USSTRATCOM Command Professional Reading List

Professional development is essential to the successful execution of our mission. One key component to professional development is reading and critically thinking about military issues, history, and leadership. USSTRATCOM is pleased to announce the following selections for the 2015 Command's Professional Reading List. The intention is that this list will serve as a guide for all STRATCOM military and civilian personnel to enhance their professional knowledge.



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On China – Henry Kissinger - ©2011, Penguin Press

In On China, Kissinger examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy from the classical era to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the decades since the rise of Mao Zedong. Drawing on his extensive personal experience with four generation of Chinese leaders, he brings to life towering figures such as Mao, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping, revealing how their different visions have shaped China's modern destiny. With a final chapter on the emerging superpower's 21st-century world role, On China provides an intimate historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of the 20th century.

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World Order – Henry Kissinger - © 2014, Penguin Press

Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West’s response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger’s historical analysis in the decisive events of our time.

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Unbroken – Laura Hildenbrand - © 2014, Turtleback Books

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

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Turn the Ship Around! – L. David Marquet - © 2013, Penguin Press

"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers." Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control. Before long, each member of Marquet's crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command. No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

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7 Deadly Scenarios – Andrew Krepinevich - © 2010, Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks

A global pandemic finds millions swarming across the U.S. border. Major American cities are leveled by black-market nukes. China’s growing civil unrest ignites a global showdown. Pakistan’s collapse leads to a hunt for its nuclear weapons. What if the worst that could happen actually happens? How will we respond? Are we prepared? 

As a military expert and consultant, Krepinevich must think the unthinkable based on the latest intelligence and geopolitical trends—and devise a response inthe event our worst nightmares become reality. As riveting as a thriller, 7 Deadly Scenarios reveals the forces—both overt and covert—that are in play; the real ambitions of world powers, terrorist groups, and rogue states; and the actions and counteractions both our enemies and our allies can be expected to take—and what we must do to prepare before it’s too late.

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Duty! Memoirs of a Secretary at War – Bob Gates - © 2014 Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he’d long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty

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Counterstrike! – E. Schmitt & T. Shanker - © 2011 Macmillan

In Counterstrike, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker of The New York Times tell the story of how a group of analysts within the military, at spy agencies, and in law enforcement has fashioned an innovative and effective new strategy to fight terrorism, unbeknownst to most Americans and in sharp contrast to the cowboy slogans that characterized the U.S. government's public posture. Adapting themes from classic Cold War deterrence theory, these strategists have expanded the field of battle in order to disrupt jihadist networks in ever more creative ways.

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Competitive Strategies for the 21st Century – Thomas Mahnken - © 2012 Stanford University Press

This book uses the theory and practice of peacetime great-power strategic competition to derive recommendations for just such a strategy. After examining the theory of peacetime strategic competition, it assesses the U.S.-China military balance in depth, considers the role of America's allies in the region, and explores strategies that the U.S could adopt to improve its strategic position relative to China over the long term.

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Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek - © 2014, Penguin Press

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories from a wide range of examples, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking.

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Counter Space – William B. Scott, Michael J. Coumatos, William J. Birnes - © 2011 St. Martin’s Press

What if North Korea detonates a nuclear weapon in space and silences dozens of satellites? What if an Iranian missile threatens to destroy Israel, while a Venezuelan "research" satellite endangers one of the US’s most promising space initiatives? What if tech-savvy terrorist cells unleash back-to-back horrors in California while national leaders, robbed of spy satellite imagery, are forced to make "blind" decisions?

These are the scenarios of Counterspace, a frighteningly plausible look at threats to the United States and the world. Scott, Coumatos, and Birnes use war gaming scenarios to show how the US Strategic Command might use current and near-future technology to prevent global disaster.