Strategic theory and the history of war
MetadataShow full item record
This essay surveys the development of strategic theory from its emergence in the seventeenth century through the era of the world wars. Although the focus is on ideas, some account is taken of changing historical circumstances against which strategic thought has unfolded. The goal of theory in any field is to improve our understanding of reality, and our ability to act effectively. In the case of strategic theory, the interaction between thought and action is especially intense, because war is such an unforgiving enterprise, and because, until recently, serious thinking about how war should be conducted has been confined for the most part to those responsible for waging it. Because the advent of nuclear weapons, the work of theory in the military field was almost exclusively the concern of practitioners. Most have proceeded by way of historical inference, scrutinizing recent (and occasionally remote) experience in search of an underlying logic capable of explaining events. The result is a body of work displaying substantial intellectual continuity, despite much intervening technological and social change; but one whose basic outlook would eventually be called into question by the advent of nuclear weapons on the one hand, and by the rising prominence of guerilla insurgency, terrorism and other forms of irregular warfare on the other.
RightsCopyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
LaBauve, Jeffrey W. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2009-09);While China and Japan individually have been the focus of tremendous study, until recently, it was not necessary to compare their nuclear relationship. The advent of Japan's ballistic missile defenses has offered a unique ...
Couch, Mark A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1993-09);The unsteady aerodynamic forces and moments of an oscillating airfoil for the fixed wing case were determined by Theodorsen along with the development of a lift deficiency function. Loewy subsequently developed an analogous ...
Hey, Nikolaus. (Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2007-06);This study analyzes the essence of FRG security and defense policy after reunification. The first section briefly explains the different theoretical approaches to cooperation of nation states. The second chapter describes ...