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Winning the Next War
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How and when do military innovations take place? Do they proceed differently during times of peace and times of war? In Winning the Next War, Stephen Peter Rosen argues that armies and navies are not forever doomed to "fight the last war." Rather, they are able to respond to shifts in the international strategic situation. He also discusses the changing relationship between the civilian innovator and the military bureaucrat. In peacetime, Rosen finds, innovation has been the product of analysis and the politics of military promotion, in a process that has slowly but successfully built military capabilities critical to American military success. In wartime, by contrast, innovation has been constrained by the fog of war and the urgency of combat needs. Rosen draws his principal evidence from U.S. military policy between 1905 and 1960, though he also discusses the British army's experience with the battle tank during World War I.
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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.

Reviews

"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

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