Dan Ford's books

The John Boyd Library

When I was writing my dissertation on how to apply John Boyd's thinking to the problem of counter-insurgency, a most valuable resource was the Defense in the National Interest website maintained by his friend and acolyte, Chester Richards. Alas, weeks before I submitted the paper, Chet decided to abandon the website, and he invited anyone who cared to download the materials there. I did so for all the documents in my bibliography. To these I have added other available books and monographs by and about John Boyd. Blue skies! -- Daniel Ford

A Discourse on Winning and Losing

The Discourse is a spiral-bound document, dated 1987 but probably assembled in 1992. I got my copy from the curators of the Boyd Papers at the U.S. Marine Corps Archives at Quantico, Virginia, where I spent a fascinating week mining the thoughts of this self-taught strategic genius.

The Discourse contains four sets of briefing slides, plus his monograph entitled Destruction and Creation, in this order:

Conceptual Spiral (1992)
Patterns of Conflict (1986)
Organic Design for Command and Control (1987)
The Strategic Game of ? and ? (1987)
Destruction and Creation (1976)

Other documents

Aerial Attack Study ($2.95 PDF reproduction of Boyd's 1965 tactical manual for fighter combat)
New Conception of Air-to-Air Combat (Boyd's 1976 "Fast Transients" briefing)
The Essence of Winning & Losing (Boyd's 1996 summary briefing)

Books about John Boyd

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (Robert Coram)
The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security (Grant Hammond)
Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd (Frans Osinga)
A Swift, Elusive Sword: What if Sun Tzu and John Boyd Did a National Defense Review? (Chester Richards)
The John Boyd Roundtable: Debating Science, Strategy,and War (Mark Safranski, editor)
A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's War on Terror (Daniel Ford)

And, more generally....

War in the Modern World (monographs and reviews)
50 best books about terrorism (from Joshua Sinai)

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! — Daniel Ford

A Vision So Noble

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Posted February 2016. Websites © 1997-2016 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.