Academic journal article Military Review

The Structure of Strategic Revolution: Total War and the Roots of the Soviet Warfare State

Academic journal article Military Review

The Structure of Strategic Revolution: Total War and the Roots of the Soviet Warfare State

Article excerpt

THE STRUCTURE OF STRATEGIC REVOLUTION: Total War and the Roots of the Soviet Warfare State by James J. Schneider. 334 pages. Presidio Press, Novato, CA. 1994. $35.00.

The US Army moved from a tactical-strategic to a tacticaloperational-strategic orientation beginning in the mid-1980s. The US Army Command and General Staff College (USACGSC) and the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, were in the forefront of this effort as Generals Gordon R. Sullivan, Frederick M. Franks Jr., Huba Wass de Czege and John R. Landry and Colonel David M. Glantz studied, directed and pointed the way to operational-level warfighting.

Many operational lessons the US Army adapted were taken directly from Soviet operational art. Army officers began studying the Soviet operational experience at USACGSC, and selected officers continued this study at SAMS. Many SAMS graduates were key planners in the stellar operational successOperation Desert Storm.

James J. Schneider has held the SAMS chair of military theory since 1984 and has directly influenced the current generation of US Army operational planners. In this book, he uses a series of essays to describe his view of operational art development from its American Civil War roots through its development in Russia and the Soviet Union before World War II. He expands this operational view to the strategic view that drove the Soviet "war state." His main emphasis is on the historical links between grand strategy and campaign planning and their assimilation into the Soviet strategic concept. He presents the challenge of adjusting to continual warfare change and the chameleon nature of warfighting. …

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