In this widely acclaimed work, now revised and expanded, Luttwak unveils the peculiar logic of strategy level by level, from grand strategy down to combat tactics. In the tradition of Carl von Clausewitz, Strategy goes beyond paradox to expose the dynamics of reversal at work in the crucible of conflict. As victory is turned into defeat by over-extension, as war brings peace by exhaustion, ordinary linear logic is overthrown. Citing examples from ancient Rome to our own days, from Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor down to minor combat affrays, from the strategy of peace to the latest operational methods of war, this book by one of the world's foremost authorities reveals the ultimate logic of military failure and success, of war and peace.
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If Edward Luttwak does not always persuade, he always provokes. In this superb book, one that will become a classic of strategy, he does both. He may overstate the uniqueness of his theme-that strategy is "pervaded by a paradoxical logic of its own"; much of human activity is riddled with paradox, as immunologists know and those who wait in a long line of traffic for a brief glance at what caused the traffic jam can sense.
However, his definition of five levels of strategy is enriching and his historical examples fascinating. Along the way, his case study of NATO demolishes proposals for defense-in-depth, casts doubt on those for deep strike, and demonstrates that he understands the paradoxical logic of NATO strategy and its connection to American nuclear force posture better than anyone else.
Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace
Access options available:. Journal of Cold War Studies 5. In the s scholars in the fields of history and political science rediscovered the work of Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian philosopher of war. This renewed interest sparked a brief revival of the study of war and strategy the latter of which encompasses efforts to exploit war's dialectic to achieve military and political victory. After relying for decades on operations research to minimize the likelihood of nuclear war by bolstering deterrence—an approach that largely eliminated the need for traditional strategy—scholars began to resurrect, apply, and sometimes misapply Clausewitz's writings. Originally published in , Edward Luttwak's Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace was probably the best work of the Clausewitzian revival because it offered a clear summary of the great philosopher's insights into war's dialectic.
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Edward Nicolae Luttwak born 4 November is a Romanian-American political scientist known for his works on grand strategy , military history , and international relations. He then studied analytical economics at the London School of Economics where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science B. Luttwak was an instructor in economics at the University of Bath , England. Luttwak has been noted for his innovative policy ideas, suggesting for example that major powers' attempts to quell regional wars actually make conflicts more protracted. His book Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace is used as a textbook in war colleges and universities and has been translated into several languages. In he published The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire from the First Century AD to the Third which generated controversy among professional historians who saw Luttwak as an outsider and non-specialist in the field.