The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century
Following on The Intelligence Wars: Lessons from Baghdad, which referenced it and why I picked it up, I don't feel that the reading order did me many favors. I understand the topic fairly well at this point (networking good, bureaucracy bad, m'kay?), it was an old road, and not exactly targeted at a civilian reader as much as a cry for the generals-that-be to maybe try some new stuff. Also, the book is almost a decade old at this point (and now a Zenith Military Classic).
He makes the point that we're fighting the new(ish) war that's been used to such great effect since Vietnam and before, which is a valid point. And he makes the point that the military is pretty much enamored with the new shiny rather than old fashion HUMINT, which is needed for insurgency type wars. Again, a valid point. But while demonstrating the huge overlap between time frames between third and fourth generation warfare, he pretty much falls into the trap of wanting us to give up on the new shiny toys because the current war can't use them to as good an effect as they would be against a nation-state enemy.
The old adage is that everyone spends time preparing for the last war, and I feel that's as valid in his treatise as many others. He wants us to tear the military down and rebuild it to fight the Afghan War and Iraq wars, which we need to be able to do, but, like the ground-pounding jarhead he is, takes potshots at the Air Force over the F-22 program.
The Russians are still building and selling military aircraft to other nations, just as we are. He's convinced that somehow, if we revamp the military to focus on the insurgency-fighting hearts-and-minds conflict needed, that somehow, we'll still be able to maintain the ability to bring a nation-state to heel while we pull finite resources from it.