War, Chaos, and History considers the implications of the emerging field of research in chaos-complexity-non-linearity for the study of war. This study examines the special dependence of military professionals on history in their shaping of doctrines, style, and attitudes in spite of the wide gap between the portrayal of war in military history and the far greater intricacy of its reality. Special foci in the analysis include: the fragility of doctrine; the chronic confounding of plans and expectations in actual operations; the congruences of chaos and creativity theoretics; effects of war on the environment; and problems of evidence and reportage. Three casesbattle cruisers, tank destroyers, and heavy fighter aircraftare presented to illustrate paradoxes, especially the gap between vision and realization, and the tension between the urge to control and the impulse to create chaos in war.
About the Author
ROGER BEAUMONT has taught history at Texas A&M since 1974. He served two tours of active duty with the army as a military police officer. A cofounder and former North American editor of Defense Analysis, Beaumont was the first historian named as a Secretary of the Navy Fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy. The most recent of his 10 books and monographs is Joint Military Operations: A Short History (Greenwood, 1993).
Table of Contents
Chaos, Complexity, and Defense Analytics
On the Military Utility of Military History
The Fragility of Doctrine
Battle Cruisers, Tank Destroyers, Heavy Fighters: Doctrines Gone Astray
The Chaotic Sense of War
The Ordering Impulse
Matching Frequencies: Complexity and Creativity
Chaos Upon Chaos: The Environmental Impact of War
Considerations and Conclusions