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Weapons Don't Make War

Policy, Strategy, and Military Technology

Colin S. Gray

xii, 236 pages, 6 x 9
Modern War Studies
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-0559-0, $29.95

Book Cover Image"Weaponry does not equal strategy, argues Colin Gray, but the two are often confused, resulting in such linguistic errors as "strategic weapons." There may be an interactive relationship between policy, strategy, and weaponry but, he contends, policy and strategy always take the front seat.

An established scholar in strategic studies and longtime analyst of the U.S. defense establishment, Gray presents in Weapons Don't Make War a powerful statement on the interrelations among policymaking, strategic planning, and military technology.

He argues that policy shapes strategy and gives meaning to weapons (not vice versa): that, without clear policy guidance, the weapons acquisitions process degenerates into political arm-wrestling; that military technology is only one of the many servants of defense policy (and by no means the most important); that the "arms race" concept creates more confusion than clarity in studying international security; that the pursuit of arms control is seriously flawed by the belief that international conflict can be reduced to a problem of administration and management; that uncertainty is an essential condition of--not simply a problem for--defense policy; and that nuclear-age history confirm much of the accepted wisdom of modern strategic theory.

Always provocative and sometimes controversial, Gray provides a rare, detailed, and multi-angled examination of just how policy and weapons influence--or fail to influence--each other. His arguments in Weapons Don't Make War are not time bound; they hold regardless of the evolution of eastern Europe or of shifts in U.S. policy and strategy. They offer insight into "the basics" of national security not only in the post-Cold War era, but for all time.

"A probing discussion of some of the most important questions of the relationships between military force and foreign policy. As we move into an increasingly complex era, we will need to think clearly and creatively about these matters. Whether one agrees with Gray's conclusions, this book will clarify as well as stimulate our thinking."--Robert Jervis, author of The Meaning of Nuclear Revolution: Statecraft and the Prospect of Armageddon

"Colin Gray has established himself as a unique commentator on the current strategic scene. He is a strategic thinker who, as Clausewitz suggests, keeps himself firmly grounded in the laboratory of history. What he has to say is of real relevance to policymakers, academics, and those concerned with where American defense policy must go in the new emerging world."--Williamson Murray, author of German Military Effectiveness

"Colin Gray's voice is one of the most penetrating in contemporary strategic studies; and it is one which will help to establish the character and agenda of strategic discourse in the years ahead."--Journal of Strategic Studies

COLIN S. GRAY is chairman of the National Institute for Public Policy. He is the author of eleven other books, including War, Peace, and Victory: Strategy and Statecraft for the Next Century and Nuclear Strategy and National Style. From 1982 to 1987 he was a member of the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament, and in 1988 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Navy for his contribution to the development of the maritime strategy.

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