Since ancient times, poets, historians, and philosophers have contemplated warlords' exploits in battle and praised their ability to lead armies toward victory as the "art of the general." Today, this quality is designated military strategy. Military strategy plays a vital role in everyconflict, because, as the United States' involvement in the Vietnam conflict showed, when the overarching strategy is weak it is possible to win every battle but still lose a war.Taking inspiration from the greatest military theoreticians of history, such as Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Carl von Clausewitz, this Very Short Introduction highlights the dynamic relationship between the principal components of strategy: purpose, method, and means. Drawing on paradigmaticexamples, from Hannibal's war against Rome to Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, from the Allies' campaign to overwhelm Hitler's fortress to the terror attacks of September 11, Antulio J. Echevarria II vividly illustrates the factors contributing to the success or failure of military strategy.Echevarria describes the major types of military strategy and their advantages and disadvantages: annihilation and dislocation; attrition and exhaustion; deterrence and coercion; terror and terrorism; targeted killing; and cyber power. He also explores the emerging nano- and bio-genetic technologiesand explains how they are affecting today's military strategy. Clear and engaging, this book shows that military strategy is essential for understanding major events of the past and becomes even more critical today, in a world increasingly threatened by weapons of mass destruction, terroristattacks, and new dimensions of conflict, such as cyberwar and space.
Karl von Clausewitz's study On War was described by the American strategic thinker Bernard Brodie as 'not simply the greatest, but the only great book about war'. It is hard to disagree. Even though he wrote his only major work at a time when the range of firearms was fifty yards, much of what he had to say remains relevant today. Michael Howard explains Clausewitz's ideas in terms both of his experiences as a professional soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, and of the intellectual background of his time. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
"You can't handle the truth." These iconic words, bellowed by Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessup in the 1992 movie A Few Good Men, became an emblem of the conflict between honor and truth that the collective imagination often considers the quintessence of military justice. The military is the rare part of contemporary society that enjoys the privilege of policing its own members' behavior, with special courts and a separate body of rules. Whether one is for or against this system, military trials are fascinating and little understood. This book opens a window on the military judicial system, offering an accessible and balanced assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of military legal regimes around the world. It illuminates US military justice through a comparison with civilian and foreign models for the administration of justice, with a particular emphasis on the UK and Canadian military justice systems. Drawing on his experience as a serving officer, private practitioner, and law professor, Eugene R. Fidell presents a hard-hitting tour of the field, exploring military justice trends across different countries and compliance (or lack thereof) with contemporary human rights standards. He digs into critical issues such as the response to sexual assault in the armed forces, the challenges of protecting judicial independence, and the effect of social media and modern technology on age-old traditions of military discipline. A rich series of case studies, ranging from examples of misconduct, such as the devastating Abu Ghraib photos, to political tangles, such as the Guantanamo military commissions, throw light on the high profile and occasionally obscure circumstances that emerge from today's military operations around the world. As Fidell's account shows, by understanding the mechanism of military justice we can better comprehend the political values of a country. "
By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise and insightful history of the 'Great War', focusing on why it happened, how it was fought, and why it had the consequences it did. It examines the state of Europe in 1914 and the outbreak of war; the onset of attrition and crisis; the role of the US; the collapse of Russia; and the weakening and eventual surrender of the Central Powers. Looking at the historical controversies surrounding the causes and conduct of war, Michael Howard also describes how peace was ultimately made, and the potent legacy of resentment left to Germany. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
"This book explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict. Many aspects of ancient warfare are examined from philosophy to the technical skills needed to fight"--Provided by publisher.
An accessible, succinct introduction to the complicated issues surrounding today's international security considers such factors as climate change, migration, poverty, health and international terrorism while exploring the nature of key debates as reflected by a broad range of international examples. Original.
"Warfare and technology predate human history. The dynamic relationship between them is timeless, echoing through human history in patterns that link the bow and arrow with the IED (improvised explosive device), the walls of Jericho with reconnaissance satellites. This book traces those patterns, from the Scheoningen spears to cyberwarfare."--Provided by publisher.
This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the Spanish Civil war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. During this time, history writing itself became a battleground, and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. Graham has provided an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how the effects of this regime continue to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond.
The massive disorder and economic ruin following the Second World War inevitably predetermined the scope and intensity of the Cold War. But why did it last so long? And what impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, how did it affect the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century - what were the human and financial costs? This Very Short Introduction provides a clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War, one that will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Explores the fusion of Roman political culture, Greek intellectual tradition, and Christian faith that characterized Byzantium. Shows how the empire held power for eleven centuries and why it ultimately fell.