Explorations in Strategy

Explorations in Strategy

Explorations in Strategy

Explorations in Strategy


This study is one of the rare contributions to the very small library of genuine strategic studies. (Strategy here covers all military activity.) The broad purpose is to show how strategy works, using air power and special operations as substantial case studies, but also addressing sea power, nuclear deterrence, and information warfare. Although this book has many interesting things to say about the future of air power, the reliability of non-nuclear deterrence, the true character of joint warfare, the utility of special warriors, and the limitations of excellence in information warfare, the primary intention is to deepen the understanding of the nature and working of strategy and strategic effect.


Explorations in Strategy was conceived some years ago as a project which would enable me to share the process of strategic investigation with interested readers. Although each chapter and even each cluster of chapters (Parts I-IV) has its own integrity and can be read by those particularly interested in, say, air power or special operations, the book really is about what its title proclaims, strategy.

I am grateful to the various individuals and offices in the U.S., and more recently in the British, government who have licensed and encouraged me to explore their particular concerns from a broad strategic perspective. If the results were not always what they anticipated, that is a feature of strategic exploration; one finds what one finds and then one reports honestly.

Specifically, I am pleased to acknowledge permission of the editors of Joint Force Quarterly to use a later revision of my article on The Limits of Seapower: Joint Warfare and Unity of Conflict (published in their issue no. 6, Autumn/Winter 1994/95) as Chapter 2 for this book. Also, I am grateful to my friend Professor Williamson Murray for the editing skill which he applied to the manuscripts which have become Chapters 7 and 8 of Explorations in Strategy.

I am grateful to Greenwood Press for their patience during the lengthy gestation of this book. Its writing happened to coincide with my transition from the think-tank world of Washington, D.C., to the calmer waters of a British university. Hopefully, the end result is a happy blend of both perspectives.

My family, as always, provided vital support in tolerating yet another of my ventures into the arcane realms of strategy. They know how well I appreciate them.

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