Military science

At a time when unprecedented change in international affairs is forcing governments, citizens, and armed forces everywhere to re-assess the question of whether military solutions to political problems are possible any longer, Martin van Creveld has written an audacious searching examination of the nature of war and of its radical transformation in our own time.

For 200 years, military theory and strategy have been guided by the Clausewitzian assumption that war is rational - a reflection of national interest and an extension of politics by other means. However, van Creveld argues, the overwhelming pattern of conflict in the post-1945 world no longer yields fully to rational analysis. In fact, strategic planning based on such calculations is, and will continue to be, unrelated to current realities.

Small-scale military eruptions around the globe have demonstrated new forms of warfare with a different cast of characters - guerilla armies, terrorists, and bandits - pursuing diverse goals by violent means with the most primitive to the most sophisticated weapons. Although these warriors and their tactics testify to the end of conventional war as we've known it, the public and the military in the developed world continue to contemplate organized violence as conflict between the super powers.

At this moment, armed conflicts of the type van Creveld describes are occurring throughout the world. From Lebanon to Cambodia, from Sri Lanka and the Philippines to El Salvador, the Persian Gulf, and the strife-torn nations of Eastern Europe, violent confrontations confirm a new model of warfare in which tribal, ethnic, and religious factions do battle without high-tech weapons or state-supported armies and resources. This low-intensity conflict challenges existing distinctions between civilian and solder, individual crime and organized violence, terrorism and war. In the present global atmosphere, practices that for three centuries have been considered uncivilized, such as capturing civilians or even entire communities for ransom, have begun to reappear.

Pursuing bold and provocative paths of inquiry, van Creveld posits the inadequacies of our most basic ideas as to who fights wars and why and broaches the inevitability of man's need to "play" at war. In turn brilliant and infuriating, this challenge to our thinking and planning current and future military encounters is one of the most important books on war we are likely to read in our lifetime.
Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb.

This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence.

From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story.

Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.
The essays in this volume analyze war, its strategic characterisitics and its political and social functions, over the past five centuries. The diversity of its themes and the broad perspectives applied to them make the book a work of general history as much as a history of the theory and practice of war from the Renaissance to the present. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age takes the first part of its title from an earlier collection of essays, published by Princeton University Press in 1943, which became a classic of historical scholarship. Three essays are repinted from the earlier book; four others have been extensively revised. The rest--twenty-two essays--are new.

The subjects addressed range from major theorists and political and military leaders to impersonal forces. Machiavelli, Clausewitz, and Marx and Engels are discussed, as are Napoleon, Churchill, and Mao. Other essays trace the interaction of theory and experience over generations--the evolution of American strategy, for instance, or the emergence of revolutionary war in the modern world. Still others analyze the strategy of particular conflicts--the First and Second World Wars--or the relationship between technology, policy, and war in the nuclear age. Whatever its theme, each essay places the specifics of military thought and action in their political, social, and economic environment. Together the contributors have produced a book that reinterprets and illuminates war, one of the most powerful forces in history and one that cannot be controlled in the future without an understanding of its past.

Vice Adm. William H. McRaven helped to devise the strategy for how to bring down Osama bin Laden, and commanded the courageous U.S. military unit that carried it out on May 1, 2011, ending one of the greatest manhunts in history. In Spec Ops, a well-organized and deeply researched study, McRaven analyzes eight classic special operations. Six are from WWII: the German commando raid on the Belgian fort Eben Emael (1940); the Italian torpedo attack on the Alexandria harbor (1941); the British commando raid on Nazaire, France (1942); the German glider rescue of Benito Mussolini (1943); the British midget-submarine attack on the Tirpitz (1943); and the U.S. Ranger rescue mission at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines (1945). The two post-WWII examples are the U.S. Army raid on the Son Tay POW camp in North Vietnam (1970) and the Israeli rescue of the skyjacked hostages in Entebbe, Uganda (1976). McRaven—who commands a U.S. Navy SEAL team—pinpoints six essential principles of “spec ops” success: simplicity, security, repetition, surprise, speed and purpose. For each of the case studies, he provides political and military context, a meticulous reconstruction of the mission itself and an analysis of the operation in relation to his six principles. McRaven deems the Son Tay raid “the best modern example of a successful spec op [which] should be considered textbook material for future missions.” His own book is an instructive textbook that will be closely studied by students of the military arts. Maps, photos.
An award-winning military historian, professor, and political adviser delivers the definitive story of warfare in all its guises and applications, showing what has driven and continues to drive this uniquely human form of political violence.
Questions about the future of war are a regular feature of political debate, strategic analysis, and popular fiction. Where should we look for new dangers? What cunning plans might an aggressor have in mind? What are the best forms of defense? How might peace be preserved or conflict resolved?

From the French rout at Sedan in 1870 to the relentless contemporary insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lawrence Freedman, a world-renowned military thinker, reveals how most claims from the military futurists are wrong. But they remain influential nonetheless.

