In 2008, U.S. and Iraqi forces defeated an uprising in Sadr City, a district of Baghdad with ~2.4 million residents. Coalition forces’ success in this battle helped consolidate the Government of Iraq’s authority, contributing significantly to the attainment of contemporary U.S. operational objectives in Iraq. U.S. forces’ conduct of the battle illustrates a new paradigm for urban combat and indicates capabilities the Army will need in the future.
The U.S. Department of Defense is considering a change in policy to allow transgender military personnel to serve openly. A RAND study examined the health care needs of transgender personnel, the costs of gender transition–related care, and the potential readiness implications of a policy change. The experiences of foreign militaries that permit transgender service members to serve openly also point to some best practices for U.S. policymakers.
In the years since the 9/11 attacks—and the subsequent lethal anthrax letters—the United States has spent billions of dollars on measures to defend the population against the threat of biological weapons. But as Lynn C. Klotz and Edward J. Sylvester argue forcefully in Breeding Bio Insecurity, all that money and effort hasn’t made us any safer—in fact, it has made us more vulnerable.
Breeding Bio Insecurity reveals the mistakes made to this point and lays out the necessary steps to set us on the path toward true biosecurity. The fundamental problem with the current approach, according to the authors, is the danger caused by the sheer size and secrecy of our biodefense effort. Thousands of scientists spread throughout hundreds of locations are now working with lethal bioweapons agents—but their inability to make their work public causes suspicion among our enemies and allies alike, even as the enormous number of laboratories greatly multiplies the inherent risk of deadly accidents or theft. Meanwhile, vital public health needs go unmet because of this new biodefense focus. True biosecurity, the authors argue, will require a multipronged effort based in an understanding of the complexity of the issue, guided by scientific ethics, and watched over by a vigilant citizenry attentive to the difference between fear mongering and true analysis of risk.
An impassioned warning that never loses sight of political and scientific reality, Breeding Bio Insecurity is a crucial first step toward meeting the evolving threats of the twenty-first century.
The Catapult: A History
Tracey Rihll Westholme Publishing, 2007 Library of Congress U875.R54 2007 | Dewey Decimal 623.441
A Major Contribution to the History of Technology and Ancient Warfare
The most recognized military device of ancient times and the source of continued fascination and popular appeal, the catapult represented a major shift in the conduct of warfare. The catapult which literally means a device to “hurl [an object] across” was originally a sort of crossbow invented at the beginning of the fourth century B.C. in Syrakuse. Bows soon grew to the length of a modern bus, and in due course a completely new and better power source was invented. Instead of compound bows made of stretched sinew and compressed horn, the energy used to launch an object was stored in twisted ropes made of animal sinews: the torsion catapult had arrived. The torsion catapult quickly became the chief weapon of ancient arsenals and gave armies for the first time a weapon that could strike enemies at a distance with devastating effect, including shooting to and from ships, battering fortifications, and sending projectiles over walls. Catapults of all sizes became part of the regular equipment of the Roman army, and were used for centuries across the length and breadth of the empire to seize territory, and to defend it.
In The Catapult: A History, an authority on this device, historian Tracey Rihll, uses ancient literary sources and the latest archaeological findings to tell the story of this first machine of war. Dispelling any notion that the catapult was precision engineered in the modern sense, the author explains how a robust formulaic design allowed a variety of machines and missiles to be used for particular battlefield conditions or military tasks. Also included are details of the author’s intriguing discovery that there were little personal catapults that were used like rifles. Although the catapult was displaced by the introduction of gunpowder and cannon, this device marks the beginning of mechanized warfare, the hallmark of modern fighting. Complete with line drawings and photographs, The Catapult is a major contribution to the history of technology and conflict.
Although terrorism is an age-old phenomenon, jihadi ideology is distinctive in its ambition to abandon the principle of state sovereignty, overthrow the modern state system, and replace it with an extremely radical interpretation of an Islamic world order. These characteristics reflect a radical break from traditional objectives promoted by terrorist groups. In Combating Jihadism Barak Mendelsohn argues that the distinctiveness of the al-Qaeda threat led the international community to change its approach to counterterrorism. Contrary to common yet erroneous conceptions, the United States, in its role as a hegemon, was critical for the formulation of a multilateral response.
