Command

Command

The Politics of Military Operations from Korea to Ukraine

Summary

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 shows, it is also deeply political.

Military command has been reconstructed and revolutionized since the Second World War by nuclear warfare, small-scale guerrilla land operations and cyber interference. Freedman takes a global perspective, systematically investigating its practice and politics 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 Iraq War and Russia's wars in Chechnya and Ukraine. By highlighting the political nature of strategy, Freedman shows that military decision-making cannot be separated from civilian priorities and that commanders must now have the sensibility to navigate politics as well as warfare.

About the author

Lawrence Freedman

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, (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's Medal for Military Literature.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more