05 December 2010

CDR Salamander, “A Very Barney Christmas: 2010” Book List

CDR Salamander, A Very Barney Christmas: 2010,” 4 December 2010.

Yes my friends, it is that time of year – Christmas. As I have been saying for over half a decade, there is no finer gift you can give than that of books. Especially for the military professional, knowledge is essential. Knowledge and perspective can make all the difference in your professional performance. In this line of work – that means your life and the lives of those you lead.

Being retired for barely a year and self-employed, I simply have not had enough time to dedicate to book reading, as you can tell by my reading shelf on the right. As such, I am not going to put out my own list this year, but am going to defer to others.

We are starting this year out with recommendations from a top-shelf source; Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College, Professor Robert C. (Barney) Rubel.

If you liked his list last year, your are going to love this one. Thank you Professor Rubel – and the post is over to you! …

China is looming large as the principal geopolitical competitor to the United States. I was over there this spring, conducting a dialogue at Peking University with their key scholars and some retired PLAN officers on maritime strategy. I’m no China expert, but I came away with the impression that the Chinese are seriously trying to think through what they ought to do next in the maritime domain. These are serious people, intelligent and patriotic. We need to understand them better so that we do not make the mistake of cartooning or caricaturing them. There are a lot of books out there on China now, including some good ones produced by the [Naval War] College’s own China Maritime Studies Institute. Thus far, they have published four of them via the Naval Institute Press: China’s Future Submarine ForceChina’s Energy StrategyChina Goes to Sea, and most recentlyChina, the United States, and 21st-Century Sea Power. They are based on disciplined and objective research, and are good baseline sources of knowledge on China. They help inoculate you against the immoderate language that infects a lot of the literature on China. …”