I’ve been taking the time to catch up on some reading on the topic of strategy after hearing a number of prominent bloggers bemoan the lack of strategic planning and theory, especially in the 21st Century, and in recent American history in particular. I’d offer that America’s seemingly unlimited military resources have contributed to sloppy strategic thinking, if we’re even thinking in that realm at all.
For a while, I’ve been heavily engaged in Piers Macksey’s War for America, which delves into the strategic challenges facing Britain during the Revolutionary War. I’d argue that it has some significant parallels for the United States, as it fights two expensive counterinsurgency campaigns abroad, with threats still lurking about from much larger powers. I’m also reading Edward Luttwak’s Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire. Strangely enough, after the first two chapters, it seems to be less about strategy than it is about operational and tactical theory, though I think grand strategy will be explored in full later in the book. I’m also keenly cautious about the traps of “orientalism”, after reading Patrick Porter’s latest book.
For specific posts on the lack of strategic thinking in America, see Ink Spots, Kings of War, Armchair Generalist, Andrew Krepnevich, edit: Armchair Generalist again. For blogs dedicated to strategy, see Adam Elkus’ Rethinking Security and Red Team Journal, as well as Thinking Strategically, and Offshore Balancer.