Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War

Edited by Jan Angstrom, Isabelle Duyvesteyn

© 2009 – Routledge

260 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415481649
pub: 2008-07-07
US Dollars$54.95
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Hardback: 9780415404570
pub: 2006-11-23
US Dollars$168.00
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About the Book

Bringing together leading contributors in the field, this new volume analyzes how victory and defeat in modern war can be understood and explained.

It does so by confronting two inter-related research problems: the nature of victory and defeat in modern war and the explanations of victory and defeat. By first questioning the extent to which the concepts of victory and defeat are meaningful to describe the outcomes of modern wars, and whether the contents of these concepts are changing, it then evaluates different theories purporting to explain the outcomes of war and the impact of variables, ranging from technology to culture. The book tackles several key questions:

  • What is the definition of victory in the ‘War on Terror’?
  • What is the meaning of victory and defeat in contemporary insurgencies, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • Are the counterstrategies that were developed in the mid-twentieth century valid in order to deal with present and future conflicts?

With case studies ranging from the Malayan Emergency to the current conflict in Iraq, Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War will be of great interest to students of war and conflict studies, security studies, military history and international relations.

Table of Contents

1. The Problem of Victory and Defeat in Modern War Part 1: The Nature of Victory and Defeat in Modern War 2. Defining Post-War Victory 3. In the Eye of the Beholder: Victory and Defeat in U.S. Military Operations 4. Victory, Counter-Insurgency and Iraq 5. The United States Perspective on Victory in a War on Terrorism Part 2: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern War 6. The Paradoxes of the Strategy of Terrorism 7. How to Lose a War on Terror: A Comparative Analysis of Counterinsurgency Successes and Failures 8. The Origins and Implications of Western Counterinsurgency Failures 9. Toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan 10. Culture and the Outcome of Military Intervention: Developing Some Hypotheses 11. Understanding Victory and Defeat: Some Conclusions

About the Editors

Bringing together leading contributors in the field, this new volume analyzes how victory and defeat in modern war can be understood and explained.

It does so by confronting two inter-related research problems: the nature of victory and defeat in modern war and the explanations of victory and defeat. By first questioning the extent to which the concepts of victory and defeat are meaningful to describe the outcomes of modern wars, and whether the contents of these concepts are changing, it then evaluates different theories purporting to explain the outcomes of war and the impact of variables, ranging from technology to culture. The book tackles several key questions:

  • What is the definition of victory in the ‘War on Terror’?
  • What is the meaning of victory and defeat in contemporary insurgencies, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • Are the counterstrategies that were developed in the mid-twentieth century valid in order to deal with present and future conflicts?

With case studies ranging from the Malayan Emergency to the current conflict in Iraq, Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War will be of great interest to students of war and conflict studies, security studies, military history and international relations.

About the Series

Contemporary Security Studies

This series focuses on new research across the spectrum of international peace and security, in an era where each year throws up multiple examples of conflicts that present new security challenges in the world around them.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS027060
HISTORY / Military / Strategy
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
POL012000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POL035000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General