Learning the Lessons of Modern War uses the study of the recent past to illuminate the future. More specifically, it examines the lessons of recent wars as a way of understanding continuity and change in the character and conduct of war.
The volume brings together contributions from a group of well-known scholars and practitioners from across the world to examine the conduct of recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, South America, and Asia. The book's first section consists of chapters that explore the value of a contemporary approach to history and reflect on the value of learning lessons from the past. Its second section focuses on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chapters on Iraq discuss the lessons of the Iraq War, the British perspective on the conflict, and the war as seen through the lens of Saddam Hussein's military. Chapters on Afghanistan discuss counterinsurgency operations during the war, Britain's experience in Afghanistan, raising and training Afghan forces, and U.S. interagency performance. The book's third section examines the lessons of wars involving Russia, Israel, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Georgia, and Colombia. It concludes by exploring overarching themes associated with the conduct of recent wars.
Containing a foreword by former National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, Learning the Lessons of Modern War is an indispensable resource for international relations and security studies scholars, policymakers, and military professionals.
Thomas G. Mahnken is Visiting Scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University. He is coeditor of Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel and The Information Revolution in Military Affairs in Asia.
"A famous old military saying suggests that 'amateurs talk about tactics, armchair generals study strategy, but professionals study logistics.' Studying lessons from modern warfare, the volume Learning the Lessons of Modern War, edited by Thomas G. Mahnken, challenges its readers to add a fourth component to this old saying, suggesting that counterinsurgency experts need to study politics."
~Ori Swed, Contemporary Sociology