This is an introductory guide to the relationship between politics, strategy and war. This is an introductory guide to strategy in the modern world. Military strategy can be understood as the process by which armed force is converted into intended political effects. As such, it constitutes one of the most important activities of the past two centuries. Nevertheless, strategy is an activity that remains little understood, and one that has rarely realized the hopes that have so frequently been invested in it. This book seeks to explain why this is the case through an engagement with strategic theory in the context of its historical and contemporary practice. Stone begins with three basic questions: What is strategy? How does strategy work? Why is strategy so difficult? He then goes on to argue that to be truly effective strategy must faithfully reflect the political context in which it is formulated. Using case studies from the eighteenth century to the present day, Stone presents a theoretical framework around which historical and contemporary events can be explored and studied.
John Stone is Senior Lecturer in the War Studies Department at King's College, London, UK.