While most analyses of hegemony have focused on power, Mendelsohn firmly grounds the phenomenon in a web of shared norms and rules relating to the hegemon’s freedom of action. Consequently, he explains why US leadership in counterterrorism efforts was in some spheres successful, when in others it failed or did not even seek to establish multilateral collaborative frameworks. Tracing the ways in which international cooperation has stopped terrorist efforts, Combating Jihadism provides a nuanced, innovative, and timely reinterpretation of the war on terrorism and the role of the United States in leading the fight against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
As the costs of a preemptive foreign policy in Iraq have become clear, strategies such as containment and deterrence have been gaining currency among policy makers. This comprehensive book offers an agenda for the contemporary practice of deterrence—especially as it applies to nuclear weapons—in an increasingly heterogeneous global and political setting.
Moving beyond the precepts of traditional deterrence theory, this groundbreaking volume offers insights for the use of deterrence in the modern world, where policy makers may encounter irrational actors, failed states, religious zeal, ambiguous power relationships, and other situations where the traditional rules of statecraft do not apply. A distinguished group of contributors here examines issues such as deterrence among the Great Powers; the problems of regional and nonstate actors; and actors armed with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Complex Deterrence will be a valuable resource for anyone facing the considerable challenge of fostering security and peace in the twenty-first century.
Weapons improved rapidly after the Civil War, raising difficult questions about the battle tactics employed by the United States Army. The most fundamental problem was the dominance of the tactical defensive, when defenders protected by fieldworks could deliver deadly fire from rifles and artillery against attackers advancing in close-ordered lines. The vulnerability of these offensive forces as they crossed the so-called "deadly ground" in front of defensive positions was even greater with the improvement of armaments after the Civil War.
Uncovering the class conflicts, geopolitical dynamics, and aggressive capitalism propelling the militarization of the internet
Global surveillance, computational propaganda, online espionage, virtual recruiting, massive data breaches, hacked nuclear centrifuges and power grids—concerns about cyberwar have been mounting, rising to a fever pitch after the alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential election and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Although cyberwar is widely discussed, few accounts undertake a deep, critical view of its roots and consequences.
Analyzing the new militarization of the internet, Cyberwar and Revolution argues that digital warfare is not a bug in the logic of global capitalism but rather a feature of its chaotic, disorderly unconscious. Urgently confronting the concept of cyberwar through the lens of both Marxist critical theory and psychoanalysis, Nick Dyer-Witheford and Svitlana Matviyenko provide a wide-ranging examination of the class conflicts and geopolitical dynamics propelling war across digital networks.
Investigating the subjectivities that cyberwar mobilizes, exploits, and bewilders, and revealing how it permeates the fabric of everyday life and implicates us all in its design, this book also highlights the critical importance of the emergent resistance to this digital militarism—hacktivism, digital worker dissent, and off-the-grid activism—for effecting different, better futures.
Defense planning faces significant uncertainties. This report applies robust decision making (RDM) to the air-delivered munitions mix challenge. RDM is quantitative, decision support methodology designed to inform decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty and complexity. This proof-of-concept demonstration suggests that RDM could help defense planners make plans more robust to a wide range of hard-to-predict futures.
In the Persian Gulf War, Americans of all races fought in integrated units under the leadership of the first African-American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Indeed, the United States armed forces of the 1990s are arguably the most integrated institution in American society. But it was not always so.
