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Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat Paperback – August 6, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
More telling (for me, anyway) than the tone of the book, which shows how political claptrap can tie a commander's hands from committing intelligently (no lessons learned from previous conflicts?), Clark shows throughout the entire book that everything we have been taught regarding the basic principles of warfare, from Sun-Tzu to Clausewitz and beyond, have been completely done away with in the Bosnian conflict. Through technology in our weaponry, the delivery platforms, the intelligence, and most pointedly, in our communications networks (particularly the media), by which we more or less spoon-fed Milosevic our every move well in advance, thus eliminating the vital element of surprise.
Another notion that has brought angst to most Americans is that of the "no-civilian-casualties" conflict. Clark echoes, point-blank, the same words that every commander throughout the history of modern warfare has muttered - war is hell, and people will be killed, combatants and non-combatants; that's the nature of war. With smart technology at our feet, and brilliant weapons technology knocking at the door, we have come to expect that firing a missile onto a bridge where a bus is passing will somehow have allowed the bus to escape unharmed. It's not possible now, nor will it be possible in the future. The weapons, as Clark states, can only be as perfect as not only the people who develop them, but as the people who upload them, arm them, test them, engineer them, and ultimately fire them.Read more ›
Anyone on the staff or getting ready to assume a political office which relates to our NSS should read this book to understand the frustrations of competing demands placed on military commanders in a highly complex environment. Likewise, all future field grade officers should read and understand General Clark's insights. Given the complex nature of military engagement and the blurring of strategic, operational, and tactical realms due to new technology and the media, military leaders would do well to study this book. Warfare has changed in many substantive, as well as subtle ways. Thoughts on the subjects that General Clark exposes could save allied soldiers lives in the future.
This book is a great addition to any military library and those interested in strategic thinking.
Don't Bother Us Now. The U.S. political system is not structured to pay attention to "early warning". Kosovo (as well as Croatia and Serbia beforehand and later Macedonia) were well known looming problems, but in the aftermath of the Gulf War, both Congress and the Administration in power at the time said to the U.S. Intelligence Community, essentially: "don't bother us anymore with this, this is inconvenient warning, we'll get to it when it explodes." We allowed over a hundred thousand to be murdered in genocide, because our political system was "tired."
"Modern war" is an overwhelming combination of micro-management from across the varied nations belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; a reliance on very high-tech weapons with precision effect that are useless in the absence of precision intelligence (and the lawyers insist the intelligence be near-real-time, a virtual impossibility for years to come); and an obsession with avoiding casualties that hand-cuffs our friendly commanders and gives great encouragement to our enemies.
Services versus Commanders. The military services that under Title 10 are responsible for training, equipping, and organizing the forces--but not for fighting them, something the regional commanders-in-chief must do--have become--and I say this advisedly--the biggest impediment to the successful prosecution of operations.Read more ›
The reviewer only has one true objection to this book - the lack of historical background. Clark spends few words on the origins of the Kosovo conflict. One day the Serbs are suddenly very angry at the Kosovo-Albanians and decide to forcibly remove them from Kosovo. That is weak. But the rest of the book is truly amazing.
Rumour has it that Clark wrote this 450-page book in 4 weeks. I don't doubt it since this is clearly a modern warrior with large capacities for free thought and diligent work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very good information about a difficult subject presented in a compelling way by one who knows.Published 17 months ago by BevN
I was forced to buy this book as a requirement for the Army's Intermediate Level Education (ILE) course. It is GEN Clark's account of the war in Bosnia. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Thomas Copeland
Bought this book for a project I was doing on modern warfare and it's a very tough read. At times, I found myself bored or looking for something else to do, like walk a dog I don't... Read morePublished on August 11, 2012 by nancy
General Clark has provided valuable insight into conducting modern war. His book deals almost exclusively with the political ramifications of the Kosovo War. Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by Bill
Awesome book, record speaks for itself we needed Wes for president during this war on terror. He will be remembered as of the greatest Generals of our time & unlike Libya Kosova/o... Read morePublished on July 13, 2011 by Albert Shqipe
US General Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, 1997-2000, espouses the Powell Doctrine, of swift escalation to decisive force, as opposed to `extended campaigns that... Read morePublished on June 22, 2011 by William Podmore
Was eager to read an informed account on what went on in Bosnia and Kosovo from someone who was in the position to know and actually made many of the required decisions. Read morePublished on August 23, 2008 by Steve Mains
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: (to U.S. Government) Gentlemen, there is a lot to do and very little time to do it, in order to prevent. .
GOV'T: Wait. Prevent? Read more
This book is formally an autobiography, but pays scant attention to the first 50 years or so of the author's life. Read morePublished on January 12, 2007 by Alex Frantz