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Grand Strategy and Military Alliances
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Book description

Alliances have shaped grand strategy and warfare since the dawn of civilization. Indeed, it is doubtful that the United States of America would have gained its independence without its Revolutionary War alliance with France. Such alliances may prove even more important to international security in the twenty-first century. Economic and financial difficulties alone will ensure that policy makers attempt to spread the burden of securing vital interests onto other nations through alliances, both formal organizations such as NATO and informal alliances of convenience as developed to wage the Gulf War in 1991. A team of leading historians examine the problems inherent in alliance politics and relationships in the framework of grand strategy through the lens of history. Aimed at not just the military aspects of alliances, the book uncovers the myriad factors that have made such coalitions succeed or fail in the past.


‘The need for alliances and coalitions in war are a fact of life not only for second and third tier powers, but even for the USA. They are not a new feature of history, but, as this group of leading experts in their fields richly demonstrates, they have a long pedigree. This excellent historical comparative study shows up the important elements of continuity - the structurally conditioned benefits and challenges - that help us address the issue in the present and the future more wisely. Any diplomat, journalist, military leader or student of international relations would do well to take its conclusions on board.'

Beatrice Heuser - University of Reading

‘The temptation to devalue alliances is always present, and perhaps it has renewed vigor in the US these days. This book is a timely and well-written reminder that alliances require patience and skills, and, above all, are indispensable to maritime powers like the United States.'

Jakub Grygiel - The Johns Hopkins University

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