In Don’t Janet E. Halley explains how the military's new anti-gay policy is fundamentally misdescribed by its common nickname, “Don't Ask/Don't Tell.” This ubiquitous phrase, she points out, implies that it discharges servicemembers not for who they are, but for what they do. It insinuates that, as long as military personnel keep quiet about their homosexual orientation and desist from “homosexual conduct,” no one will try to pry them out of their closets and all will be well. Not so, reveals Halley. In order to work through the steps by which the new law was ultimately drafted, she opens with a close reading of the 1986 Supreme Court sodomy case which served as the legal and rhetorical model for the policy revisions made in 1993. Halley also describes how the Clinton administration’s attempts to offer Congress an opportunity to regulate conduct—and not status—were flatly rejected and not included in the final statute. Using cultural and critical theory seldom applied to explain the law, Halley argues that, far from providing privacy and an assurance that servicemembers' careers will be ruined only if they engage in illegal conduct, the rule activates a culture of minute surveillance in which every member must strictly avoid using any gesture in an ever-evolving lexicon of “conduct that manifests a propensity.” In other words, not only homosexuals but all military personnel are placed in danger by the new policy. After challenging previous pro-gay arguments against the policy that have failed to expose its most devious and dangerous elements, Halley ends with a persuasive discussion about how it is both unconstitutional and, politically, an act of sustained bad faith. This knowledgeable and eye-opening analysis of one of the most important public policy debates of the 1990s will interest legal scholars, policymakers, activists, military historians and personnel, as well as citizens concerned about issues of discrimination.
In the past decade, the United States has rapidly deployed militarized drones in theaters of war for surveillance as well as targeted killing. The swiftness with which drones were created and put into service has outstripped the development of an associated framework for discussing them, with the result that basic conversations about these lethal weapons have been stymied for a lack of a shared rhetoric. Marouf Hasian’s Drone Warfare and Lawfare in a Post-Heroic Age fills that critical gap.
With a growing fleet of more than 7,500 drones, these emblems of what one commentary has dubbed “push-button, bloodless wars” comprise as much as a third of the US aircraft force. Their use is hotly debated, some championing air power that doesn’t risk the lives of pilots, others arguing that drone strikes encourage cycles of violence against the United States, its allies, and interests.
In this landmark study, Hasian illuminates both the discursive and visual argumentative strategies that drone supporters and critics both rely on. He comprehensively reviews how advocates and detractors parse and re-contextualize drone images, casualty figures, governmental “white papers,” NGO reports, documentaries, and blogs to support their points of view. He unpacks the ideological reflexes and assumptions behind these legal, ethical, and military arguments.
Visiting both formal legal language used by legislators, political leaders, and policy makers as well as public, vernacular commentaries about drones, Drone Warfare and Lawfare in a Post-Heroic Age dispassionately illuminates the emotive, cognitive, and behavioral strategies partisans use to influence public and official opinion.
During the past decade, armed drones have entered the American military arsenal as a core tactic for countering terrorism. When coupled with access to reliable information, they make it possible to deploy lethal force accurately across borders while keeping one’s own soldiers out of harm’s way. The potential to direct force with great precision also offers the possibility of reducing harm to civilians. At the same time, because drones eliminate some of the traditional constraints on the use of force—like the need to gain political support for full mobilization—they lower the threshold for launching military strikes. The development of drone use capacity across dozens of countries increases the need for global standards on the use of these weapons to assure that their deployment is strategically wise and ethically and legally sound.
Presenting a robust conversation among leading scholars in the areas of international legal standards, counterterrorism strategy, humanitarian law, and the ethics of force, Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict takes account of current American drone campaigns and the developing legal, ethical, and strategic implications of this new way of warfare. Among the contributions to this volume are a thorough examination of the American government’s legal justifications for the targeting of enemies using drones, an analysis of American drone campaigns’ notable successes and failures, and a discussion of the linked issues of human rights, freedom of information, and government accountability.
Stephen M. Meyer steps back from the emotions and rhetoric surrounding the nuclear arms debates to provide a systematic examination of the underlying determinants of nuclear weapons proliferation. Looking at current theories of nuclear proliferation, he asks: Must a nation that acquires the technical capability to manufacture nuclear weapons eventually do so? In an analysis, remarkable for its rigor and accessibility, Meyer provides the first empirical, statistical model explaining why particular countries became nuclear powers when they did. His findings clearly contradict the notion that the pace of nuclear proliferation is controlled by a technological imperative and show that political and military factors account for the past decisions of nations to acquire or forgo the development of nuclear weapons.
