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The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the…
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The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (urspr publ 2007; utgåvan 2019)

av Rupert Smith (Autor)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
361752,139 (3.86)10
Why do we use military force to solve our political problems? And why do our forces win the military battles but this fails to solve those problems? It is because the force used lacks utility. From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechneya, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady stream of military interventions that have not delivered on their promise for peace, or even political resolution. The Utility of Force explains this anomaly at the heart of our current international system. Reaching back to Napoleon and ahead to our future, this book fundamentally changes the way to understand war.… (mer)
Medlem:SamVO
Titel:The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World
Författare:Rupert Smith (Autor)
Info:Penguin (2019), 480 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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The utility of force : the art of war in the modern world av Rupert Smith (2007)

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    Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-first Century av Philip Bobbitt (davidt8)
    davidt8: Bobbitt covers some of the same topics as General Rupert Smith, but from a different perspective. Read both!
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Possibly the best book currently available on the limits of modern warfare to 'impose your will upon the enemy'. Written by a veteran of our modern conflicts, General Smith lays out his evidence and experience to support his conclusions; that military might alone is insufficient to deal with 'war among the people'. ( )
  BruceCoulson | Jan 8, 2014 |
Professor Mary Kaldor of LSE has chosen to discuss Rupert Smith’s The Utility of Force on FiveBooks as one of the top five on her subject - War , saying that:



“… This book is really the transition from Clausewitz and Walzer to today. He explains that the era of industrial war, of Clausewitzian war, is over, that war is not fought by soldiers against other soldiers any more...There is no distinction any more between combatant and non-combatant – war is amongst the people, against the people. Clausewitzian war reached its apex in World War II. …”



The full interview is available here: http://five-books.com/interviews/mary-kaldor ( )
  FiveBooks | Mar 15, 2010 |
With the invention of the nuclear bomb, industrial warfare as it was known came to an end. But the thinking behind the use of military force remained mired in conceptions of industrial warfare. Today, General Rupert Smith compellingly argues, nations need to be concerned much more with what he calls 'war amongst the people'. The Evening Standard's blurb on the front cover compares Smith to Clausewitz and Sun Tsu, and to those you can add an element of Machiavelli as well. In war amongst the people the relationship between oneself and the people and one's enemies and the people are crucial. The prince must tread carefully and depend much more on intelligence than bombs. ( )
  fyoder | Sep 7, 2009 |
Generals aren't selected for their literary abilities, which is probably a good thing. Nevertheless, Sir Rupert presents his case in a clear, straightforward way, well-supported by historical evidence. Although he warns us in the introduction that we may wish to skip the more technical chapters, this is a very approachable book for the general reader.

On the other hand, without direct experience of the way modern armed forces are organised and the operations they carry out, it's hard to assess how radical his arguments really are. He argues, not so much that modern armies are still preparing for the last war, but rather that they are preparing for a type of war that can never take place in a world where atomic weapons exist. The "little wars", conflicts in which the armed forces of industrial nations are opposed by guerrillas or terrorists, which Smith designates as "war amongst the people", have become the main raison d'être of modern armies, but are still (he argues) seen as a secondary part of their work.

To me, most of the conclusions he comes to and advice he gives his successors sound like basic common sense: before sending in troops, we should be sure we know what we want to achieve politically, decide whether and how armed force can contribute to that aim, and set up coordinated planning and command structures that allow the military operation to work in concert with diplomatic, economic, humanitarian and other operations towards that goal. Surely these are desiderata that any political leader contemplating armed intervention would attempt to achieve, even if they aren't always possible when there is strong pressure to "do something".

Given recent history, armed intervention clearly isn't something that industrialised nations do particularly well at present, whilst those on whom we try to impose our ideas have evolved rather successful tactics for winning the hearts and minds of those they fight amongst, and in many cases also manage to undermine support for the intervention among the people whose nations have contributed troops. If books like Smith's can help our leaders rethink the way they go about launching such interventions, so much the better. But I'm not holding my breath... ( )
1 rösta thorold | Apr 11, 2008 |
General Rupert Smith's explanation of what modern warfare is and more importantly, what it can (and can't) do for a nation, is a very well documented text illustrating a very old problem. "The Utility of Force" tells us that war planners are trying to 'fight the last war' and provides countless examples to illustrate his point.

Smith shows us that we live in an era without battlefields. We live in an era of 'war among the people.' Tank battles between opposing armies are less likely to determine the course of a campaign than anti-insurgency efforts, political manuvering, and dealings with non-state entities.

Iraq (and our problems there) are obviously the impetus for this book and the reason why it's widely read by people outside of military circles. Unfortunately, it illuminates more failings than successes.

Before you listen to the talking heads on Fox, CNN, or MSNBC, read this book. It will give you a framework within which to evaluate the baseless opinions bandied about the airwaves.

The book is rather dense and if your history is a bit foggy, don't be afraid to pull up wikipedia to fill in some gaps.

But don't let that scare you away. ( )
2 rösta DCArchitect | Aug 14, 2007 |
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Why do we use military force to solve our political problems? And why do our forces win the military battles but this fails to solve those problems? It is because the force used lacks utility. From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechneya, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady stream of military interventions that have not delivered on their promise for peace, or even political resolution. The Utility of Force explains this anomaly at the heart of our current international system. Reaching back to Napoleon and ahead to our future, this book fundamentally changes the way to understand war.

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