- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Top Ten Military Classics
Clausewitz, Carl von. On War. 1832. Ed. and trans. by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Indexed ed. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984.
Corbett, Julian Stafford. Some Principles of Maritime Strategy. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1976 (originally published by Conway Press Ltd., 1911; 1st Reprint by U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1972).
Delbruck, Hans. History of the Art of War Within the Framework of Political History. Original German edition, 4 vols, 1900-1920. Vols. 1-4 trans. by Colonel Walter J. Renfroe, Jr. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1975-82.
Douhet, Giulio. The Command of the Air. 1921. USAF Warrior Studies. Richard Kohn and Joseph P. Harahan, eds. Trans. by Dino Ferrari. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983, paperback, (Ayer Company published an edition in 1972 which was a reprint of the 1942 edition originally translated by Dino Ferrari).
Du Picq, Ardant. Battle Studies. In Roots of Strategy, Book 2, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1987, paperback (previously published by The Military Service Publishing Co., 1946, and by the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, as part of the "Art of War," colloquium, undated).
Jomini, Antoine Henri. The Art of War. 1838. Trans.by G.H. Mendell and W.P. Craighill. Reprint, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1971.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Art of War. 1521. Trans. by Ellis Farneworth. Revised with an introduction by Neal Wood. New York, NY: Da Capo Press, 1965, 1990 repr.
Mahan, Alfred Thayer. The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783. 1890. Reprint, New York: Hill and Wang, 1957. Paperback, New York: Dover Books, 1987.
Sun Tzu. The Art of War. 4th century B.C. Trans. with an introduction by Samuel B. Griffith. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963 (also available in Roots of Strategy, R.H. Phillips, ed., Stackpole, 1987, paperback).
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. Revised Edition. Trans. by Edward Crawley. New York: Modern Library, 1982.
John Arquilla earned his degrees in international relations from Rosary College (BA 1975) and Stanford University (MA 1989, PhD 1991). He has been teaching in the special operations program at the United States Naval Postgraduate School since 1993. He also serves as chairman of the Defense Analysis department.
Dr. Arquilla’s teaching interests revolve around the history of irregular warfare, terrorism, and the implications of the information age for society and security.
His books include: Dubious Battles: Aggression, Defeat and the International System (1992); From Troy to Entebbe: Special Operations in Ancient & Modern Times (1996), which was a featured alternate of the Military Book Club; In Athena’s Camp (1997); Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime and Militancy (2001), named a notable book of the year by the American Library Association; The Reagan Imprint: Ideas in American Foreign Policy from the Collapse of Communism to the War on Terror (2006); Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military (2008), which is about defense reform; Insurgents, Raiders, and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare Have Shaped Our World (2011); and Afghan Endgames: Strategy and Policy Choices for America’s Longest War (2012).
Dr. Arquilla is also the author of more than one hundred articles dealing with a wide range of topics in military and security affairs. His work has appeared in the leading academic journals and in general publications like The New York Times, Forbes, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Wired and The New Republic. He is best known for his concept of “netwar” (i.e., the distinct manner in which those organized into networks fight). His vision of “swarm tactics” was selected by The New York Times as one of the “big ideas” of 2001; and in recent years Foreign Policy Magazine has listed him among the world’s “top 100 thinkers.”
In terms of policy experience, Dr. Arquilla worked as a consultant to General Norman Schwarzkopf during Operation Desert Storm, as part of a group of RAND analysts assigned to him. During the Kosovo War, he assisted deputy secretary of defense John Hamre on a range of issues in international information strategy. Since the onset of the war on terror, Dr. Arquilla has focused on assisting special operations forces and other units on practical “field problems.” Most recently, he worked for the White House as a member of a small, nonpartisan team of outsiders asked to articulate new directions for American defense policy.| Rational Security |