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Capsule Review

Strategy for Chaos: Revolutions in Military Affairs and the Evidence of History

In This Review

Strategy for Chaos: Revolutions in Military Affairs and the Evidence of History

Strategy for Chaos: Revolutions in Military Affairs and the Evidence of History
By Colin S. Gray
Frank Cass, 2002, 310 pp. $52.00 Purchase

The surprising turns in the character of armed conflict since the Persian Gulf War have given confidence to believers in the revolution in military affairs (RMA) -- the grand vision for the future of warfare that emerged from that war. Gray plunges into the multiple meanings and past examples of the rma concept with his customary vigor before looking at the military revolutions associated with Napoleon, World War I, and nuclear weapons. As with Gray's other books, Strategy for Chaos at times presents itself as a dense, restless, and erudite stream of consciousness, darting back and forth across centuries of military history, intermingled with smatterings of social science and chaos theory. It nonetheless repays careful reading and has a sensible message: strategic behavior is complex and has unavoidably chaotic consequences that need to be taken into account, contrary to the technology-driven progress envisaged by RMA enthusiasts.

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