Military Life

Revealed: The Books Being Read By The RAF Chief

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, has made his choices available in the Apollo Resource Centre at RAF Cosford.

The reading list of the Chief of the Air Staff have been revealed for 2020-21.

In the foreword to his inaugural reading list, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said: "This list is intended to be a thought-provoking modern collection that will be of interest and information, with topics of relevance to us all."

He said the "revised and more regularly updated list" will "focus on the issues we face today and the challenges of tomorrow: 21st Century societal and cultural shifts, space, cyber, sub-threshold warfare and artificial intelligence to name but a few".

The book choices of ACM Wigston have been made available in the Apollo Resource Centre at RAF Cosford.

Here, we list his 10 favourite reads with a short synopsis on each.

Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking – by Matthew Syed

This book argues that individual intelligence is no longer enough and that the only way to tackle the problems of modern society is to harness the power of our 'cognitive diversity'.

The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West – by David Kilcullen

David Kilcullen reveals everything the West's opponents have learned from 21st Century conflict and explains how their cutting-edge tactics and adaptability pose a serious threat to America and its allies, disabling the West's military advantage.

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War – by Paul Scharre

A Pentagon defence expert and former US Army Ranger explores what it would mean to give machines authority over the ultimate decision of life or death.

The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread – and Why They Stop – by Adam Kucharski

Epidemiologist Adam Kucharski reveals how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion – from the revolutionary initiatives that helped tackle gun violence in Chicago to the truth behind the spread of fake news.

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder – by Sean McFate

Sean McFate – an 82nd Airborne veteran, former private military contractor, and professor of war studies at the National Defense University – explores war (past, present and future) and what we must do if we want to win today.

The Future of NATO Airpower – by Justin Bronk

The book examines the modernisation and future capability development efforts being undertaken within NATO, and analyses the major threat systems and overall modernisation trends of the West's main peer competitors – Russia and China.

Command: The Twenty-First-Century General – by Anthony King

Anthony King examines the transformation of military command in the 21st Century. As operations have expanded in range and scope, decision-making has multiplied and diversified.

The Culture of Military Organizations – by Peter R. Mansoor and Williamson Murray

Sixteen case studies in this volume examine the culture of armies, navies, and air forces from the Civil War to the Iraq War and how and why culture affected their performance in the ultimate arbitration of war.

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers – by Andy Greenberg

Sandworm considers the danger hackers pose to our national security and stability. 

War in Space: Strategy, Spacepower, Geopolitics – by Bleddyn E. Bowen

The book applies strategic theory to outer space and drawing out the implications for international relations

Cover image: RAF Cosford/Twitter.