A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's War on Terror
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John Boyd was arguably the greatest American military theorist since the sea power strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan at the turn of the 20th Century. Best known for his formulation of the OODA Loop as a model for competitive decision making, Colonel Boyd was also an original thinker in developing tactics for air-to-air combat, designing warplanes, and the fluid, mobile warfare known to the Germans as blitzkrieg and to modern armies as "maneuver warfare." As much as anyone, John Boyd was the architect of the two great campaigns against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, both the 1991 liberation of Kuwait and the 2003 "March Up" to Baghdad by the U.S. Army and Marines. (Updated in 2017)
But what of the costly, drawn-out insurgency that baffled the invaders once Baghdad had fallen? In this short book, Daniel Ford applies Boyd's thinking to the problem of counter-insurgency. Unlike the U.S. military in 2003, it turns out that Boyd had indeed put considerable thought into what might transpire after an effective "blitz" campaign. Indeed, he found many similarities between "blitzers" and what he preferred to call guerrillas, and he thought that they might be defeated by turning their own tactics against them.
This short book is an expanded version of a dissertation submitted in the War Studies program at King's College London. About 21,000 words