Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics, and Theory
Dubik focuses mainly on addressing senior political and military leaders and those in managerial positions that have the responsibility to lead and contribute to important war-waging dialogue. Similarly, for-profit or non-profit businesses, their owners, chief executives, and leaders charged with providing subject matter expertise or managerial oversight into the decision making processes of that business would find value in what Dubik has written. If you or your people are in charge of developing courses of action for your organization then there are valuable commonalities between Dubik’s war-waging responsibilities and your business plans.
Dereliction of Duty:
Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam
McMaster focuses primarily on the senior civilian and military leaders who steered the United States towards its increased involvement in the Vietnam conflict and the numerous factors that had led them to do so. He showcases the flaws of the men that were ultimately in charge of shaping a nation’s course of action, and how the dynamic relationships that they had with each other impacted foreign policy decisions. With the release of The Pentagon Papers, and their memoirs, McMaster was able to derive the motives and opinions of these men. It provides a cautionary tale for the deciding bodies of business organizations, as much as it does for the United States and other nations.
True Faith and Allegiance:
The Burden of Military Ethics
What Toner can provide to us is not what it takes to be an ethical Soldier in combat, but a person that is able to see the bigger picture on the implications of our actions and a way to move forward even in times of great hardship. He will show you how to look at an ethical quandary, where extenuating circumstances may put us into a predicament, and provide us a rational methodology for weighing what we should and shouldn't do. Not something that one will easily find in other books on ethics.
Michael Walzer, PhD
There is value in the discussion of whether or not going to war is just or unjust, as a business decision to carry out a particular course of action can might have similar justifications. A business has numerous stakeholders that need to be taken into account during the planning of a decision, and with who positive and negative impacts will invariably arise when a decision is finally executed. The terms just and unjust come with it a lot of baggage that deals with legality and morality, especially in the conduct of one of humanity’s most important human activities; organized violence, but that is the same for every other activity, only to a less severe degree. Just and unjust is about the justification for doing something, obviously, but in this way can mean the same thing as actions you “could and should do” and those that you “could and shouldn't do.”
Samuel P. Huntington
The Soldier and the Soldier by Huntington is quite a read, and it really digs into the issues between our liberal society and that of the more conservative military. The reality is that for many organizations, they desire to produce a scenario that is inherently conservative for the business. They want group-focused individuals that will sacrifice for the company while maintaining a high level of professionalism and problem-solving capabilities. Military values are about shaping individuals into valuable and trusted team members, and what private-sector organization wouldn't want that? This book is about how that inherently came to be in regards to military professionalism, and its lessons can be applied to businesses as well.
General James (Jim) Mattis & Kori Schake
Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military on the surface is an interpretation of survey data. This data helps us understand to what degree there is a familiarity gap between the military, the government, and the people. At its heart, however, is a series of assessments that warn the reader of the dangers of not having a shared understanding — a valuable read for military and government personnel. If you can appreciate the commonalities, a useful read for anyone involved in a business organization with a complex and departmentalized structure.
Eliot A. Cohen's Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime provides a new and valuable perspective on civil-military relations - a perspective that has parallels for large and departmentalized businesses. It has had an impact on contemporary discussions on how the relationship between the civilian government and the military should be and has provided it provides counters to many of the arguments that favor the "normal" theory put forth by Huntington.