The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World

By Bolia, Robert | Naval War College Review, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World


Bolia, Robert, Naval War College Review


NOT THE DAYS OF CLAUSEWITZ Smith, General Sir Rupert. The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. London: Penguin, 2005. 428pp. £25

Military theorists around the globe have noted changes in the landscape of warfare-nonstate actors, asymmetric threats, technology proliferation, etc.-and suggested that the military forces currently fielded by Western nations are not equipped to respond to them. The latest product of this analysis is The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, by General Sir Rupert Smith.

Smith certainly has the appropriate credentials to write about the topic. He commanded the British 1st Armoured Division in the first Gulf war and was commander of UN forces in Bosnia at the time of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. After three years as General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland, he became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), serving as second in command to a U.S. general, Wesley Clark, during the NATO air campaign in Kosovo.

The variety of the author's experiences throughout his distinguished career is critical, because these experiences constitute the framework for his thinking about war. First, he emphasizes the importance of separately considering the effects of force at the three levels of war: tactical, operational (or theater, as Smith prefers), and strategic. Having held commands at each level, he has gained his appreciation of this firsthand. Second, much of Smith's command experience has been as part of coalitions, which he recognizes will continue to play a significant role in future warfare. Finally, he taxonomizes modern warfare-which he dates from the wars of Napoleon-into three distinct forms of war, corresponding roughly to three historical periods: interstate industrial war, the Cold War (which he regards as primarily an anomaly of the era of mutually assured destruction), and "war amongst the people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Upgrade your membership to receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad‑free environment

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved in your active project from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.