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Winning the Next War: Innovation and the Modern Military (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) Paperback – May 3, 1994


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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (May 3, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801481961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801481963
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"What makes for innovations in war-making? The answers of this careful study, based primarily on American military experiences in the twentieth century, run refreshingly against intuition: innovation seems easier in peacetime than war, for the fog of the latter covers all; it is no harder during periods of budgetary austerity than in flusher times; it is neither much connected to better intelligence about would-be foes nor much influenced by civilian leaders or thinkers. Those answers bear heeding now that the United States can no longer afford to build everything and then see what works."—Foreign Affairs



"Professionals interested in national security will find it hard to ignore this book. . . . Rosen recounts how major innovations in the twentieth century changed the way wars were fought. His underlying message is that understanding the process of innovation holds more importance to winning future wars than focusing on any particular change in weapons, organizations, or tactics. . . . Rosen crafts his book with a historian's eye for the facts and a political scientist’s willingness to draw conclusions."—Military Review

About the Author

Stephen Peter Rosen is Harvard College Professor and Beton Michael Kaneb Professor of National Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University. He is the author of Societies and Military Power: India and Its Armies, also from Cornell.

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book examines the hypothesis that innovation is easier during wartime than peacetime. It does so by considering a number of historical shifts of interest, and the technological inputs. It concludes with discussion about how a military can keep itself in touch with where technology may be going, and the difficulties of doing so.
Rosen adopts a tight definition for the term "innovation", requiring a major shift in doctrine or practice. The introduction of radar to the RAF is, for instance, not an innovation, because the RAF had already undertaken the doctrinal shift towards integrated air defence, through the policy shift away from bombers to fighters and the establishment of ground stations. True innovation may require the raising and acceptance of new strategic measures of effectiveness. This is a key reason why innovation can be as readily implemented in peacetime as in wartime; in wartime, the tendency is to discard risky ideas and focus on what is known to work.
The analysis is backed by a historical base of case studies, and turns up some surprises. He argues, for instance, that the British introduced the tank about as rapidly as was feasible - it was coupled to a new strategic measure based on minimising casualties, the zero-sum gain of infantry units versus tank units, and the need to gain tactical experience. The raising of naval aviation in the US Navy versus the Royal Navy is a useful example of how a new technology may require a reversal in primacy of extant technologies (ships and aircraft), with success or otherwise thus riding on doctrinal change. The US Army experience of raising the airborne cavalry concept points to a minimum time of about a decade for full acceptance of innovation.
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