Piercing the Fog of War: Recognizing Change on the Battlefield: Lessons from Military History, 216 BC Through Today

Overview


If its true that generals tend to fight the last war, how do we meet the military challenge of the new? It is this question, which confronts us at every turn of history, that Brian Steed takes up in Piercing the Fog of War. From the ancient surprises of Cannae and Yarmouk to the earthshaking upsets of Trenton and Little Big Horn to the recent shocks of Gozny and suicide terrorists, aberrational events are mileposts that mark changes in the paradigm of armed conflict to the detriment of the apparently stronger ...

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Piercing the Fog of War: Recognizing Change on the Battlefield: Lessons from Military History, 216 BC Through Today

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Overview


If its true that generals tend to fight the last war, how do we meet the military challenge of the new? It is this question, which confronts us at every turn of history, that Brian Steed takes up in Piercing the Fog of War. From the ancient surprises of Cannae and Yarmouk to the earthshaking upsets of Trenton and Little Big Horn to the recent shocks of Gozny and suicide terrorists, aberrational events are mileposts that mark changes in the paradigm of armed conflict to the detriment of the apparently stronger military through the ages. Drawing upon twenty years of studying, teaching, and applying military history, Steed develops an understanding of how the nature of conflict in all its aspects--from the economic to the military--is changing so rapidly and presenting its proponents with so many unique, and uniquely demanding, events. Through eight case studies from the classical to the modern era he explores strategies for successfully addressing unexpected circumstances in a changing world. His book will become a primer for conflict resolution and adaptation in an ever more uncertain world . . . and a necessary text for survival.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Bookviews
“Drawing on twenty years of studying, teaching, and applying military history, author Major Brian Steed, has written Piercing the Fog of War to develop an understanding of how the nature of conflict in all its aspects is changing so rapidly that it poses new demands on today’s military. The Iraq War is a perfect example of how the U.S. military learned how to combat an insurgency in which the enemy used improvised explosive devices, snipers, and suicide bombers as opposed to war between massed forces. Using eight case studies from the classical to the modern era, strategies for dealing with unexpected circumstances in a swiftly changing world are addressed. That makes this book valuable to anyone with management responsibilities, as well as those whose interest is the art of war.”

Military Heritage
“U.S. Army officer, military historian, and strategist Brian Steed has put together a unique look at battlefields throughout history to help future commanders learn from their mistakes.”

Soldier (UK)
“This well-researched title is a detailed academic analysis of the complexities of warfare. Examining a wide historical range of battles and engagements, it represents a useful reference tool…The best part, albeit rushed, is the battle for Grozny in 1994/1995, which highlights the total asymmetry of both protagonists.”

Library Journal, June 1, 2009
“We don’t want to fight the last war again, so how do we meet the challenge of the new war? What is the balance between experience and innovation? Steed, a U.S. Army officer who has taught battlefield tactics, offers a template to recognize game-changing innovation and provides historical examples in which a commander altered the battlefield to defeat a superior, complacent enemy, e.g., at Little Bighorn and more recently at Grozny (1996). For serious readers in military history.”

Book News Inc.
“Steed is a US Army officer, noted author and lecturer on battlefield tactics and military history, and he has written this account of seven historic "aberrational" battles that helped to redefine modern warfare. Written for general audiences and fans of military strategy, this book examines such legendary battles such as Little Bighorn (1876), the Horns of Hattin (1187) and Trenton (1776) to illustrate novel and effective strategies that are the very definition of "thinking outside of the box." The author presents the geographic setting, units involved, key leaders, tactical chronology and an overall analysis of the battle and what makes it unique.”

Library Journal

We don't want to fight the last war again, so how do we meet the challenge of the new war? What is the balance between experience and innovation? Steed, a U.S. Army officer who has taught battlefield tactics, offers a template to recognize game-changing innovation and provides historical examples in which a commander altered the battlefield to defeat a superior, complacent enemy, e.g., at Little Bighorn and more recently at Grozny (1996). For serious readers in military history.


—Edwin B. Burgess
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760335239
  • Publisher: MBI Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Major Brian L. Steed is a U.S. Army officer. He joined the Utah Army National Guard while attending Brigham Young University and was commissioned in the U.S. Army upon graduation in 1992. Steed has taught battlefield tactics and military history on the college campus and in U.S. Army classrooms and training grounds. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including most of the Arabic-speaking world.

Steed ‘s writing credits include Armed Conflict: The Lessons of Modern War (Presidio Press, 2003), a historical analysis of present and future warfare. He has had several articles published in professional journals dealing with planning, preparing, and conducting combat operations. He has also written numerous book reviews on military history. Steed’s current assignment is as an exchange officer in Jordan where he serves as a Deputy Battalion Commander in the Jordanian Armed Forces. He advises and consults with various agencies of the United States government in his current position and is a Middle East specialist for the U.S. Army.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Maps viii

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1

1 The Nature of Change and The Wizard of Oz 17

2 Building the Schoolhouse: Principles of Conflict 31

3 Case Study: Empathy and the Suicide Terrorist 47

4 Case Study: The Battle of Little Bighorn 69

5 Case Study: The Battle of Cannae 109

6 Case Study: The Battle of Yarmouk 133

7 Case Study: The Battle of the Horns of Hattin 159

8 Case Study: The Battle of Trenton 197

9 Case Study: The Battle of Grozny 221

10 Levantine Nonstate Conflict 241

11 Answers and Conclusions 257

Notes 279

Selected Bibliography 283

Index 291

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