Most writing about strategy has focused on individual strategic theorists or great military leaders. This book focuses instead on the messy processes by which rulers and states have framed strategy in the past - a subject of vital practical importance to strategists, and of great interest to students of strategy and statecraft. It consists of 17 case studies that range from fifth-century Athens and Ming China to Hitler's Germany, Israel, and the post-1945 United States. The studies analyse, within a common interpretive framework, precisely how rulers and states have made strategy. The introduction emphasises the constants in the rapidly shifting world of the strategist; the concluding essay tries to understand the forces that have driven the transformation of strategy since 400 BC and seem likely to continue to transform it in the future.
Introduction: on strategy Williamson Murray and Mark Grimsley; 1. Athenian strategy in the Peloponnesian War Donald Kagan; 2. The strategy of a warrior state: Rome and the wars against Carthage, 264-201 BC Alvin H. Bernstein; 3. Chinese strategy from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries Arthur Waldron; 4. The making of strategy in Habsburg Spain: Philip II's 'bid for mastery', 1556-1598 Geoffrey Parker; 5. The origins of a global strategy: England to 1713 William S. Maltby; 6. A quest for glory: the formation of strategy under Louis XIV, 1661-1715 John A. Lynn; 7. To the edge of greatness: the United States, 1783-1865 Peter Maslowski; 8. Strategic uncertainties of a nation state: Prussia-Germany, 1871-1918 Holger H. Herwig; 9. The weary titan: strategy and policy in Great Britain, 1890-1918 John Gooch; 10. The strategy of the decisive weight: Italy, 1882-1992 Brian R. Sullivan; 11. The road to ideological war: Germany, 1918-1945 Wilhelm Deist; 12. The collapse of empire: British strategy, 1919-1945 Williamson Murray; 13. The strategy of innocence? The United States, 1920-1945 Eliot A. Cohen; 14. The illusion of security: France, 1919-1940 Robert A. Doughty; 15. Strategy for class war: the Soviet Union, 1917-1941 Earl F. Ziemke; 16. The evolution of Israeli strategy: the psychology of insecurity and the quest for absolute security Michael I. Handel; 17. Strategy in the Nuclear Age: the United States, 1945-1991 Colin S. Gray; Conclusion: continuity and revolution in the making of strategy MacGregor Knox.