Explorations in Strategy

by Colin S. Gray


Shows how the mechanics and underlying structure of military strategy works.

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February 1998


Pages 288
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Military History/General
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This study is one of the rare contributions to the very small library of genuine strategic studies. (Strategy here covers all military activity.) The broad purpose is to show how strategy works, using air power and special operations as substantial case studies, but also addressing sea power, nuclear deterrence, and information warfare. Although this book has many interesting things to say about the future of air power, the reliability of non-nuclear deterrence, the true character of joint warfare, the utility of special warriors, and the limitations of excellence in information warfare, the primary intention is to deepen the understanding of the nature and working of strategy and strategic effect.

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionThe Challenge of StrategyOn Strategic PerformanceThe Advantages and Limitations of Sea Power: British Defense in a Joint WorldDeterrence, Still a Reliable Strategy?Strategy and Air PowerThe Advantages and Limitations of Air PowerThe United States as an Air PowerAir Power and Defense PlanningStrategy and Special OperationsThe Nature of Special OperationsThe Strategic Utility of Special Operations: Lessons of HistorySpecial Operations and Defense PlanningConclusionsStrategy and the Revolution in Military AffairsBibliographyIndex



Gray provides a useful overview of strategy in the post-Cold War period....Gray is particularly on target with regard to the need to rethink the relevance of the last 50 years of nuclear deterrence.— Choice

(Gray's) valuable book provides lots of good ammunition for contemplation, discussion, and argument and for the edification of senior commanders, staff members, political leaders, and students.—Perspectives on Political Science

Presents a plethora of strategic ideas and concepts that all senior civilian and military leaders must fully understand. Gray provides the reader with numerous checklists that help immensely to organize thoughts and ensure nothing is left to chance. If our senior civilian and military leadership do read this book, perhaps the United States can avoid repeating some of its past strategic blunders.—Marine Corps Gazette

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