Strategy. The Logic of War and Peace, Revised and Enlarged Edition Edward Luttwak shows—they exemplify the paradoxical logic that pervades the entire. “If you want peace, prepare for war.” “A buildup of offensive weapons can be purely defensive.” “The worst road may be the best route to battle.” Strategy is made. Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace rev. and enlarged ed. by Edward N. Luttwak Cambridge, MA: The Belknap. Press of Harvard University Press,

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Lists with This Book. I reluctantly concede that he is generally right, however in the limited cases such as the Sudan or Rwanda where the goal was physical genocide I still hold out for intervention, though Luttwak does suggest an alternate strategy.

The book is an excellent read. The first paragraph of the last chapter of this book on strategy some a up Grand Strategy nicely: It can appear when a seemingly unreasonable decision results in the best potential outcome, as seen in Hannibal’s determination to march over the Alps, which proved incredibly costly, yet it surprised Romans, leaving them unable to use their capabilities to their full potential. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

A Logic of War and Peace is not a book for everyone — it is not always easy to read, and it demands a basic understanding of strategy from its readers. In one telling example, Luttwak shows the paradoxes of economies of scale applied to military technology. Insightful book on how strategy uses its own paradoxical logic rather than normal linear logic. Not as good as his first magnum opus, Coup d’etat. Montdelazure rated it it was amazing Jul 14, He also criticizes relatively well paid and well supported NATO troops as being hampered by being both overly cautious and bureaucratic.

As you’re defeating your enemy you’re creating a situation in which your successful strategy in defeating him no longer works because he’s constantly adjusting to the fluidity of the situation. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. These are just a few of the fascinating ideas and issues Luttwak deals with.

Strategy — Edward N. Luttwak | Harvard University Press

However, if you are a student of international relations, history, or security studies, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. An incredible tour de force that examines the paradoxical trade-offs of military campaigns. Books by Edward N. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


Had France relied on a less successful technique, such as trenches, Germany might have chosen a frontal attack, which France would have been able to intermit. It is written in simple English, presented clearly enough for even this Arts graduate to understand.

This book is essential for anyone interested in understanding warfare or conflicts. The first three levels are relatively small in scale, while the latter two levels are much broader in operational and planning scope.

It can appear between different levels of war, when the right tactical decision may result i Welcome to the world of a paradoxical logic, where war facilitates peace by destroying state’s means to engage in a conflict and peace breeds war by making the state powerful and daring enough to resort to brute force.

Return to Book Page. In this widely acclaimed work, now revised and expanded, Luttwak unveils the peculiar logic of strategy level by level, from grand strategy down to combat tactics. It is by far one of the best general introductions to the different levels of warfare: Jon-Erik rated it it was amazing Mar 06, As victory is turned into defeat by over-extension, as war brings peace by exhaustion, ordinary linear logic is overthrown.

Edward Nicolae Luttwak is a military strategist, political scientist, and historian who has published works on military strategy, history, and international relations. He’s written many books on strategy and this, Strategy: In this widely acclaimed work, now revised and expanded, Luttwak unveils the peculiar logic of strategy level by level, from grand strategy down to combat tactics.

In the calculus of international relations, strategy and war are natural states. Sometimes the best tech is the lowest; every tech will meet a countertech and your super-advanced modern wonder might be undone by something cheap and off-the-shelf.

Negotiating ends to war might be worse than fighting to the bitter conclusion. It can appear when more advanced technology yields a worse result because it discourages the enemy. It’s like borders, like the distinctions of languages, it always e I first encountered Luttwak many years ago through a book he wrote about the grand strategy of the Roman Empire. Thanks for telling us about the problem. A Case for Rebel Victory?

Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace

Feb 12, Marguerite rated it really liked it. He discusses the pros and cons of using the element of surprise, the irrationality of over-expenditures on nuclear weapons, over-preparation, implementing new technologies, being over or under cautious. As victory is turned into defeat by over-extension, as war brings peace by exhaustion, ordinary linear logic is overthrown. Apr 18, Billy rated it really liked it Shelves: In the same chapter, Luttwak also touches upon two issues, which he described in a greater length in other articles, namely the argument against peacekeeping, and the idea of post-heroic warfare.


He cites several examples in Bosnia where a fleet of expensive Apache helicopters brought in to deal with insurgents could not be deployed Luttwak sees war as an exhaustive process that eventually comes to a conclusion – and that NGOs interfere with and cruelly prolong the suffering of war.

Readers may find that it explains the twists and turns of history more persuasively and with fewer discrepancies than mere common sense, though of course the only real test of any theory is its ability to predict, given enough information.

I read the opening chapter during my university studies in the past, and I am happy that now I am out of school, I had the chance to finish the book and comprehend Paece argument in its entirety.

One of the paradoxes of war, he tells us, is that it creates peace by destroying the means necessary to engage in combat. Yet the greater production possibilities for a given weapon leads to greater exposure for enemies strtaegy ultimately adapt, thereby undermining its effectiveness. Citing examples from ancient Rome to our own days, from Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor down to minor combat affrays, from the strategy of peace to the latest operational methods of war, tje book by one of the world’s foremost authorities reveals the ultimate logic of military failure and success, of war and peace.

In the tradition of Carl von Clausewitz, Strategy goes beyond paradox to expose the dynamics of reversal at work in the crucible of conflict.

Technological efficiency can be easily measured, helping decision makers pursue the most economical and effective weapons the ratio of input to output. Though a small part of the book, starting on pp61 he gives a scathing condemnation of NGOs. The analogy would be keeping a dying person on life support and in pain for months and years on end. Feb 04, Dale rated it it was ok Shelves: International Relations Then and Now: