In today's military of rapid technological and strategic change, obtaining a complete understanding of the present, let alone the past, is a formidable challenge. Yet the very high rate of change today makes study of the past more important than ever before. The Past as Prologue, first published in 2006, explores the usefulness of the study of history for contemporary military strategists. It illustrates the great importance of military history while simultaneously revealing the challenges of applying the past to the present. Essays from authors of diverse backgrounds - British and American, civilian and military - come together to present an overwhelming argument for the necessity of the study of the past by today's military leaders in spite of these challenges. The essays of Part I examine the relationship between history and the military profession. Those in Part II explore specific historical cases that show the repetitiveness of certain military problems.
• Contains essays from authors of diverse backgrounds including British and American, civilian and military • Explores the usefulness of history for contemporary military strategists and their students • Examines specific historical cases that show the repetitiveness of certain military problems
1. Introduction Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich; 2. Military history and the history of war Sir Michael Howard; Part I. History and the Military Profession: 3. The relevance of military history to the military profession: a British view John Kiszely; 4. The relevance of military history to the military profession: a US marine's view Paul Van Riper; 5. Awkward partners: military history and American military education Richard Hart Sinnreich; 6. Thoughts on military history and the profession of arms Williamson Murray; Part II. The Influences of History on the Military Profession: 7. Thucydides as educator Paul Rahe; 8. Clausewitz, history, and the future strategic world Colin Gray; 9. History and the nature of strategy John Gooch; 10. Military transformation in long periods of peace Andrew Gordon; 11. Military history and the pathology of lessons learned: the Russo-Japanese War Jonathan Bailey; 12. Obstacles to innovation and readiness: the British Army's experience, 1919–39; 13. What history suggests about terrorism and its future Christopher Harmon; 14. Civil-military relations and the future Frank Hoffman.