership Strategy

and Tactics

Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink, Leadership Strategy and Tactics

Leadership Strategy and Tactics covers principles developed through the author's experiences in the Navy SEALs. He wrote this book to guide military and business leaders. A book that you, the reader, can keep handy and refer back to if you have any quandaries about what to do in a leadership dilemma. While much of the book is narrative, telling his own stories of the things he has experienced and witnessed throughout his career, the way the book is outlined does allow for it to be treated like a reference.

Leadership Strategy and Tactics - Review

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership, Leif Babin

Extreme Ownership involves taking ownership of an organization’s performance. An understandable perspective to hold. How else would you lead, in a hands-off laissez-faire way? Obviously not, but Extreme Ownership takes responsibility for performance to an order of magnitude greater. The people that utilize Extreme Ownership, the way the authors describe it, not only take responsibility for their own failures, but also for the failures of their subordinates, partners, and superiors.

Extreme Ownership - Review

The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win

Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

Jocko Willink, The Dichotomy of Leadership, Leif Babin

The Dichotomy of Leadership is about balancing the various responsibilities of leadership. Every chapter, except the introduction, covers some type of issue that requires balance. Like their other books, they first discuss an experience they had while leading training evolutions or in combat in Iraq. These experiences lead into a discussion about a particular principle which in turn leads into an actual anecdote of teaching and applying this to the businesses of their clients.

The Dichotomy of Leadership - Review

Leadership In

The Shadows

Kyle Lamb

Leadership In The Shadows, Kyle Lamb, Military, Business

Organizations succeed or fail based on the quality of their leaders. Even in the technology-soaked 21st Century, leaders are still the key element in the accomplishment of your mission. Leadership in the Shadows describes, in detail, a set of leadership principles which have been proven in the most challenging conditions America has faced over the last two decades. Drawn from real-life experiences, SGM (R) Lamb's lessons will give you the tools and insight to raise your leadership skills to the next level.

Leadership In The Shadows - Review

War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning

Chris Hedges

Leadership In The Shadows, Kyle Lamb, Military, Business

In this book, he discusses the nature of warfare that is often clouded in mythology. A nature that is obscured by the fervor of patriotic enthusiasm, the fanatic dedication to a cause, and the need to justify what was once unjustifiable - simply to continue moving forward. War is horrifying. Violence coupled with hatred can be brutal. Humans, however, partake in it like a drug; knowing its dangers, but being compelled to take another hit.

War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning - Review

On War

Carl von Clausewitz

On War, Carl von Clausewitz

Carl von Clausewitz is a well-known name amongst military theorists and students of warfare. This work of On War (Vom Krieg) would be published after his death. While the books cover many different topics, the bulk covers principles on the conduct of military operations at the strategic and operational levels of war while, at most times, endeavors to tie these principles into the overarching concept that all of these operations and the plan for the war itself must be guided by the political ends that the nation seeks to achieve.

On War - Review