The Shield of Achilles
The Shield of Achilles

The Shield of Achilles

There have been many studies of the development of warfare, even more of the history of international relations, while those on international and constitutional law are literally innumerable. (Location 228)

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So as the development of guns had destroyed the old feudal order, and the development of railways the old dynastic order, now the development of computers has destroyed the nation-state. (Location 306)

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This is no longer true, owing to advances in international telecommunications, rapid computation, and weapons of mass destruction. (Location 326)

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Rather it is principally concerned with the relationship between strategy and the legal order as this relationship has shaped and transformed the modern state and the society composed of these states. (Location 334)

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The Long War, like previous epochal wars, brought into being a new form of the State—the market-state. The previous form—the constitutional order of the nation-state—is now everywhere under siege. (Location 337)

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Yet all constitutions also carry within themselves the seeds of future conflict. (Location 376)

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cannot provide a similar stability in the era of the market-state to come because the source of the threats to a state are now at once too ubiquitous and too easy to disguise. (Location 386)

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The market-state offers a different covenant: it will maximize the opportunity of its people. (Location 421)

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A society of market-states, however, will be good at setting up markets. (Location 429)

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then we await a new, epochal war with state-shattering consequences. (Location 442)

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A state that privatizes most of its functions by law will inevitably defend itself by employing its own people as mercenaries—with profound strategic consequences. (Location 450)

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war is a product as well as a shaper of culture. Animals do not make war, even though they fight. No less than the market and the law courts, with which it is inextricably intertwined, war is a creative act of civilized man with important consequences for the rest of human culture, which include the festivals of peace. (Location 537)

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three ancient ideas whose interrelationship was perhaps far clearer to the ancients than (Location 588)

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it is to us, for we are inclined to treat these subjects as separate modern disciplines. (Location 588)

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A war is won, and international law changes, as at the Nuremberg trials that followed World War II and called to account those who had obeyed orders they believed to be lawful. (Location 592)

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thus does law change strategy, and this too we call history. (Location 595)

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Or history itself brings new elements into play—a famine drives migration across a continent or technological innovation provides the stirrup—and an empire falls, and with its strategic collapse die also its laws. (Location 596)

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The State exists by virtue of its purposes, and among these are a drive for survival and freedom of action, which is strategy; for authority and legitimacy, which is law; for identity, which is history. To put it differently, there is no state without strategy, law, and history, and, to complicate matters, these three are not merely interrelated elements, they are elements each composed at least partly of the others. (Location 617)

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Law cannot come into being until the state achieves a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. (Location 623)

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The reason the traditional strategic calculus no longer functions is that it depends on certain assumptions about the relationship between the State and its objectives that the end of this long conflict has cast in doubt. (Location 644)

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rather, that calculus depends upon the axiomatic requirement of the State to survive by putting its security objectives first. (Location 646)

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Instead, the parliamentary state manifests vulnerabilities that arise from a weakening of its own legitimacy. (Location 650)

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constantly undermining their own authority at home by their inability to use their influence effectively abroad. (Location 653)

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With a loosening grip on their domestic orders, these powers are ever less inclined to devote themselves to maintaining a world order. (Location 654)

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states must include in the calculus of force the need to maintain world order. (Location 657)

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the last epoch of this kind was ended by the eruption of the conflict that has just closed, leaving us so disoriented. (Location 658)

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In contrast to the prevalent view that war is the result of a decision made by an aggressor, I will assume that, as a general matter, it takes two states to go to war. (Location 661)

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state that decides it can no longer acquiesce in a deteriorating position must ask itself whether, if it chooses to resist, it will nevertheless be better off, even if it cannot ultimately prevail in the eventual conflict. (Location 669)

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For it was this peculiar combination of a willingness to make the move to war coupled with a benign nonaggression, even protectiveness, toward the other great powers that ultimately gave (Location 679)

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the Alliance victory. (Location 680)

