Making Sense of War: Strategy for the 21st Century

Making Sense of War: Strategy for the 21st Century


By (author) Alan Stephens, By (author) Nicola Baker


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  • Format: Paperback | 306 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 20mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 13 November 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521676649
  • ISBN 13: 9780521676649
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 951,049

Product description

Making Sense of War provides a comprehensive and clear analysis of the complex business of waging war. It gives readers a thorough understanding of the key concepts in strategic thought, concepts that have endured since the Athenian general Thucydides and the Chinese philosopher/warrior Sun Tzu first wrote about strategy some 2500 years ago. It also examines the influence on strategic choice and military strategy of political, legal and technological change. This book discusses strategy at every level of competition, employing a thematic approach and using historical examples from 500 BCE to the present. It discusses the contraints and opportunities facing military commanders in the 21st century, and demonstrates that the formulation of military strategy will continue to be perhaps the single most important responsibility for senior security officials. Making Sense of War offers original insights into the imperatives of military success in the era of asymmetric warfare.

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Author information

Alan Stephens is a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy. Previous appointments include principal adviser to the Australian Federal Parliament's Joint Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, official historian for the RAAF, contributing editor to Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, military history commentator on ABC television, and RAAF pilot. Nicola Baker is a lecturer on Strategic Studies at the University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy. She has worked as a consultant to various Australian defence organisations and written on a range of military and strategic issues.

Review quote

"This carefully crafted and well-researched book draws on Clausewitz, Jomini, Machiavelli and Sun Tzu and uses relevant historical events as examples." David A. Anderson, Military Review

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. How to wIn - the nature of strategy; 2. Stove-piped strategy - the schools of strategic thought; 3. Traditional warfighting concepts and practices - what strategy has been; 4. Manoeuvre and the application of force - applying strategy; 5. Shaping the strategic environment - making strategy work; 6. Strategic paralysis - strategy as an ideal; 7. Contemplating war - political imperatives and strategic considerations; 8. Constraints on war - strategy, legality and prudence; 9. Controlling war - soldiers, civilians, and the optimum use of force; 10. Peacemaking - intervening to protect and repair; 11. War in the twenty-first century - the end of strategy?; Select bibliography.