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The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution


  • 2 b/w illus. 2 maps
  • Page extent: 262 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521111515)

Many saw the United States' decisive victory in Desert Storm (1991) as not only vindication of American defense policy since Vietnam but also confirmation of a revolution in military affairs (RMA). Just as information-age technologies were revolutionizing civilian life, the Gulf War appeared to reflect similarly profound changes in warfare. A debate has raged ever since about a contemporary RMA and its implications for American defense policy. Addressing these issues, The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution is a comprehensive study of the Iraq Wars in the context of the RMA debate. Focusing on the creation of a reconnaissance-strike complex and conceptions of parallel or nonlinear warfare, Keith L. Shimko finds a persuasive case for a contemporary RMA while recognizing its limitations as well as promise.

• Coverage of the Iraq wars in their entirety (as opposed to just the 1991 or 2003 wars) • Addresses the important and complex debate about a contemporary revolution in military affairs • Writing is relatively jargon free and easily accessible to students


1. Military revolutions and the Iraq wars; 2. From Vietnam to Iraq - the rebirth of American military power and the origins of an RMA; 3. The first Iraq War, 1991 - a revolution dawns?; 4. The Iraq interregnum, 1991–2000; 5. Afghanistan and the second Iraq War, 2001–3 - a revolution confirmed?; 6. The third Iraq War, 2003–? - a revolution denied?; Conclusion: the future of America's military revolution.


'Did Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom herald a transformation in warfare? In a clearly written examination of these two wars, Shimko's answer is yes. His book advances the debate over the existence and scope of the revolution in military affairs (RMA) by giving defense planners and scholars a framework to judge the evidence themselves. Shimko outlines the key features of the revolution, speculating on what they mean for the low-intensity conflicts of today and how they might shape the high-intensity conflicts of the future. Advocates as well as skeptics of a transformation in warfare will find The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution valuable because it is the most coherent statement to date in support of the RMA.' Jasen J. Castillo, Texas A&M University

'In The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution, Keith Shimko offers an informed and fair assessment of the rich yet often disputatious range of views on the evolution and combat use of American military power since Vietnam. In considering the hard investment choices now facing the nation's defense leaders, he has well spotlighted both the merits and the manifest exaggerations on all sides of the debate over the relative strengths and inadequacies of America's transformed warfighting posture from the Persian Gulf War of 1991 to today's very different counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.' Benjamin Lambeth, RAND Corporation

'Keith L. Shimko has written a clear and carefully nuanced work on the emergence of the American revolution in military affairs. It should be read by all interested in current defense issues.' Williamson Murray, Ohio State University

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