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War's Logic
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Book description

Antulio J. Echevarria II reveals how successive generations of American strategic theorists have thought about war. Analyzing the work of Alfred Thayer Mahan, Billy Mitchell, Bernard Brodie, Robert Osgood, Thomas Schelling, Herman Kahn, Henry Eccles, Joseph Wiley, Harry Summers, John Boyd, William Lind, and John Warden, he uncovers the logic that underpinned each theorist's critical concepts, core principles, and basic assumptions about the nature and character of war. In so doing, he identifies four paradigms of war's nature - traditional, modern, political, and materialist - that have shaped American strategic thought. If war's logic is political, as Carl von Clausewitz said, then so too is thinking about war.


‘Echevarria traces the evolution of American strategic thought and how it influenced U.S. military theory and the conduct of war over the last 125 years. This book will be immediately essential to all security studies programs, and invaluable to any student of war trying to discern how the American Way of War has evolved.'

Frank G. Hoffman - author of Mars Adapting: Military Change in War (forthcoming)

‘In this sharp, critical and deeply-researched book, Echevarria brings to life America's leading strategic thinkers from Mahan and Mitchell to Boyd and Warden.'

Lawrence Freedman - author of Strategy: A History

‘A thought-provoking look at a dozen makers of American strategy from the late-19th century to the present. Echevarria ties the milieus in which prominent theorists lived to their vision of the nature and character of war and in so doing lays bare the assumptions that have driven American views on strategic discourse since the turn of the 20th century.'

Peter R. Mansoor - author of Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War

‘Echevarria explores the thinking of some of America's most influential civilian and military strategists, analyzing how they viewed the continuous interactions of technology, politics, human nature, chance and uncertainty, all of which form a compelling and enduring Logic of War that will enrich the thinking of students, teachers, and practitioners alike.'

Nadia Schadlow - author of War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success into Political Victory

‘An articulate, penetrating, refreshing, intellectually satisfying, unvarnished and well researched treatise that captures, through compelling, essential biographies, the evolving American Way of War. A fabulous and engaging book.'

Patricia M. Shields - Editor-in-Chief of Armed Forces & Society

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