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Neither military nor economic success alone could have ended the Cold War, because neither alone could deliver legitimacy to the winning state, or deny it to the loser. (Location 684)

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In those cases the speaker is making the mistake of comparing a future state of affairs with the present, and omitting to imagine what an alternative future state of affairs might be like (if he stayed in school and qualified for a better job; (Location 698)

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deterrence, compellance, and reassurance. (Location 724)

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No state, even one as wealthy as the United States, can afford to maintain the forces that would successfully deter all other states acting independently or in combination. (Location 753)

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If it takes two to war, then the idea of deterring wars without a specified adversary or threat is nonsense. (Location 758)

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Advances in weapons technology make it possible for the leading states of the developed world to produce weapons of mass destruction that are so deadly relative to their size and cost that they can bypass even the most sophisticated attempts at defense by attrition. (Location 762)

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Much stronger forces are required, he concluded, to reassure a nervous ally who is dependent on U.S. nuclear protection than are actually required to deter a targeted enemy from attack. (Location 783)

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I doubt, however, that it can be of much use in the absence of a threat to the Atlantic Alliance, or to any of the states who have relied upon the American nuclear umbrella. (Location 786)

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I still endorse this view, but such reassurance is now far less easy to achieve because it has largely ceased to be defined. (Location 798)

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I will argue, has an equally vital role to play in the twenty-first century as our strategies move toward a greater emphasis on defense and deception. (Location 801)

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The problem for the United States has become to identify its interests and future threats so that it can use its power to strengthen the world order that it has fought, successfully, to achieve, and that can, if properly structured and maintained, re-enforce American security to a far greater degree than the United States could possibly do alone. (Location 816)

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A failure to take seriously the new strategic environment can have costly consequences in the domestic theatre as well. (Location 836)

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Some societies may become police states in an effort to protect themselves; some may disintegrate because they cannot agree on how to protect themselves. (Location 839)

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Moreover, for all the transfer of functions to the private sector, we don’t really want the State to fade away altogether. (Location 852)

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states. In fact, however, the nation-state is relatively new—being little more than a century old—and has been preceded by other forms of the State, including forms that long antedated the Thirty Years’ War. (Location 857)

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Historians classify such epochal wars as constituting a single historical event because, despite often lengthy periods in which there is no armed conflict, the various engagements of the war never decisively settle the issues that manage to reassert themselves through conflict. (Location 910)

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WE SHOULD REGARD the conflicts now commonly called the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean and Viet Nam Wars, as well as the Bolshevik Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the Cold War as a single war because all were fought over a single set of constitutional issues that were strategically unresolved until the end of the Cold War and the Peace of Paris in 1990. (Location 949)

It was the instability of two states, Germany and Russia, within whose domestic societies these three options furiously contended. (Location 957)

the legitimacy of the constitutional order we call the nation-state depended upon its claim to better the well-being of the nation. (Location 960)

and that these policies could only be fully understood as the effort of the Prussian elite to secure its victory over domestic elements of both liberal parliamentarianism and socialist revolution by achieving a European hegemony and a world position of epic dimensions. (Location 999)

Thus one important political consequence of the war was the rise of a state embodying the ideal of socialism, bringing into the strategic and international sphere a third international ideology that arose in a domestic context. (Location 1011)

On all these issues the Provisional Government had to repudiate the wishes of the people, and by so doing, it forfeited all popular support for its authority. (Location 1030)

This widespread popularity of their program permitted the Bolsheviks to seize power, but not to hold it. (Location 1038)

And the government felt itself forced to recognize the right of minority ethnic groups to state status, and proposed various decentralizing industrial measures “despite its view that these steps could lead to the unraveling of the state.” (Location 1044)

In the end, it was the conflict among the contending constitutional options for the state that actually saved the government and strengthened the Party, allowing it to centralize and finally to triumph. (Location 1049)

Their uprising suddenly presented the possibility that the redistribution in property relations and ownership that the workers and peasants had secured during 1917 might be reversed. (Location 1054)

to continue grain requisitioning and military-style discipline in the factories. (Location 1058)

