Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2021
Chapter 1 analyzes the ideas of the naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan. It describes his life and his "America," which was socially and politically at war with itself. This chapter also discusses how the core principles Mahan borrowed from the Swiss military theorist Jomini – concentration, offensive action, and decision by battle – were brought from the nineteenth century into the twentieth. It ends with an explication of the traditional model of wars nature, which saw armed conflict as an extension of the competitive side of human nature.