Land-based anti-ship missiles (ASMs) feature prominently in the capabilities of many island nations in the Western Pacific, but the United States currently lacks such systems. This report illustrates the potential strategic advantages of the United States working with partners to build a coalition ASM capability, particularly in the event of a conflict with China, and includes an assessment of logistical challenges and positioning approaches.
Engineering the Revolution documents the forging of a new relationship between technology and politics in Revolutionary France, and the inauguration of a distinctively modern form of the “technological life.” Here, Ken Alder rewrites the history of the eighteenth century as the total history of one particular artifact—the gun—by offering a novel and historical account of how material artifacts emerge as the outcome of political struggle. By expanding the “political” to include conflict over material objects, this volume rethinks the nature of engineering rationality, the origins of mass production, the rise of meritocracy, and our interpretation of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
How perceptual technologies have shaped the history of war from the Renaissance to the present
From ubiquitous surveillance to drone strikes that put “warheads onto foreheads,” we live in a world of globalized, individualized targeting. The perils are great. In The Eye of War, Antoine Bousquet provides both a sweeping historical overview of military perception technologies and a disquieting lens on a world that is, increasingly, one in which anything or anyone that can be perceived can be destroyed—in which to see is to destroy.
Arguing that modern-day global targeting is dissolving the conventionally bounded spaces of armed conflict, Bousquet shows that over several centuries, a logistical order of militarized perception has come into ascendancy, bringing perception and annihilation into ever-closer alignment. The efforts deployed to evade this deadly visibility have correspondingly intensified, yielding practices of radical concealment that presage a wholesale disappearance of the customary space of the battlefield. Beginning with the Renaissance’s fateful discovery of linear perspective, The Eye of War discloses the entanglement of the sciences and techniques of perception, representation, and localization in the modern era amid the perpetual quest for military superiority. In a survey that ranges from the telescope, aerial photograph, and gridded map to radar, digital imaging, and the geographic information system, Bousquet shows how successive technological systems have profoundly shaped the history of warfare and the experience of soldiering.
A work of grand historical sweep and remarkable analytical power, The Eye of War explores the implications of militarized perception for the character of war in the twenty-first century and the place of human subjects within its increasingly technical armature.
An exploration of the nuclear arms race and the dangers arising with the advent of “limited warfare”
After the development of the atomic bomb in 1945, Americans became engaged in a "new kind of war" against totalitarianism. Enemies and objectives slipped out of focus, causing political and military aims to mesh as a struggle to contain communism both at home and abroad encompassed civilians as well as soldiers. In matters relating to Vietnam, Central America, and the nuclear arms race, the domestic and foreign dimensions of each issue became inseparable. Policymakers in Washington had to formulate strategies dictated by "limited war" in their search for peace.
Contributors to this volume demonstrate the multifaceted nature of modern warfare. Robert H. Ferrell establishes the importance of studying military history in understanding the post-World War II era. On Vietnam, Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., gives an intriguing argument regarding the U. S. Army; George C. Herring examines how America's decisions in 1954 assured deepened involvement; and Captain Mark Clodfelter uncovers new evidence concerning "Linebacker I." On the home front, Robert F. Burk analyzes the impact of the Cold War on the battle for racial justice; Charles DeBenedetti puts forth a challenging interpretation of the antiwar movement; and James C. Schneider provides perspective on the relationship between the Vietnam War and the Great Society. On Central America, two writers downplay communism in explaining the region's troubles. Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., fits the Nicaraguan revolution in the long span of history, and Thomas M. Leonard shows how the Reagan administration forced Costa Rica to side with the United States's anti-Sandinista policy. Finally, on nuclear strategy, Donald M. Snow offers a thought-provoking assessment of the "star wars" program, and Daniel S. Papp recommends measures to promote understanding among the superpowers.
These essays demonstrate that the making of foreign policy is immensely complicated, not subject to easy solution or to simple explanation. Despite these complexities, the central objective of policymakers remained clear: to safeguard what was perceived as the national interest.
This report examines the implications of the proliferation of hypersonic missiles and possible measures to hinder it. This report first explores some of the potential strategic implications of the proliferation of hypersonic missile technology beyond the three major powers, the United States, Russia, and China. It then examines the process of such proliferation. And finally, it discusses possible means for hindering such proliferation.