Freedman shows how those who have imagined future war have often had an idealized notion of it as confined, brief, and decisive, and have regularly taken insufficient account of the possibility of long wars-hence the stubborn persistence of the idea of a knockout blow, whether through a dashing land offensive, nuclear first strike, or cyberattack. He also notes the lack of attention paid to civil wars until the West began to intervene in them during the 1990s, and how the boundaries between peace and war, between the military, the civilian, and the criminal are becoming increasingly blurred.

Freedman's account of a century and a half of warfare and the (often misconceived) thinking that precedes war is a challenge to hawks and doves alike, and puts current strategic thinking into a bracing historical perspective.
Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives. The range of Freedman's narrative is extraordinary, moving from the surprisingly advanced strategy practiced in primate groups, to the opposing strategies of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad, the strategic advice of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, the great military innovations of Baron Henri de Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz, the grounding of revolutionary strategy in class struggles by Marx, the insights into corporate strategy found in Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan, and the contributions of the leading social scientists working on strategy today. The core issue at the heart of strategy, the author notes, is whether it is possible to manipulate and shape our environment rather than simply become the victim of forces beyond one's control. Time and again, Freedman demonstrates that the inherent unpredictability of this environment-subject to chance events, the efforts of opponents, the missteps of friends-provides strategy with its challenge and its drama. Armies or corporations or nations rarely move from one predictable state of affairs to another, but instead feel their way through a series of states, each one not quite what was anticipated, requiring a reappraisal of the original strategy, including its ultimate objective. Thus the picture of strategy that emerges in this book is one that is fluid and flexible, governed by the starting point, not the end point. A brilliant overview of the most prominent strategic theories in history, from David's use of deception against Goliath, to the modern use of game theory in economics, this masterful volume sums up a lifetime of reflection on strategy.
The U.S. military is one of the largest and most complex organizations in the world. How it spends its money, chooses tactics, and allocates its resources have enormous implications for national defense and the economy. The Science of War is the only comprehensive textbook on how to analyze and understand these and other essential problems in modern defense policy.

Michael O'Hanlon provides undergraduate and graduate students with an accessible yet rigorous introduction to the subject. Drawing on a broad range of sources and his own considerable expertise as a defense analyst and teacher, he describes the analytic techniques the military uses in every crucial area of military science. O'Hanlon explains how the military budget works, how the military assesses and deploys new technology, develops strategy and fights wars, handles the logistics of stationing and moving troops and equipment around the world, and models and evaluates battlefield outcomes. His modeling techniques have been tested in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the methods he used to predict higher-than-anticipated troop fatalities in Iraq--controversial predictions that have since been vindicated.



The Science of War is the definitive resource on warfare in the twenty-first century.


Gives the best introduction to defense analysis available
Covers defense budgeting
Shows how to model and predict outcomes in war
Explains military logistics, including overseas basing
Examines key issues in military technology, including missile defense, space warfare, and nuclear-weapons testing
Based on the author's graduate-level courses at Princeton, Columbia, and Georgetown universities
This volume offers an overview of the methodologies of research in the field of military studies.

As an institution relying on individuals and resources provided by society, the military has been studied by scholars from a wide range of disciplines: political science, sociology, history, psychology, anthropology, economics and administrative studies. The methodological approaches in these disciplines vary from computational modelling of conflicts and surveys of military performance, to the qualitative study of military stories from the battlefield and veterans experiences. Rapidly developing technological facilities (more powerful hardware, more sophisticated software, digitalization of documents and pictures) render the methodologies in use more dynamic than ever.

The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies offers a comprehensive and dynamic overview of these developments as they emerge in the many approaches to military studies. The chapters in this Handbook are divided over four parts: starting research, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, and finalizing a study, and every chapter starts with the description of a well-published study illustrating the methodological issues that will be dealt with in that particular chapter. Hence, this Handbook not only provides methodological know-how, but also offers a useful overview of military studies from a variety of research perspectives.

This Handbook will be of much interest to students of military studies, security and war studies, civil-military relations, military sociology, political science and research methods in general.

The goal of war is to defeat the enemy's will to fight. But how this can be accomplished is a thorny issue. Nothing Less than Victory provocatively shows that aggressive, strategic military offenses can win wars and establish lasting peace, while defensive maneuvers have often led to prolonged carnage, indecision, and stalemate. Taking an ambitious and sweeping look at six major wars, from antiquity to World War II, John David Lewis shows how victorious military commanders have achieved long-term peace by identifying the core of the enemy's ideological, political, and social support for a war, fiercely striking at this objective, and demanding that the enemy acknowledges its defeat.

Lewis examines the Greco-Persian and Theban wars, the Second Punic War, Aurelian's wars to reunify Rome, the American Civil War, and the Second World War. He considers successful examples of overwhelming force, such as the Greek mutilation of Xerxes' army and navy, the Theban-led invasion of the Spartan homeland, and Hannibal's attack against Italy--as well as failed tactics of defense, including Fabius's policy of delay, McClellan's retreat from Richmond, and Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler. Lewis shows that a war's endurance rests in each side's reasoning, moral purpose, and commitment to fight, and why an effectively aimed, well-planned, and quickly executed offense can end a conflict and create the conditions needed for long-term peace.


