The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World

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Penguin Books Limited, Mar 29, 2012 - Political Science - 480 pages

'One of the most provocative and startling books ever written by a British commander ... an update of the two great thinkers on war and peace, Clausewitz and Sun Tsu, for our time ... it is for anyone interested in the well-being of our world' Robert Fox, Evening Standard

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.

'Britain's outstanding soldier of modern times ... a book that will assure his reputation as a serious and original thinker among soldiers and strategists' Sir John Keegan, Daily Telegraph

'It is hard to overstate the devastating nature of this book as an indictment of almost everything the West has done in recent years, and is doing today' Sir Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph

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User Review  - BruceCoulson - LibraryThing

Possibly the best book currently available on the limits of modern warfare to 'impose your will upon the enemy'. Written by a veteran of our modern conflicts, General Smith lays out his evidence and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fyoder - LibraryThing

With the invention of the nuclear bomb, industrial warfare as it was known came to an end. But the thinking behind the use of military force remained mired in conceptions of industrial warfare. Today ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

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.

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