This newly reissued debut book in the Rutgers University Press Classics Imprint is the story of the search for a rocket propellant which could be trusted to take man into space. This search was a hazardous enterprise carried out by rival labs who worked against the known laws of nature, with no guarantee of success or safety. Acclaimed scientist and sci-fi author John Drury Clark writes with irreverent and eyewitness immediacy about the development of the explosive fuels strong enough to negate the relentless restraints of gravity. The resulting volume is as much a memoir as a work of history, sharing a behind-the-scenes view of an enterprise which eventually took men to the moon, missiles to the planets, and satellites to outer space. A classic work in the history of science, and described as “a good book on rocket stuff…that’s a really fun one” by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, readers will want to get their hands on this influential classic, available for the first time in decades.
In a study that extends well beyond military history, David B. Ralston documents the ways in which five different countries—Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, China, and Japan—refashioned their armed forces along European lines during the three centuries after 1600. The appropriation of Western military institutions in countries outside of Europe was, Ralston argues, the major force driving these countries to adopt European administrative, economic, and cultural modes.
Following the same format in his discussion of each country, Ralston makes this central theme in world history easily accessible to students while offering scholars a sophisticated understanding of the exact nature of the changes brought about by Europeanizing military reforms.
David B. Ralston, associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author of The Army of the Republic.
In Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile That Defined American Nuclear Warfare, David K. Stumpf demystifies the intercontinental ballistic missile program that was conceived at the end of the Eisenhower administration as a key component of the US nuclear strategy of massive retaliation. Although its nuclear warhead may have lacked power relative to that of the Titan II, the Minuteman more than made up for this in terms of numbers and readiness to launch—making it the ultimate ICBM.
Minuteman offers a fascinating look at the technological breakthroughs necessary to field this weapon system that has served as a powerful component of the strategic nuclear triad for more than half a century. With exacting detail, Stumpf examines the construction of launch and launch control facilities; innovations in solid propellant, lightweight inertial guidance systems, and lightweight reentry vehicle development; and key flight tests and operational flight programs—all while situating the Minuteman program in the context of world events. In doing so, the author reveals how the historic missile has adapted to changing defense strategies—from counterforce to mutually assured destruction to sufficiency.
The Missing Link brings together the views on the defense of the continent of the five principal neutral nations in Europe—Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Yugoslavia, and Austria—and examines the evolution and current status of the security threats faced by them. The analyses presented here were commissioned by the Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
A drastic reform of intelligence activities is long overdue. The Cold War has been over for ten years. No country threatens this nation's existence. Yet we still spend billions of dollars on covert action and espionage.
In National Insecurity ten prominent experts describe, from an insider perspective, what went wrong with U.S. intelligence and what will be necessary to fix it. Drawing on their experience in government administration, research, and the foreign service, they propose a radical rethinking of the United States' intelligence needs in the post-Cold War world. In addition, they offer a coherent and unified plan for reform that can simultaneously protect U. S. security and uphold the values of our democratic system.
As we now know, even during the Cold War, when intelligence was seen as a matter of life and death, our system served us badly. It provided unreliable information, which led to a grossly inflated military budget, as it wreaked havoc around the world, supporting corrupt regimes, promoting the drug trade, and repeatedly violating foreign and domestic laws. Protected by a shroud of secrecy, it paid no price for its mistakes. Instead it grew larger and more insulated every year.
Taking into consideration our strategic interests abroad as well as the price of covert operations in dollars, in reliability, and in good will, every American taxpayer can be informed by and will want to read this book. National Insecurity is essential for readers interested in contemporary political issues, international relations, U.S. history, public policy issues, foreign policy, intelligence reform, and political science.
With the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command, the cyber force is gaining visibility and authority, but challenges remain, particularly in the areas of acquisition and personnel recruitment and career progression. A review of commonalities, similarities, and differences between the still-nascent U.S. cyber force and early U.S. special operations forces, conducted in 2010, offers salient lessons for the future direction of U.S. cyber forces.
