For new readers, here are some good places to start your adventure:
Nick Reding: Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town
A chronicle of the impact of globalization on small town America.
Misha Glenny: McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (Borzoi Books)
This is a detailed backgrounder on the rise of transnational criminal groups in every region of the world. Great read!
Dmitry Orlov: Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects
Thought provoking analysis of the Soviet Union's collapse and its implications for the US.
Benerson Little: The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 16301730
Excellent review and analysis of the tactics and social structure of piracy. Separates fact from fiction.
John Arquilla: Our Own Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military
Just finished an early review copy (it's available for preorder). Excellent insight into how to revitalize the US military.
The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual
The US military's approach to Maoist Insurgency.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
An excellent book on uncertainty. Nassim's premise is that the big events that shape the world aren't predictable. He provides ways to identify them early.
Frans Osinga: Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd (Strategy and History Series)
An essential resource on Boyd's theory of warfare.
Mike Davis: Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb
A micro-history of smart lo-tech weapons that use humans for terminal guidance.
Robert Young Pelton: Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror
A history of the rise of the modern mercenary industry. The author provides an excellent "feel" for the current personalities and their ambitions.
Fred Charles Iklé: Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations
The impact of rapidly advancing technological progress on security.
Steven Johnson: Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
A great overview of emergent intelligence.
Thomas P.M. Barnett: Blueprint for Action : A Future Worth Creating
Can big states survive in rapidly evolving global threat environment?
Chet Richards: Neither Shall the Sword: Conflict in the Years Ahead
Chet makes the argument for privatizing large sections of the US military and turning it into a flexible force that can respond effectively to non-state threats.
ROBERT BUNKER: Networks, Terrorism and Global Insurgency
Excellent collection of writing by some leading thinkers in 21st Century military theory. Use a corporate account to buy it (it's expensive).
Samuel P. Huntington: The CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS AND THE REMAKING OF WORLD ORDER
Excellent overview of why global guerrilla movements are proliferating.
Francis Fukuyama: The End of History and the Last Man
Contains the assumption upon which the US is building nations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Moises Naim: Illicit : How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy
This book details the market mechanism underlying the emergence of global terrorism. It demonstrates, with excellent examples, how non-state threats are growing faster than the ability of states to respond to them. A must read.
Hakim J Hazim: American Realism Revisited : Lethal Minds & Latent Threats
A great way to gain insight into militant cults. Worth the time.
Thomas X. Hammes: The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century
Good discussion of 4th generation warfare (from the perspective of Mao and Ho). Great foundation for further study.
Martin Van Creveld: The Rise and Decline of the State
A detailed description of the decline of the state.
Edward Luttwak: Coup D'Etat
A practical handbook on coup d'etat. The state as a machine that can be controlled.