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Canadian Military Journal

War from the Ground Up: Twenty-First Century Combat as Politics

Emile Simpson
Emile Simpson
Abstract :

During the last 20 years, we have been presented with a smorgasbord of new theories about war and its recent evolution. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, numerous popular descriptors of modern war have been coined. These terms illustrate a broad range of conceptual thinking on the subject: Asymmetric Warfare, Net Centric Warfare, Cyber War, Iwar, the Three Block War, the Revolution in Military Affairs, the COIN Revolution, the Long War, the Greater War against Terror, and Fourth Generation War. All these labels in their turn have had a degree of validity and have served as important pieces in viewing the larger puzzle. One of the most perceptive and searching examinations of modern war in this tradition is found in a recent book entitled: War from the Ground Up: Twenty First Century Combat as Politics. This is an important examination with respect to, not just how armies, but how liberal societies should think about the changing nature of modern war.

War from the Ground Up was authored by Emile Simpson, a recently-retired captain in the Royal Ghurkha Rifles. Prior to writing this book, Simpson had three company level tours in Afghanistan, followed by a year-long defence fellowship at Oxford. This insightful book is an offshoot of those deployments and his academic sabbatical.

Although War from the Ground Up makes frequent references to the author’s personal experiences, it is not a memoir. Simpson writes about much broader issues. He intermeshes his own counter-insurgency experience with an oblique analysis of the “Clauswetizian paradigm,” and finds Clausewitz to be inadequate in explaining and describing war as it has recently evolved.

Keywords :
War from the Ground Up: Twenty-First Century Combat as Politics

Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2015 11:27

Last Modified : 08 Apr 2015 11:27

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Volume 14, Number 1, - 2014

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