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Strategy: Context and Adaptation from Archidamus to Airpower

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How does one engage in the study of strategy? Strategy: Context and Adaptation from Archidamus to Airpower, argues that strategy is not just concerned with amassing knowledge; it is also about recognizing our imperfect understanding of the environment, and respecting the complex nature of adaptation to the unforeseen or unexpected. In essence, the strongest strategists are those who commit to an education that cultivates a more holistic and adaptive way of thinking. With that thought in mind, the authors of Strategy offer ways of thinking strategically about a variety of subject matters, from classical history to cyber power. Each contributing chapter author is a current or former professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies in Montgomery, AL, widely considered the DoD’s premier school of strategy. Each earned a PhD in either history or political science. All contributors are prolific and widely respected in their fields. Practitioners in the profession of arms, perhaps more than anyone else, must think strategically about the application of power on land, at sea, and in the air, space and cyberspace. In addition to the exploration of various sub-disciplines regarding strategy’s role in the employment of power, and perhaps more importantly, Strategy illuminates different approaches to thinking about strategy, which have implications beyond the profession of arms. Therefore, the authors examine the learning and teaching of strategic concepts. The book does not provide a blueprint for how to teach or learn strategy (in fact, the authors contend that such a blueprint would be short-sighted and perhaps even dangerous). On the contrary, the work explores how one should think about the study of strategy through an appreciation of both context and uncertainty. Thus, the book not only contributes to a greater understanding of the strategic aspects of the employment of power, but also widens the aperture in recognizing different ways to explore new concepts. The authors contend that only through a willingness to explore different approaches do budding strategists make the most of their journey.

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