Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace, Revised and Enlarged Edition

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Harvard University Press, Jan 31, 2002 - History - 320 pages
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“If you want peace, prepare for war.” “A buildup of offensive weapons can be purely defensive.” “The worst road may be the best route to battle.” Strategy is made of such seemingly self-contradictory propositions, Edward Luttwak shows—they exemplify the paradoxical logic that pervades the entire realm of conflict.In this widely acclaimed work, now revised and expanded, Luttwak unveils the peculiar logic of strategy level by level, from grand strategy down to combat tactics. Having participated in its planning, Luttwak examines the role of air power in the 1991 Gulf War, then detects the emergence of “post-heroic” war in Kosovo in 1999—an American war in which not a single American soldier was killed.In the tradition of Carl von Clausewitz, Strategy goes beyond paradox to expose the dynamics of reversal at work in the crucible of conflict. As victory is turned into defeat by over-extension, as war brings peace by exhaustion, ordinary linear logic is overthrown. Citing examples from ancient Rome to our own days, from Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor down to minor combat affrays, from the strategy of peace to the latest operational methods of war, this book by one of the world’s foremost authorities reveals the ultimate logic of military failure and success, of war and peace.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ShadowBarbara - LibraryThing

In-depth look at the levels of strategy in war with many 20th century examples. Quite technical. Read full review


The Conscious Use of Paradox in
The Logic in Action
Efficiency and the Culminating Point of Success
The Coming Together of Opposites
The Technical Level
Interdiction and the Surprise Attack
Naval Air Nuclear
The Renaissance of Strategic Air Power
The Scope of Grand Strategy
Armed Suasion
Harmony and Disharmony in
Can Strategy Be Useful?
Definitions of Strategy

The Tactical Level
The Operational Level
Military Options and Political Choices
Offense and Defense
The Gulf War Air Campaign
Instant Thunder
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