Lawrence Freedman

Command
  • Command

  • Throughout history, the concept of command - as both a way to achieve objectives and as an assertion of authority - has been essential to military action and leadership. But, as Sir Lawrence Freedman argues, it is also deeply political. Command has been reconstructed and revolutionised since the Second World War by nuclear warfare, small scale guerrilla land operations and cyber interference. Freedman here takes a global perspective, systematically investigating the practice and politics of command since 1945 through a wide range of conflicts from the French Colonial Wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bangladesh Liberation War to North Vietnam's Easter Offensive of 1972, the Falklands War, the First Chechen War and the Iraq War. By highlighting the political nature of strategy, Freedman shows that military decision-making cannot be separated from civilian life and that commanders must now have the sensibility to navigate politics as well as warfare.

Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London. He was the official historian of the Falklands Campaign, and a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War ('the Chilcot Inquiry'). He has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the Cold War, and comments regularly on contemporary security issues. He is the author of The Future of War, Strategy, which was a Financial Times and Economist book of the year and A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East, which won the 2009 Lionel Gelber Prize and Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature.

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