Can the U.S. military integrate gay personnel into its ranks and still accomplish its mission? In 1993, this question became the center of a heated debate when President Clinton attempted to lift the long-standing ban on gays in the military. This debate persists because the compromise policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue," faces serious legal challenges, and is likely to go to the Supreme Court before the end of the decade. Just below the surface of this debate rages a more general argument about the status of gay people in America.
Both sides base their views on assumptions about the consequences of integration. Even defenders of the ban grudgingly acknowledge that homosexuals are fully capable of serving with distinction. Few question gay service members' abilities or patriotism; justifications for the ban are now predicated on heterosexuals' negative reactions.
Out in Force refutes the notions that homosexuality is incompatible with military service and that gay personnel would undermine order and discipline. Leading social science scholars of sexual orientation and the military offer reasoned and comprehensive discussions about military organizations, human sexuality, and attitudes toward individuals and groups. They demonstrate forcefully that the debate is really about the military as an institution, and how that institution will adapt to larger social changes. The contributors show that the ban could be successfully eliminated, and set forth a program for implementation. In sorting opinion from fact, myth from reality, Out in Force stands as an invaluable guide for the military, lawmakers, and the courts as they continue to grapple with this question of institutional and societal change.
In an era when knowledge can travel with astonishing speed, the need for analysis of intellectual property (IP) law—and its focus on patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and issues of copyright—has never been greater. But as Robert M. Farley and Davida H. Isaacs stress in Patents for Power, we have long overlooked critical ties between IP law and one area of worldwide concern: military technology. This deft blend of case studies, theoretical analyses, and policy advice reveals the fundamental role of IP law in shaping how states create and transmit defense equipment and weaponry.
The book probes two major issues: the effect of IP law on innovation itself and the effect of IP law on the international diffusion, or sharing, of technology. Discussing a range of inventions, from the AK-47 rifle to the B-29 Superfortress bomber to the MQ-1 Predator drone, the authors show how IP systems (or their lack) have impacted domestic and international relations across a number of countries, including the United States, Russia, China, and South Korea. The study finds, among other results, that while the open nature of the IP system may encourage industrial espionage like cyberwarfare, increased state uptake of IP law is helping to establish international standards for IP protection. This clear-eyed approach to law and national security is thus essential for anyone interested in history, political science, and legal studies.
An attacker's missile-borne countermeasures to ballistic missile defenses are known as penetration aids, or penaids. To support efforts to prevent the proliferation of penaid-related items, this research recommends controls on potential exports according to the structure of the international Missile Technology Control Regime.
As part of an evaluation of the Marine Corps Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) program, this report describes the methods and findings of a large survey of marines who were preparing for a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan in 2010 or 2011. The results are among the first to shed light on the pre-deployment mental health status of marines, as well as the social resources they draw on when coping with stress and their attitudes about seeking help for stress-related problems.
Prussia, like much of nineteenth-century Germany, was governed by the belief that knowledge, and thus understanding, was best derived from direct observation and communicated through documentation. Justus Scheibert, an officer in the Royal Prussian Engineers, was therefore sent to the United States for seven months to observe the Civil War and report the effects of artillery on fortifications. His interests, however, surpassed that limited assignment, and his observations, as well as the writings translated in this work, went on to include tactics, strategy, logistics, intelligence, combined operations, and the medical service.
Scheibert, an expert on warfare, had access to the Confederate high command, including such luminaries as Robert E. Lee, J. E. B. Stuart, and Stonewall Jackson. He brought to the war not only the fresh perspective of a foreigner, but also the insightful eye of a career military officer and a skillful author and correspondent. Although he was personally sympathetic to the South, Scheibert researched both sides of the conflict in order to write unbiased, informed commentary for his fellow Prussian officers. His firsthand account of many aspects of the Civil War included a theoretical discussion of every branch of service and the Confederate high command, illustrated with his personal observations.
