Why do we try to use military force to solve our political problems? And why, when our forces win the military battles does this still fail to solve those problems? It is because the force lacks utility. From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechneya, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady stream of military interventions that have not delivered on their promise for peace, or even political resolution. The Utility of Force explains this anomaly at the heart of our current international system.
General Sir Rupert Smith is one of the most senior international practitioners in the use of force. In his forty year career in the British Army he commanded the UK Armoured Division in the 1990-91 Gulf War, was GOC Northern Ireland, commanded the UN forces in Bosnia in 1995, and served as Deputy Commander of NATO. All of this experience informs his book. He retired in 2002.