Synopses & Reviews
This textbook provides a thorough grounding in the vocabulary, concepts, issues and debates associated with modern land warfare.
The book is a thematic, debate-driven analysis of what makes land warfare unique; how it interacts with the other environments; the key concepts that shape how it is executed; the trade-offs associated with its prosecution; and the controversies that continue to surround its focus and development. Throughout, it provides a foundation for understanding of warfare on land that will better enable the student to explore the issues further. The book is not a history of land warfare although it will make copious use of detailed historical case studies to illustrate and explore the issues.
Understanding Land Warfare contains several key themes:
- the difficulty of conducting land warfare
- the interplay between change and continuity, arguing for an essentially evolutionary explanation for the development of land warfare techniques.
- the growing importance of co-operation: not just in terms of combined arms but in relation to inter-service interaction (joint warfare) and multi-national operations (combined warfare).
- the complexity of the subject: the variety of ways in which land warfare is fought; the competing theoretical debates; the tensions and trade-offs.
The book makes the case that land warfare is a contested subject; that traditional narratives are often too Western-centric and put too little emphasis on the ways in which context shapes often radically different approaches to the conception and prosecution of land warfare. Debates on the future too often reflect the projection forward of immediate Western experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan as a single narrative on the future of land warfare.
Understanding Land Warfare is aimed at military personnel studying on cadet, intermediate and staff courses. In addition, it will also be of use to undergraduate and postgraduate students of military history, war studies and strategic studies.