Hardback
March 1, 2021
9781647120597
English
336
6 maps
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.46 Pounds (US)
$119.95 USD, £89.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
March 1, 2021
9781647120603
English
336
6 maps
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$39.95 USD, £29.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 1, 2021
9781647120610
9781647120597
English
336
6 maps
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$39.95 USD, £29.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Other People's Wars

The US Military and the Challenge of Learning from Foreign Conflicts

Case studies explore how to improve military adaptation and preparedness in peacetime by investigating foreign wars

Preparing for the next war at an unknown date against an undetermined opponent is a difficult undertaking with extremely high stakes. Even the most detailed exercises and wargames do not truly simulate combat and the fog of war. Thus, outside of their own combat, militaries have studied foreign wars as a valuable source of battlefield information. The effectiveness of this learning process, however, has rarely been evaluated across different periods and contexts.

Through a series of in-depth case studies of the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, Brent L. Sterling creates a better understanding of the dynamics of learning from "other people's wars," determining what types of knowledge can be gained from foreign wars, identifying common pitfalls, and proposing solutions to maximize the benefits for doctrine, organization, training, and equipment.

Other People's Wars explores major US efforts involving direct observation missions and post-conflict investigations at key junctures for the US armed forces: the Crimean War (1854—56), Russo-Japanese War (1904—5), Spanish Civil War (1936—39), and Yom Kippur War (1973), which preceded the US Civil War, First and Second World Wars, and major army and air force reforms of the 1970s, respectively. The case studies identify learning pitfalls but also show that initiatives to learn from other nations' wars can yield significant benefits if the right conditions are met. Sterling puts forth a process that emphasizes comprehensive qualitative learning to foster better military preparedness and adaptability.

About the Author

Brent L. Sterling is an adjunct professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is the author of Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors? What History Teaches Us about Strategic Barriers and International Security (Georgetown University Press, 2009). He has spent the past thirty years as a defense analyst, including positions at the Central Intelligence Agency and consulting firms that support the US Department of Defense.

Reviews

"An impressive and detailed historical overview for both the general and professional reader. Sterling assimilates an extensive primary and secondary literature into a readable, coherent, and well-argued synthesis of the lessons the US military learned (and ignored) observing the conflicts outside its borders." — Brian McAllister Linn, professor of history and Ralph R. Thomas Class of 1921 Professor in Liberal Arts, Texas A& M University

"Sterling's use of military history is specific, conceptually clear, and purposeful. And quite well done. He shows where, at key moments like the lead-in to the American Civil War, lessons from earlier battles in faraway lands were used to inform new weaponry, tactics, and operational concepts for those preparing for future wars. Alas, much of the story here is also how many lessons often go unlearned—with tragic results in ensuing conflicts." — Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow and director of research, Foreign Policy program, Brookings Institution

9781647120597 : other-peoples-wars-sterling
Hardback
336 Pages
$119.95 USD
9781647120603 : other-peoples-wars-sterling
Paperback / softback
336 Pages
$39.95 USD
9781647120610 : other-peoples-wars-sterling
Electronic book text
336 Pages
$39.95 USD

Other Titles by Brent L. Sterling

Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Brent L. Sterling
Nov 2009 - Georgetown University Press
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$32.95 USD - Electronic book text

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