Sheibert's narrative portrays soldiers, weaponry, and battles, including the first, and one of the few, studies of combined operations in the Civil War. Trautmann combines two of Scheibert's publications, The Civil War in the North American States: A Military Study for the German Officer (1874) and Combined Operations by Army and Navy: A Study Illustrated by the War on the Mississippi, 1861-1863 (ca. 1887), which for decades influenced German military writing. Trautmann's translations evince the grace and achieve the readability of Scheibert's intricate and complex works.
A Prussian Observes the American Civil War makes an important addition to Civil War studies and will appeal greatly to professional historians and those interested in, and dedicated to, Civil War and military studies.
M. Susan Lindee Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress Q175.35.L56 2020 | Dewey Decimal 355.07
A thought-provoking examination of the intersections of knowledge and violence, and the quandaries and costs of modern, technoscientific warfare.
Science and violence converge in modern warfare. While the finest minds of the twentieth century have improved human life, they have also produced human injury. They engineered radar, developed electronic computers, and helped mass produce penicillin all in the context of military mobilization. Scientists also developed chemical weapons, atomic bombs, and psychological warfare strategies.
Rational Fog explores the quandary of scientific and technological productivity in an era of perpetual war. Science is, at its foundation, an international endeavor oriented toward advancing human welfare. At the same time, it has been nationalistic and militaristic in times of crisis and conflict. As our weapons have become more powerful, scientists have struggled to reconcile these tensions, engaging in heated debates over the problems inherent in exploiting science for military purposes. M. Susan Lindee examines this interplay between science and state violence and takes stock of researchers’ efforts to respond. Many scientists who wanted to distance their work from killing have found it difficult and have succumbed to the exigencies of war. Indeed, Lindee notes that scientists who otherwise oppose violence have sometimes been swept up in the spirit of militarism when war breaks out.
From the first uses of the gun to the mass production of DDT and the twenty-first-century battlefield of the mind, the science of war has achieved remarkable things at great human cost. Rational Fog reminds us that, for scientists and for us all, moral costs sometimes mount alongside technological and scientific advances.
Located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, the School of the Americas (soa) is a U.S. Army center that has trained more than sixty thousand soldiers and police, mostly from Latin America, in counterinsurgency and combat-related skills since it was founded in 1946. So widely documented is the participation of the School’s graduates in torture, murder, and political repression throughout Latin America that in 2001 the School officially changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Lesley Gill goes behind the façade and presents a comprehensive portrait of the School of the Americas. Talking to a retired Colombian general accused by international human rights organizations of terrible crimes, sitting in on classes, accompanying soa students and their families to an upscale local mall, listening to coca farmers in Colombia and Bolivia, conversing with anti-soa activists in the cramped office of the School of the Americas Watch—Gill exposes the School’s institutionalization of state-sponsored violence, the havoc it has wrought in Latin America, and the strategies used by activists seeking to curtail it.
Based on her unprecedented level of access to the School of the Americas, Gill describes the School’s mission and training methods and reveals how its students, alumni, and officers perceive themselves in relation to the dirty wars that have raged across Latin America. Assessing the School’s role in U.S. empire-building, she shows how Latin America’s brightest and most ambitious military officers are indoctrinated into a stark good-versus-evil worldview, seduced by consumer society and the “American dream,” and enlisted as proxies in Washington’s war against drugs and “subversion.”
The Titan II ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) program was developed by the United States military to bolster the size, strength, and speed of the nation's strategic weapons arsenal in the 1950s and 1960s. Each missile carried a single warhead—the largest in U.S. inventory—used liquid fuel propellants, and was stored and launched from hardened underground silos. The missiles were deployed at basing facilities in Arkansas, Arizona, and Kansas and remained in active service for over twenty years. Since military deactivation in the early 1980s, the Titan II has served as a reliable satellite launch vehicle. This is the richly detailed story of the Titan II missile and the men and women who developed and operated the system. David K. Stumpf uses a wide range of sources, drawing upon interviews with and memoirs by engineers and airmen as well as recently declassified government documents and other public materials. Over 170 drawings and photographs, most of which have never been published, enhance the narrative. The three major accidents of the program are described in detail for the first time using authoritative sources. Titan II will be welcomed by librarians for its prodigious reference detail, by technology history professionals and laymen, and by the many civilian and Air Force personnel who were involved in the program—a deterrent weapons system that proved to be successful in defending America from nuclear attack.