Recognizing the human motivations behind military conflicts, Nothing Less than Victory makes a powerful case for offensive actions in pursuit of peace.

This is the book on war that Napoleon never had the time or the will to complete. In exile on the island of Saint-Helena, the deposed Emperor of the French mused about a great treatise on the art of war, but in the end changed his mind and ordered the destruction of the materials he had collected for the volume. Thus was lost what would have been one of the most interesting and important books on the art of war ever written, by one of the most famous and successful military leaders of all time. In the two centuries since, several attempts have been made to gather together some of Napoleon's 'military maxims', with varying degrees of success. But not until now has there been a systematic attempt to put Napoleon's thinking on war and strategy into a single authoritative volume, reflecting both the full spectrum of his thinking on these matters as well as the almost unparalleled range of his military experience, from heavy cavalry charges in the plains of Russia or Saxony to counter-insurgency operations in Egypt or Spain. To gather the material for this book, military historian Bruno Colson spent years researching Napoleon's correspondence and other writings, including a painstaking examination of perhaps the single most interesting source for his thinking about war: the copy-book of General Bertrand, the Emperor's most trusted companion on Saint-Helena, in which he unearthed a Napoleonic definition of strategy which is published here for the first time. The huge amount of material brought together for this ground-breaking volume has been carefully organized to follow the framework of Carl von Clausewitz's classic On War, allowing a fascinating comparison between Napoleon's ideas and those of his great Prussian interpreter and adversary, and highlighting the intriguing similarities between these two founders of modern strategic thinking.
Psychology is the science that will determine who wins and who loses the wars of the 21st century, just as physics ultimately led the United States to victory in World War II. Changes in the world's political landscape coupled with radical advances in the technology of war will greatly alter how militaries are formed, trained, and led. Leadership under fire - and the traits and skills it requires - is also changing. Grant, Lee, Pershing, Patton - these generals would not succeed in 21st century conflicts. In Head Strong: How Psychology Is Revolutionizing War, Michael D. Matthews explores the many ways that psychology will make the difference for wars yet to come, from revolutionary advances in soldier selection and training to new ways of preparing soldiers to remain resilient in the face of horror and to engineering the super-soldier of the future. These advancements will ripple out to impact on the lives of all of us, not just soldiers. Amputees will have "intelligent" life-like prosthetics that simulate the feel and function of a real limb. Those exposed to trauma will have new and more effective remedies to prevent or treat post-traumatic stress disorder. And a revolution in training - based heavily in the military's increasing reliance on immersive simulations - will radically alter how police, fire, and first-responder personnel are trained in the future. At its heart, war is the most human of endeavors. Psychology, as the science of human behavior, will prove essential to success in future war. Authored by a West Point military psychologist, this book is one of the first to expose us to the smarter wars, and the world around them, to come.
As American and coalition troops fight the first battles of this new century -- from Afghanistan to Yemen to the Philippines to Iraq -- they do so in ways never before seen. Until recently, information war was but one piece of a puzzle, more than a sideshow in war but far less than the sum total of the game. Today, however, we find information war revolutionizing combat, from top to bottom. Gone are the advantages of fortified positions -- nothing is impregnable any longer. Gone is the reason to create an overwhelming mass of troops -- now, troop concentrations merely present easier targets. Instead, stealth, swarming, and "zapping" (precision strikes on individuals or equipment) are the order of the day, based on superior information and lightning-fast decision-making. In many ways, modern warfare is information warfare.

Bruce Berkowitz's explanation of how information war revolutionized combat and what it means for our soldiers could not be better timed. As Western forces wage war against terrorists and their supporters, in actions large and small, on several continents, The New Face of War explains how they fight and how they will win or lose. There are four key dynamics to the new warfare: asymmetric threats, in which even the strongest armies may suffer from at least one Achilles' heel; information-technology competition, in which advantages in computers and communications are crucial; the race of decision cycles, in which the first opponent to process and react to information effectively is almost certain to win; and network organization, in which fluid arrays of combat forces can spontaneously organize in multiple ways to fight any given opponent at any time.

America's use of networked, elite ground forces, in combination with precision-guided bombing from manned and unmanned flyers, turned Afghanistan from a Soviet graveyard into a lopsided field of American victory. Yet we are not invulnerable, and the same technology that we used in Kuwait in 1991 is now available to anyone with a credit card and access to the Internet. Al Qaeda is adept in the new model of war, and has searched long and hard for weaknesses in our defenses. Will we be able to stay ahead of its thinking? In Iraq, Saddam's army is in no position to defeat its enemies -- but could it defend Baghdad? As the world anxiously considers these and other questions of modern war, Bruce Berkowitz offers many answers and a framework for understanding combat that will never again resemble the days of massive marches on fortress-like positions.

The New Face of War is a crucial guidebook for reading the headlines from across our troubled planet.
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