Bas Kreuger's Reviews > Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

Boyd by Robert Coram
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Feb 11, 2012

it was amazing

A very curious figure, John Boyd. Fighter pilot turned engineer, turned (military) philosopher.
Known best for his OODA loop, a theory founded on (fighter) pilot tactics, universally usable in all kinds of conflict situations, Boyd was a far deeper thinker.
This fine book gives a thorough insight in his life and work, how this unpolished (characteristic?) fighter pilot fought the Pentagon and USAF system in developing the A-10 ground attack aircraft and the F-16 fighter. Boyd succeeded in "doing something" instead of "being someone" (to quote Boyd himself talking to another officer having to make career decisions) in his final years having a great influence on the US Marine Corps and the strategy how to fight the First Gulf War.

I don't know if Boyd would have shuddered when hearing Defence Secretary Robert Gates praise him in a speech made at Maxwell AFB in april 2008 to future Airforce officers! But it sure makes the point that Boyd has had an impact on the establishment.

From this biography you should start reading more on Boyd and his idea's, for example Chet Richards "Certain to win" on Boyd and Business or Frans Osinga's "Science, startegy and war" on Boydian theory.
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