Customer Review

17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that great, August 4, 2005
This review is from: The Transformation of War: The Most Radical Reinterpretation of Armed Conflict Since Clausewitz (Hardcover)
read this book with very high expectations based on the reviews. There is a lot in it. Some of it is right, some is not (e.g. the workings of the Roman Army are oversimplified). My major gripe is that it equates the modern state to a war making organization: when classic armies disappear, the state disappears too. The modern state probably was born as the most effective warmaking organization of his time but others could argue that it was born as the most efficient task collecting organization of his time. In any case today it does a lot more than putting armies in the field and collecting taxes. Plus it has infinite resources compared to a small group of, say, terrorists. A state that is well led and aware of the dangers of low-intensity conflicts can survive by

adopting the same techniques and exporting the conflict as much as possible. Unfortunately, on one thing van Creveld may be right, that this will force the state to adopt terrorists' techniques.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2011 4:05:19 PM PDT
This comment is very clear. Missons change, so Armies also have to change not disapier.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2014 3:37:33 PM PDT
Tim Jones says:
Just because armies HAVE to do something, does not mean they will. History is replete with examples of militaries holding on to their status quo until their polity was essentially conquered.

Just read any serious criticism of US defense spending for a current example.

The key point of this book is not so much the tactics and logistics of warfare at the operational level, but WHY people fight to begin with. Not why leaders or politicians want the military to fight, but why(or why not) the individual fighters, fight. A day may come when nobody shows up at US armed forces recruiting centers, for a variety of reasons(lack of faith in steady pay?).
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