As Frans Osinga pointed out in his 2006 examination of John Boyd’s philosophy of conflict, Science, strategy and war: The strategic theory of John Boyd, the OODA loop is the best known but probably most misunderstood aspect of Boyd’s body of work. Even today, it’s very common to see people describe the OODA loop as a loop. However, when Boyd finally got around to producing a “sketch” of the “loop” (his terms), it was, as I’m sure practically all readers of this blog know, something entirely different.
Why? The reason is that the OODA “loop” is an answer to a specific problem. It is not, for example a model of decision making — in fact, it simply requires you to make implicit and explicit decisions and link them to actions, all the while experimenting and learning.
On November 30, I gave a lecture on this subject to the Swedish Defense University in Stockholm. My host, Johan Ivari, arranged for it to be recorded and made available on the University’s web site. They broke it into two parts:
Part 1 https://play.fhs.se/media/The+OODA-%E2%80%9Dloop%E2%80%9D+lecture+by+Chet+Richards+-+Part+1+-+Setting+the+scene./0_bkfn6gnx
Part 2 https://play.fhs.se/media/The+OODA-%E2%80%9Dloop%E2%80%9D+lecture+by+Chet+Richards+-+Part+2+-+John+Boyd%27s+real+OODA+%E2%80%9CLoop%E2%80%9D+/0_tkvhlxsh
I had a lot of fun with this, and the students asked some great questions. I hope you enjoy it!
By the way, check out some of the other interesting videos on their site.
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