US Military Practice from the Revolution to Afghanistan
Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Category: Political Science
Challenging several longstanding notions about the American way of war, this book examines US strategic and operational practice from 1775 to 2014. It surveys all major US wars from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as most smaller US conflicts to determine what patterns, if any, existed in American uses of force. Contrary to many popular sentiments, Echevarria finds that the American way of war is not astrategic, apolitical, or defined by the use of overwhelming force. Instead, the American way of war was driven more by political considerations than military ones, and the amount of force employed was rarely overwhelming or decisive. Echevarria discovers that most conceptions of American strategic culture fail to hold up to scrutiny, and that US operational practice has been closer to military science than to military art. This book should be of interest to military practitioners and policymakers, students and scholars of military history and security studies, and general readers interested in military history and the future of military power.
Contemporary Strategy in Historical Perspective
Author: Hew Strachan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A major contribution to our understanding of contemporary warfare and strategy by one of the world's leading military historians.
A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy
Author: Russell Frank Weigley
Publisher: Indiana University Press
"... a strong and stimulating book. It has no rival in either scope or quality. For libraries, history buffs, and armchair warriors, it is a must. For political science students, career diplomats, and officers in the armed services, its reading should be required." —History "A particularly timely account." —Kansas City Times "It reads easily but is not a popularized history... nor does the book become a history of battles.... Weigley's analyses and interpretations are searching, competent, and useful." —Perspective
German Military Thinkers Before the Great War
Author: Antulio Joseph Echevarria
The writings of Carl von Clausewitz loom so large in the annals of military theory that they obscure the substantial contributions of thinkers who came after him. This is especially true for those German theorists who wrote during the half century preceding World War I. However, as Antulio Echevarria argues, although none of those thinkers approached Clausewitz's stature, they were nonetheless theorists of considerable vision. The Kaiser's theorists have long been portrayed as narrow-minded thinkers rigidly attached to an outmoded way of war, little altered since Napoleon's time. According to this view, they ignored or simply failed to understand how industrialization and modernization had transformed the conduct of war. They seemed unaware of how numerous advances in technology and weaponry had so increased the power of the defensive that decisive victory had become virtually impossible. But Echevarria disputes this traditional view and convincingly shows that these theorists—Boguslawski, Goltz, Schlieffen, Hoenig, and their American and European counterparts-were not the architects of outmoded theories. In fact, they duly appreciated the implications of the vast advances in modern weaponry (as well as in transportation and communications) and set about finding solutions that would restore offensive maneuver to the battlefield. Among other things, they underscored the emerging need for synchronizing concentrated firepower with rapid troop movements, as well as the necessity of a decentralized command scheme in order to cope with the greater tempo, lethality, and scope of modern warfare. In effect, they redefined the essential relations among the combined arms of infantry, artillery, and cavalry Echevarria goes on to suggest that attempts to apply new military theories and doctrine were uneven due to deficiencies in training and an overall lack of interest in theory among younger officers. It is this failure of application, more than the theories themselves, that are responsible for the ruinous slaughter of World War I.
Author: Don Higginbotham
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
In George Washington and the American Military Tradition, Don Higginbotham investigates the interplay of militiaman and professional soldier, of soldier and legislator, that shaped George Washington’s military career and ultimately fostered the victory that brought independence to our nation. Higginbotham then explores the legacy of Washington’s success, revealing that the crucial blending of civil and military concerns characteristic of the Revolution has been variously regarded and only seldom repeated by later generations of American soldiers. Washington’s training, between 1753 and 1755, included frontier command in the Virginia militia, adjunct service to the British regulars during the French and Indian War, and increasing civil service in the Virginia House of Burgesses and Continental Congress. The result of this combination of pursuits was Washington’s concern for the citizen behind the soldier, his appreciation of both frontier tactics and professional discipline, and his sensitivity to political conflict and consensus in thirteen colonies in forming a new, united nation. When, in 1775, Washington accepted command of the Continental Army from the Continental Congress, he possessed political and military experience that enabled him, by 1783, to translate the Declaration of Independence into victory over the British. Yet, Higginbotham notes, the legacy of Washington’s success has sometimes been overlooked by generals concerned with professional training and a permanent military establishment, and therefore apt to revere foreign heros such as Jomini, Napoleon, and Bismarck more than Washington. Other leaders, most notably the World War II chief of staff, George Marshall, have recognized and implemented Washington’s unique understanding of civil and military coordination. In times almost wholly dominated by a military agenda, Washington’s and Marshall’s steady subordination of soldier to citizen, of strategy to legislation, recalls the careful consensus of thirteen colonies in 1776.
