John Boyd is often known exclusively for the so-called ‘OODA’ loop model he developed. This model refers to a decision-making process and to the idea that military victory goes to the side that can complete the cycle from observation to action the fastest.
This book aims to redress this state of affairs and re-examines John Boyd’s original contribution to strategic theory. By highlighting diverse sources that shaped Boyd’s thinking, and by offering a comprehensive overview of Boyd’s work, this volume demonstrates that the common interpretation of the meaning of Boyd’s OODA loop concept is incomplete. It also shows that Boyd’s work is much more comprehensive, richer and deeper than is generally thought. With his ideas featuring in the literature on Network Centric Warfare, a key element of the US and NATO’s so-called ‘military transformation’ programmes, as well as in the debate on Fourth Generation Warfare, Boyd continues to exert a strong influence on Western military thinking. Dr Osinga demonstrates how Boyd’s work can helps us to understand the new strategic threats in the post- 9/11 world, and establishes why John Boyd should be regarded as one of the most important (post)modern strategic theorists.
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.com
Osinga provides lucid expositions of the various elements that Boyd synthesized into some truly original formulations and ways of thinking about strategy.
Lawrence Freedman, Foreign Affairs
Osinga’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