Unmanning studies the conditions that create unmanned platforms in the United States through a genealogy of experimental, pilotless planes flown between 1936 and 1992. Characteristics often attributed to the drone—including machine-like control, enmity and remoteness—are achieved by displacements between humans and machines that shape a mediated theater of war. Rather than primarily treating the drone as a result of the war on terror, this book examines contemporary targeted killing through a series of failed experiments to develop unmanned flight in the twentieth century. The human, machine and media parts of drone aircraft are organized to make an ostensibly not human framework for war that disavows its political underpinnings as technological advance. These experiments are tied to histories of global control, cybernetics, racism and colonialism. Drone crashes and failures call attention to the significance of human action in making technopolitics that comes to be opposed to “man” and the paradoxes at their basis.
When the U.S. military invaded Iraq, it lacked a common understanding of the problems inherent in counterinsurgency campaigns. It had neither studied them, nor developed doctrine and tactics to deal with them. It is fair to say that in 2003, most Army officers knew more about the U.S. Civil War than they did about counterinsurgency.
The U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual was written to fill that void. The result of unprecedented collaboration among top U.S. military experts, scholars, and practitioners in the field, the manual espouses an approach to combat that emphasizes constant adaptation and learning, the importance of decentralized decision-making, the need to understand local politics and customs, and the key role of intelligence in winning the support of the population. The manual also emphasizes the paradoxical and often counterintuitive nature of counterinsurgency operations: sometimes the more you protect your forces, the less secure you are; sometimes the more force you use, the less effective it is; sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction.
An new introduction by Sarah Sewall, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, places the manual in critical and historical perspective, explaining the significance and potential impact of this revolutionary challenge to conventional U.S. military doctrine.
An attempt by our military to redefine itself in the aftermath of 9/11 and the new world of international terrorism, The U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual will play a vital role in American military campaigns for years to come.
The University of Chicago Press will donate a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Fisher House Foundation, a private-public partnership that supports the families of America’s injured servicemen. To learn more about the Fisher House Foundation, visit www.fisherhouse.org.
A RAND study analyzed Chinese and U.S. military capabilities in two scenarios (Taiwan and the Spratly Islands) from 1996 to 2017, finding that trends in most, but not all, areas run strongly against the United States. While U.S. aggregate power remains greater than China’s, distance and geography affect outcomes. China is capable of challenging U.S. military dominance on its immediate periphery—and its reach is likely to grow in the years ahead.
The War Ledger
A. F. K. Organski and Jacek Kugler University of Chicago Press, 1980 Library of Congress U21.2.O7 | Dewey Decimal 355.02
The War Ledger provides fresh, sophisticated answers to fundamental questions about major modern wars: Why do major wars begin? What accounts for victory or defeat in war? How do victory and defeat influence the recovery of the combatants? Are the rules governing conflict behavior between nations the same since the advent of the nuclear era?
The authors find such well-known theories as the balance of power and collective security systems inadequate to explain how conflict erupts in the international system. Their rigorous empirical analysis proves that the power-transition theory, hinging on economic, social, and political growth, is more accurate; it is the differential rate of growth of the two most powerful nations in the system—the dominant nation and the challenger—that destabilizes all members and precipitates world wars.
Predictions of who will win or lose a war, the authors find, depend not only on the power potential of a nation but on the capability of its political systems to mobilize its resources—the "political capacity indicator." After examining the aftermath of major conflicts, the authors identify national growth as the determining factor in a nation's recovery. With victory, national capabilities may increase or decrease; with defeat, losses can be enormous. Unexpectedly, however, in less than two decades, losers make up for their losses and all combatants find themselves where they would have been had no war occurred.
Finally, the authors address the question of nuclear arsenals. They find that these arsenals do not make the difference that is usually assumed. Nuclear weapons have not changed the structure of power on which international politics rests. Nor does the behavior of participants in nuclear confrontation meet the expectations set out in deterrence theory.