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Fighting Talk Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy

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ISBN-10: 0275991318

ISBN-13: 9780275991319

Edition: 2007 (Annotated)

Authors: Colin S. Gray

List price: $48.00
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This book is designed to explain the core, the essential nature of war, peace, and strategy. It could even be described as a user's guide. The popular and the scholarly literature on these three closely related topics is vast, a fact that reflects both the enduring grim reality of the human condition and an insatiable public appetite for the vicarious thrill of military dangers faced by others. Fighting Talk (FT) provides a unique window upon the most important of subjects. In addition to explaining the nature of war, peace, and strategy, and the relations among them, FT takes the logical next step and proceeds from understanding to advice. Stated bluntly, this book tells its readers (a)…    
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Book details

List price: $48.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Publication date: 4/30/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 6.14" wide x 9.21" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Introduction : getting the big things right enough
The contexts of war are all important
War is about peace, and peace can be about war
It is more difficult to make peace than it is to make war
War works! - but always has unintended and unanticipated consequences
Peace and order are not self-enforcing, they have to be organized and kept by somebody
Not only polities, but societies and their cultures make war and peace
Reason reigns over war, but passion and chance threaten to rule
There is more to war than warfare
Policy is king, but often is ignorant of the nature and character of war
War is always a gamble
Knowledge of strategy is vital : the flame of strategic understanding has to be kept lit
Strategy is more difficult than policy or tactics
Bad strategy kills, but so also do bad policy and tactics
If Thucydides, Sun-tzu, and Clausewitz did not say it, it probably is not worth saying
The strategic "Concept du Jour" will be tomorrow's stale left-over, until it is rediscovered, recycled, and revealed as a new truth
The enemy too has a vote
Time is the least forgiving dimension of strategy
Friction is unavoidable, but need not be fatal
All strategy is geostrategy : geography is fundamental
Strategy is not wholly military
The impossible is impossible; it is a condition, not a problem for which a solution has yet to be found
People matter most
Military power is trumps in politics
Military excellence can only be verified by performance in war
Military excellence cannot guarantee strategic success
Victory in battle does not ensure strategic or political success, but defeat all but guarantees failure
There is more to war than firepower : the enemy is not just a target set
Logistics is the arbiter of strategic opportunity
Bad times return
There are always thugs, villains, rogues, and fools out there, as well some in here, who mean us harm
Superthreats do appear
Prudence is the supreme virtue in statecraft and strategy
Strategic history punishes good intentions
Defense costs are certain, but security benefits are uncertain and arguable
Arms can be controlled, but not by arms control
Nothing of real importance changes : modern history is not modern
History can be misused to "prove" anything, but it is all that we have as a guide to the future
The future is not foreseeable : nothing dates so rapidly as today's tomorrow
Surprise is unavoidable, but its effect is not
Tragedy happens
Afterword : cannon lore