In war, do mass and materiel matter most? Will states with the largest, best equipped, information-technology-rich militaries invariably win? The prevailing answer today among both scholars and policymakers is yes. But this is to overlook force employment, or the doctrine and tactics by which materiel is actually used. In a landmark reconception of battle and war, this book provides a systematic account of how force employment interacts with materiel to produce real combat outcomes. Stephen Biddle argues that force employment is central to modern war, becoming increasingly important since 1900 as the key to surviving ever more lethal weaponry. Technological change produces opposite effects depending on how forces are employed; to focus only on materiel is thus to risk major error--with serious consequences for both policy and scholarship. In clear, fluent prose, Biddle provides a systematic account of force employment's role and shows how this account holds up under rigorous, multimethod testing. The results challenge a wide variety of standard views, from current expectations for a revolution in military affairs to mainstream scholarship in international relations and orthodox interpretations of modern military history. Military Power will have a resounding impact on both scholarship in the field and on policy debates over the future of warfare, the size of the military, and the makeup of the defense budget.
A work with broad implications for theories of comparative strategic behavior and civil-military relations, Societies and Military Power uses the long history of the armies of India as a basis for analyzing whether the character of a given society affects the amount of military power that can be generated by the armies that emerge from that society. By examining the changing relationship between ruling elites in the Indian subcontinent and their armed forces, the book shows that divisions within society are mirrored within the military, even within the contemporary professional military. Stephen Peter Rosen explores the proposition that cultural explanations don't sufficiently account for changes in military power, whereas social structure does. He suggests also that the dynamics of civil-military relations in a non-Western setting are not explicable without social-structural insight. He concludes that the comparative study of strategic behavior and military organization has lacked a sound foundation, which the social-structural explanation offered in this book begins to provide.
Residents of Vieques, a small island just off the east coast of Puerto Rico, live wedged between an ammunition depot and live bombing range for the U.S. Navy. Since the 1940s when the navy expropriated over two-thirds of the island, residents have struggled to make a life amid the thundering of bombs and rumbling of weaponry fire. Like the armys base in Okinawa, Japan, the facility has drawn vociferous protests from residents who challenged U.S. security interests overseas. In 1999, when a local civilian employee of the base was killed by a stray bomb, Vieques again erupted in protests that have mobilized tens of thousands individuals and transformed this tiny Caribbean Island into the setting for an international cause célèbre. Katherine T. McCaffrey gives a complete analysis of the troubled relationship between the U.S. Navy and island residents. She explores such topics as the history of U.S. naval involvement in Vieques; a grassroots mobilizationled by fishermenthat began in the 1970s; how the navy promised to improve the lives of the island residentsand failed; and the present-day emergence of a revitalized political activism that has effectively challenged naval hegemony. The case of Vieques brings to the fore a major concern within U.S. foreign policy that extends well beyond Puerto Rico: military bases overseas act as lightning rods for anti-American sentiment, thus threatening this countrys image and interests abroad. By analyzing this particular, conflicted relationship, the book also explores important lessons about colonialism and postcolonialism and the relationship of the United States to the countries in which it maintains military bases.
Causes and Consequences for International Politics
Author: Michael C. Horowitz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Political Science
The Diffusion of Military Power examines how the financial and organizational challenges of adopting new methods of fighting wars can influence the international balance of power. Michael Horowitz argues that a state or actor wishing to adopt a military innovation must possess both the financial resources to buy or build the technology and the internal organizational capacity to accommodate any necessary changes in recruiting, training, or operations. How countries react to new innovations--and to other actors that do or don't adopt them--has profound implications for the global order and the likelihood of war. Horowitz looks at some of the most important military innovations throughout history, including the advent of the all-big-gun steel battleship, the development of aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons, and the use of suicide terror by nonstate actors. He shows how expensive innovations can favor wealthier, more powerful countries, but also how those same states often stumble when facing organizationally complicated innovations. Innovations requiring major upheavals in doctrine and organization can disadvantage the wealthiest states due to their bureaucratic inflexibility and weight the balance of power toward smaller and more nimble actors, making conflict more likely. This book provides vital insights into military innovations and their impact on U.S. foreign policy, warfare, and the distribution of power in the international system.
Creating Military Power examines how societies, cultures, political structures, and the global environment affect countries' military organizations. Unlike most analyses of countries' military power, which focus on material and basic resources—such as the size of populations, technological and industrial base, and GNP—this volume takes a more expansive view. The study's overarching argument is that states' global environments and the particularities of their cultures, social structures, and political institutions often affect how they organize and prepare for war, and ultimately impact their effectiveness in battle. The creation of military power is only partially dependent on states' basic material and human assets. Wealth, technology, and human capital certainly matter for a country's ability to create military power, but equally important are the ways a state uses those resources, and this often depends on the political and social environment in which military activity takes place.
The contributors here consider the multifarious aspects of the Anglo-American approach to war. All the contributors are concerned to base their work on the overall historical context. They explore the relationship between theory and practice in military operations.
This book examines the interplay between energy policy and security policy under Vladimir Putin, and his drive to re-establish Russia’s ‘greatness’. Assessing the internal contradictions of this policy, the book argues that Russia’s desire to strengthen its role of ‘energy security’ provider is undermined by its inability to secure growth in production of oil and gas. Further, the pressing demand to channel more resources into the military-industrial complex clashes with the growing need to invest in the energy complex, and the priority granted to strategic forces deprives the conventional forces of strike power and strategic mobility. In conclusion, the author anticipates how these contradictions could be resolved, and suggests three short scenarios for Russia’s continuing transition in the next decade. This book will be of interest to students of Russian politics, European politics and international security.
Wherever international commerce flows in world politics, military power often flows with it - sometimes as a protector of commerce, sometimes as its promoters and sometimes as a tool of aggression against it. How are military power and international trade related? Do military power and commerce expand together or does military power decline as commerce (and perhaps interdependence) increases? Does this relationship vary across countries and, if so how? Power, Conflict and Tradeis a study of the relationship between military power and international commerce among the Great Powers prior to World War I. After building an argument for a direct relationship between military power and commerce - one grounded in a mercantilist view of state power- and exploring their numerous connections, the book estimates models of the relationship among the Great Powers and explores a great deal of their commercial and military data, all of which is situated in the context of their mutual rivalries. Another question investigated is whether the peacetime conflicts and rivalries of the Great Powers affected their trade relations adversely. There is strong support for the argument that military power and commerce move together in world politics, though there is evidence for an inverse relationship as well.