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The Direction of War
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  • Cited by 30
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bennett, Huw 2014. Enmeshed in insurgency: Britain's protracted retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan. Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 25, Issue. 3, p. 501.

    Käihkö, Ilmari 2015. ‘Taylor must go’ – the strategy of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 26, Issue. 2, p. 248.

    Fiott, Daniel 2015. The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar. p. 130.

    Bruneau, Thomas 2015. Challenges in building partner capacity: Civil–military relations in the United States and new democracies. Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 26, Issue. 3, p. 429.

    Morgan-Owen, David 2015. A Revolution in Naval Affairs? Technology, Strategy and British Naval Policy in the ‘Fisher Era’. Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 38, Issue. 7, p. 944.

    Rasmussen, Mikkel Vedby 2016. The case of Donald Rumsfeld: leadership traps in national security. Defence Studies, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 374.

    2016. The Art of War in the Network Age. p. 191.

    Watkin, Kenneth 2016. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 17, 2014. Vol. 17, Issue. , p. 277.

    Bruneau, Thomas 2016. Impediments to Fighting the Islamic State: Private Contractors and US Strategy. Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 39, Issue. 1, p. 120.

    Willem Honig, Jan 2016. The Tyranny of Doctrine and Modern Strategy: Small (and Large) States in a Double Bind. Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 261.

    Renz, Bettina 2016. Russia and ‘hybrid warfare’. Contemporary Politics, Vol. 22, Issue. 3, p. 283.

    Lonsdale, David J. 2016. Ordering and controlling the dimensions of strategy. Defence Studies, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 390.

    Pizzo, David 2016. The Encyclopedia of Empire. p. 1.

    Britz, Malena 2016. European Participation in International Operations. p. 1.

    McCann, Leo 2017. ‘Killing is our business and business is good’: The evolution of ‘war managerialism’ from body counts to counterinsurgency. Organization, Vol. 24, Issue. 4, p. 491.

    Cornish, Paul 2017. Ethics and Policies for Cyber Operations. p. 1.

    Fiott, Daniel 2017. A Revolution Too Far? US Defence Innovation, Europe and NATO’s Military-Technological Gap. Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 40, Issue. 3, p. 417.

    Duyvesteyn, Isabelle and Worrall, James E. 2017. Global strategic studies: a manifesto. Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 40, Issue. 3, p. 347.

    Davis, Robert T. 2017. A Companion To Dwight D. Eisenhower. p. 394.

    Vennesson, Pascal 2017. Is strategic studies narrow? Critical security and the misunderstood scope of strategy. Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 40, Issue. 3, p. 358.

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    The Direction of War
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Book description

The wars since 9/11, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, have generated frustration and an increasing sense of failure in the West. Much of the blame has been attributed to poor strategy. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, public enquiries and defence think tanks have detected a lack of consistent direction, of effective communication, and of governmental coordination. In this important book, Sir Hew Strachan, one of the world's leading military historians, reveals how these failures resulted from a fundamental misreading and misapplication of strategy itself. He argues that the wars since 2001 have not in reality been as 'new' as has been widely assumed and that we need to adopt a more historical approach to contemporary strategy in order to identify what is really changing in how we wage war. If war is to fulfil the aims of policy, then we need first to understand war.


‘A very thoughtful, enormously stimulating, and hugely thought-provoking examination of the strategies, concepts, and civil-military relationships that have influenced the character of war in the twenty-first century.’

General David H. Petraeus - former Commander of United States Central Command and Commanding General of the Multi-National Force - Iraq and the NATO International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan

‘Another masterpiece from the foremost military academic of our generation. If you want to understand strategy, just read this book!’

General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO - former Chief of Defence Staff

‘Unparalleled in historic depth of argument, a surprising yet seductive view on whether modern war should bend to the demands of politics, or politics to the needs of war.'

Jan Willem Honig - King's College London

‘Strachan's historical analyses are a valuable addition to the literature on strategy. He invites the reader to think carefully about what we think we know and understand about strategy, and, perhaps more significantly, why we understand and think about strategy the way we do today.'

Terry Terriff - University of Calgary

‘A valuable book tracing an esteemed scholar's contributions to contemporary strategic thinking.'

Antulio Echevarria - Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College

'[A] powerful and stimulating essay about the conduct of war and peace in our time. It is an essential read for MPs and hacks, the ideal primer for the debate about why we need armed force, and in what form, today.'

Source: London Evening Standard

'Impressive and provocative.'

Source: Daily Telegraph

'… a timely and devastating critique.'

Richard Norton-Taylor Source: The Guardian online

'… extremely well written …'

Jerry Lenaburg Source: New York Journal of Books

'[Strachan's] insistence on Clausewitzian exactitude produces a uniquely incisive assessment of key moments in America's twenty-first-century wars that may be particularly valuable to American leadership as it leaves them behind.'

Source: Foreign Policy's 'The Best Defense' blog

'… offers much good sense.'

Lawrence D. Freedman Source: Foreign Affairs

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