AEIOpeners: Mackenzie Eaglen's reading list

Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies and specializes in defense strategy, budget, military readiness and defense industrial base. Here's what's current on her reading list.

"Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market — And How to Successfully Transform Them," Richard Foster and Sarah Kaplan, 1995

I’m currently working on a paper that explores how the Pentagon reacts to periods of wholesale change, or what Andy Grove of Intel has termed “strategic inflection points.” In order to better understand the Pentagon’s reaction to change, I think it will be useful to explore how corporations have dealt with similar periods of rapid and revolutionary change.  The key issue is why some organizations have withstood the test of time while so many others have gone the way of Bear Stearns and AIG.

"Military Innovation in the Interwar Period," edited by Williamson Murray and Allan Millett, 1998

In many ways, this book serves as a nice complement to Creative Destruction. At their core, both books are about how organizations stay — or fail to stay — competitive over a long period of time.  In the case of the interwar period, Britain and France misunderstood how technology was prompting changes in warfare while the Germans, Japanese and Americans largely understood that they were living through period of discontinuous change. Today, we would do well to consider these lessons and avoid the fate that befell the formerly dominant British.

"War Plan Orange," Edward S. Miller, 2007

"War Plan Orange" chronicles the history of the American war plan against Japan, from its inception around the turn of the 20th century to its final triumph in the Pacific in 1945.  Not only is the story of America’s struggle with Japan compelling for historical reasons, but it provides a timely comparison given the “pivot” to Asia and the Pentagon’s emerging Air-Sea Battle concept.  As American defense planners try to explain what Air-Sea Battle is not — namely a 21st century version of a Plan Orange — they would do well to consider the strategic and operational challenges faced by their 20th century counterparts and how America’s military leaders a century ago approached strategic competition with a Pacific rival.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Mackenzie
Eaglen

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.