Author: Brian Holden Reid
The American Civil War (1861-65) was the bloodiest war of the nineteenth century and its impact continues to be felt today. It, and its origins have been studied more intensively than any other period in American history, yet it remains profoundly controversial. Brian Holden Reid's formidable volume is a major contribution to this ongoing historical debate. Based on a wealth of primary research, it examines every aspect of the origins of the conflict and addresses key questions such as was it an avoidable tragedy, or a necessary catharsis for a divided nation? How far was slavery the central issue? Why should the conflict have errupted into violence and why did it not escalate into world war?
Author: Jeffrey Record
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
Makes sense of Japan's seemingly incomprehensible decision to go to war against the United States
How the Great War Was Not Inevitable
Author: Jack Beatty
Publisher: A&C Black
Anticipating the centenary of World War I, a brilliant new history of the year it began--"a year forever memorable" (Woodrow Wilson)--that examines the war and its causes through new eyes.
The American Army and Combat in World War I
Author: Mark Ethan Grotelueschen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This 2007 book provides the most comprehensive examination of American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) combat doctrine and methods ever published. It shows how AEF combat units actually fought on the Western Front in World War I. It describes how four AEF divisions (the 1st, 2nd, 26th, and 77th) planned and conducted their battles and how they adapted their doctrine, tactics, and other operational methods during the war. General John Pershing and other AEF leaders promulgated an inadequate prewar doctrine, with only minor modification, as the official doctrine of the AEF. Many early American attacks suffered from these unrealistic ideas that retained too much faith in the infantry rifleman on the modern battlefield. However, many AEF divisions adjusted their doctrine and operational methods as they fought, preparing more comprehensive attack plans, employing flexible infantry formations, and maximizing firepower to seize limited objectives.
Reconsidering the Lessons of Appeasing Hitler
Author: Jeffrey Record
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
No historical event has exerted more influence on Americaâ€™s postâ€“World War II use of military force than the Anglo-French appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Informed by the supposed grand lesson of Munichâ€“namely, that capitulating to the demands of aggressive dictatorships invites further aggression and makes inevitable a larger warâ€“American presidents from Harry Truman through George W. Bush have relied on the Munich analogy not only to interpret perceived security threats but also to mobilize public opinion for military action. In The Specter of Munich, noted defense analyst Jeffrey Record takes an unconventional look at a disastrous chapter in Western diplomatic history. After identifying the complex considerations behind the Anglo-French appeasement of Hitler and the reasons for the policyâ€™s failure, Record disputes the stock thesis that unchecked aggression always invites further aggression. He proceeds to identify other lessons of the 1930s more relevant to meeting todayâ€™s U.S. foreign policy and security challenges. Among those lessons are the severe penalties that foreign policy miscalculation can incur, the constraints of public opinion in a modern democracy, and the virtue of consistency in threatening and using force. The Specter of Munichconcludes that though todayâ€™s global political, military, and economic environment differs considerably from that of the 1930s, the United States is making some of the same strategic mistakes in its war on terrorism that the British and French made in their attempts to protect themselves against Nazi Germany. Not the least of these mistakes is the continued reliance on the specter of Adolf Hitler to interpret today's foreign security threats.
Reconsidering the American Revolution as a Social Movement
Author: Ronald Hoffman,Peter J. Albert
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
The observations made by J. Franklin Jameson in his pathbreaking study initiated a challenging and enormously productive scholarly debate regarding the nature of the Revolutionary era in American history. For more than six decades questions involving the social implications of the struggle for independence have continued to intrigue historians, and their explorations of the Revolutionary experience from the perspective Jameson suggested have produced a rich and varied literature. The essays featured in this volume demonstrate the ongoing vitality and importance of contemporary scholarship on the social character of the American Revolution.
Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Category: Political Science
While many scholars agree that Clausewitz's On War is frequently misunderstood, almost none have explored his methodology to see whether it might enhance our understanding of his concepts. This book lays out Clausewitz's methodology in a brisk and straightforward style. It then uses that as a basis for understanding his contributions to the ever growing body of knowledge of war. The specific contributions this study addresses are Clausewitz's theories concerning the nature of war, the relationship between war and politics, and several of the major principles of strategy he examined. These theories and principles lie at the heart of the current debates over the nature of contemporary conflict. They also underpin much of the instruction that prepares military and civilian leaders for their roles in the development and execution of military strategy. Thus, they are important even in circles where Clausewitz is only briefly studied. While understanding On War is no more a prerequisite for winning wars than knowledge is a requirement for exercising power, Clausewitz's opus has become something of an authoritative reference for those desiring to expand their knowledge of war. By linking method and concept, this book contributes significantly to that end.
Reconsidering America's Past, Rediscovering the Present
Author: Michael Elliott
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In The Day Before Yesterday, acclaimed journalist Michael Elliott says, "Americans whine. They live in the most prosperous society the world has ever seen. They have a greater level of creature comfort than any nation has ever known before. They enjoy great personal freedom, and their government is systematically constrained in the ways in which it can intervene in their private lives. And yet they are convinced that their life is miserable." But Elliott tells us the "decline" we mourn is measured against the false standard of the uniquely prosperous years after World War II. The country's severe problems fall into better perspective when we measure them against our longer history. We then see that we have been a nation of problem solvers and can be again. Americans have assumed for fifty years that the years after World War II were normal, and that any deviation from that standard is alarming. In fact, the boom period following World War II, the Golden Age, was a historical aberration. Although it had its roots in the American past, much of the prosperity came out of the country's unique position in the world of 1945. Of all the nations on the planet, only the United States emerged unscathed from the three decades of war and revolution that had crippled all the other great industrial powers -- Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan. As a result, in 1945 the U.S. reigned supreme. Then, between the assassination of JFK and the end of the Cold War in 1989, all the factors that had contributed so much to America's self-image went into reverse. American politics went through a period of murderous instability; the federal government was delegitimized; great divisions grew among races, regions, and classes; a wave of immigration transformed the country's ethnic makeup; and the economy slowed down. Now the major debate among politicians is how to fix America's decline. Elliott puts that debate in perspective by showing that we're in a natural cycle, not an absolute decline, and reminds us that we won't find the solutions in the shiny model of the Golden Age. Those circumstances will never be repeated. Instead, by looking back to the whole of American history, especially to the period before 1914, Elliott offers explanations and some hopeful answers for our current problems. Then, as now, America was a society of immigrants, messy, ragged at the edges, transfixed by cultural wars and suffering serious social cleavages. America was also home to unprecedented pioneering spirit and extraordinary resourcefulness. America today is still characterized by the same sense of community and entrepreneurial vision that enabled us to overcome our problems a hundred years and more ago and become the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world.
Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe
Author: Michael D. Gordin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Properly analyzed, the collective mythological and religious writings of humanity reveal that around 1500 BC, a comet swept perilously close to Earth, triggering widespread natural disasters and threatening the destruction of all life before settling into solar orbit as Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor. Sound implausible? Well, from 1950 until the late 1970s, a huge number of people begged to differ, as they devoured Immanuel Velikovsky’s major best-seller, Worlds in Collision, insisting that perhaps this polymathic thinker held the key to a new science and a new history. Scientists, on the other hand, assaulted Velikovsky’s book, his followers, and his press mercilessly from the get-go. In The Pseudoscience Wars, Michael D. Gordin resurrects the largely forgotten figure of Velikovsky and uses his strange career and surprisingly influential writings to explore the changing definitions of the line that separates legitimate scientific inquiry from what is deemed bunk, and to show how vital this question remains to us today. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material from Velikovsky’s personal archives, Gordin presents a behind-the-scenes history of the writer’s career, from his initial burst of success through his growing influence on the counterculture, heated public battles with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, and eventual eclipse. Along the way, he offers fascinating glimpses into the histories and effects of other fringe doctrines, including creationism, Lysenkoism, parapsychology, and more—all of which have surprising connections to Velikovsky’s theories. Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label “pseudoscientists”—as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.
