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Military Strategy: Theory and Practice

This course examines the theory and practice of strategy, the use of force and other instruments of power to achieve the goals of the state in the international system. We first look at the theorists of strategy and war, e.g. Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Jomini, Mahan, Corbett, Douhet, Mao and others and then considers the applicability of their ideas to conflict both past and present. Case studies in the application of strategy include the wars of the 18th century, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the American Civil War, the Wars of German Unification, the two World Wars, insurgency and other examples of “small wars,” the Cold War and its limited conflicts–Korea and Vietnam–and the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The course concludes with a look at strategies for dealing with a resurgent Russia, a rising China, and groups such as ISIS and Hezbollah, as well as strategies for emerging modes of war such as cyber.