Science, Strategy and War


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction Introducing 'A Discourse'. ‘A Towering Figure’. 'Deeply Flawed'. Aim and Argument. A Note on Strategy. A Note on Strategic Theory. The Formative Factors of Strategic Theory. Organization of this Study. 2. The Seeds of a Theory and the Fertile Soil The Seed of a Theory. Boyd’s Military Life. Reading History. Fertile Soil: The US Military After Vietnam Experience, Curiosity and Challenges 3. Science: Boyd’s Fountain Boyd and Science. Shifting Foundations. Paradigm Shift. The Emerging Systems View of the World Systems Everywhere. Boyd and the First Stage of the Paradigm Shift. Conclusion 4. Completing the Shift Riding the Wave. Beyond Open and Chaotic Systems: Complexity Theory. The Postmodern Turn. Chaos Everywhere. A Discourse and the Scientific Zeitgeist. Concluding Words 5. Core Arguments A Discourse in Prose. Boyd’s ‘Abstract’ of A Discourse. Destruction and Creation. Patterns of Conflict. Concluding Words. 6. Exploration and Refinement Introduction. Organic Design for Command and Control. The Strategic Game of ? and ? Revelation. The Conceptual Spiral. The Essence of Winning and Losing 7. Completing the Loop Beyond the Rapid OODA Idea. The Continuing Relevance of a Discourse. Analysis/Synthesis

About the Author

Frans P.B. Osinga


If you have any interest in war, this is a book your library cannot do without. Just as America cannot do without John Boyd's ideas, although our military has not yet figured that out.
William Lind, Military.comOsinga provides lucid expositions of the various elements that Boyd synthesized into some truly original formulations and ways of thinking about strategy.Lawrence Freedman, Foreign AffairsOsinga’s book should be read by military professionals and academics alike, but also by anyone interested in the social and cultural impacts of science in general, and chaos and complexity theories in particular. Science, Strategy and War will and should remain required reading for years to come.Sean Lawson, Emergence

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