American Gardening Programs of World War I
Author: Rose Hayden-Smith
Category: Social Science
Sometimes, to move forward, we must look back. Gardening activity during American involvement in World War I (1917–1919) is vital to understanding current work in agriculture and food systems. The origins of the American Victory Gardens of World War II lie in the Liberty Garden program during World War I. This book examines the National War Garden Commission, the United States School Garden Army, and the Woman’s Land Army (which some women used to press for suffrage). The urgency of wartime mobilization enabled proponents to promote food production as a vital national security issue. The connection between the nation’s food readiness and national security resonated within the U.S., struggling to unite urban and rural interests, grappling with the challenges presented by millions of immigrants, and considering the country’s global role. The same message—that food production is vital to national security—can resonate today. These World War I programs resulted in a national gardening ethos that transformed the American food system.
Author: Edmund S. Morgan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In The Birth of the Republic, 1763–89, Edmund S. Morgan shows how the challenge of British taxation started Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom, and eventually led to the Revolution. By demonstrating that the founding fathers’ political philosophy was not grounded in theory, but rather grew out of their own immediate needs, Morgan paints a vivid portrait of how the founders’ own experiences shaped their passionate convictions, and these in turn were incorporated into the Constitution and other governmental documents. The Birth of the Republic is the classic account of the beginnings of the American government, and in this fourth edition the original text is supplemented with a new foreword by Joseph J. Ellis and a historiographic essay by Rosemarie Zagarri.
Reconsidering America's Neutrality, 1914-1917
Author: Robert W. Tucker
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
In recent years, and in light of U.S. attempts to project power in the world, the presidency of Woodrow Wilson has been more commonly invoked than ever before. Yet "Wilsonianism" has often been distorted by a concentration on American involvement in the First World War. In Woodrow Wilson and the Great War: Reconsidering America’s Neutrality, 1914-1917, prominent scholar Robert Tucker turns the focus to the years of neutrality. Arguing that our neglect of this prewar period has reduced the complexity of the historical Wilson to a caricature or stereotype, Tucker reveals the importance that the law of neutrality played in Wilson’s foreign policy during the fateful years from 1914 to 1917, and in doing so he provides a more complete portrait of our nation’s twenty-eighth president. By focusing on the years leading up to America’s involvement in the Great War, Tucker reveals that Wilson’s internationalism was always highly qualified, dependent from the start upon the advent of an international order that would forever remove the specter of another major war. World War I was the last conflict in which the law of neutrality played an important role in the calculations of belligerents and neutrals, and it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that this law—or rather Woodrow Wilson’s version of it—constituted almost the whole of his foreign policy with regard to the war. Wilson’s refusal to find any significance, moral or otherwise, in the conflict beyond the law and its violation led him to see the war as meaningless, save for the immense suffering and sense of utter futility it fostered. Treating issues of enduring interest, such as the advisability and effectiveness of U.S. interventions in, or initiation of, conflicts beyond its borders, Woodrow Wilson and the Great War will appeal to anyone interested in the president’s power to determine foreign policy, and in constitutional history in general.
Author: Erica Michiko Charters,Eve Rosenhaft,Hannah Smith
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Civilians and War in Europe 1618–1815 examines the relationship between civilians and warfare from the start of the Thirty Years War to the end of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The volume interrogates received narratives of warfare that identify the development of modern 'total' war with the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and instead considers the continuities and transformations in warfare over the course of two hundred years. The contributors examine prisoners of war, the cultures of plunder, the tensions of billeting, and war-time atrocities throughout England, France, Spain, and the German territories. They also explore the legal practices surrounding the conduct and aftermath of war; representations of civilians, soldiers, and militias; and the philosophical underpinnings of warfare. They probe what it meant to be a civilian in territories beset by invasion and civil war or in times when ‘peace’ at home was accompanied by almost continuous military engagement abroad. Their accounts show us civilians not only as anguished sufferers, but also directly involved with war: fighting back with shocking violence, profiting from war-time needs, and negotiating for material and social redress. And they show us individuals and societies coming to terms with the moral and political challenges posed by the business of drawing lines between ‘civilians’ and ‘soldiers’.With contributors drawn from the fields of political and legal theory, literature and the visual arts, and military, political, social, and cultural history, this volume will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of warfare and the evolution of the idea of the civilian.