This Plan proposed massive state investment that, with increases in agricultural and industrial productivity, was to bring about a rise in living standards. (Location 1062)

As it became clear that considerable coercion would be required, some of the Soviet leadership, led by Bukharin, urged a revision of industrial goals. (Location 1064)

We have seen that the state apparatus had been decisively strengthened during the 1920s: (Location 1070)

to radically redraw the boundary between state and society (Location 1074)

A state was thus created that vigorously and wholly embodied the other option to liberal parliamentary democracy, (Location 1080)

the success of the Soviet state depended upon a ruthless state violence in order to achieve industrialization, (Location 1084)

who think that a civil war or a revolution cannot be thought of as a strategic part of a larger, international conflict, (Location 1086)

A key factor in whether these conflicts should be thought of as campaigns in a more general, epochal war lies in whether great powers intervene in them. (Location 1089)

The interest at stake was Britain’s interest in the international struggle against Bolshevism. (Location 1095)

These events cast the problem for the Peace Conference then meeting at Versailles into this form: to impose conditions on Germany such that both protofascism, the Prussian militarist state, as well as communism, were made impossible. (Location 1104)

Germany accepted responsibility for forcing the war upon the world, and underlying this was the view that the German system itself was to blame. (Location 1114)

Part of the argument was that Russia and France had wanted war: Russia for access to the Mediterranean, France to recover Alsace-Lorraine. (Location 1118)

Communists saw war as the natural outcome of arms races, driven by the industrialists who profited from competition in (and by) arms. (Location 1126)

Fascists saw war as a necessary struggle by means of which stronger states superseded the weak. (Location 1127)

identifying the processes that cause a state to succeed in historical terms and thus to have its rights and its legitimacy accepted— (Location 1130)

The Long War would be resumed until each of the competing systemic alternatives had been thoroughly and completely discredited in the eyes of its own people and the world. (Location 1132)

he was nevertheless wrong to imply that something short of a collapse of the competing systems would have given the world peace, or even an end to the outbreaks of international violence that have formed so much of the history of the Long War and thus of the twentieth century. (Location 1136)

The contested domestic order in each of these states would ultimately be controlled by that party that was able to leverage strategic and international maneuvering into domestic primacy. (Location 1158)

The relation between law and strategy, between the inner and the outer faces of the State, is maintained by history—the account given of the stewardship of the State. (Location 1161)

In a sense, all the nation-states of this era, whatever their ideology, were welfare states. (Location 1163)

that served to legitimate the ideological struggles of the three competing constitutional forms. (Location 1166)

indeed much of German political society and of the general population—did not believe that Germany had been defeated: (Location 1169)

Virtually until the Armistice there had been a general expectation of ultimate victory in Germany, and, as one historian put it, “many [Germans] saw [the Armistice] not as a defeat but as a setback which, with suitable leaders and policies, would be overcome.” (Location 1172)

Hitler achieved power in Germany by taking this task as his objective and by identifying repudiation of the Treaty with a rebirth of the German state. (Location 1187)

that once the great economic depression cast doubt on the ability of a parliamentary state to deliver stability and prosperity, Germany would opt for the fascist alternative to pursue precisely the same goals it had sought in 1914 (Location 1192)

that Hitler represented the logical outcome of nationalism, militarism, the worship of force, and the exaltation of the State. (Location 1196)

its derivation of the legitimacy of the state from its identification with the national ethnos and its interest. (Location 1200)

but intensifies and exalts, unique cultural and ethnic aspects of the society that it seeks to govern. (Location 1201)

first, that Hitler and Mussolini* were brought to power by the very parliaments they despised, and not by coups d’état, (Location 1220)

simply intimidated the ministries they faced down but because their programs and personalities were overwhelmingly popular, embodying the hopes and ideals of millions; (Location 1222)

as well as by Western historians who are loath to admit the deep appeal of fascism to democratic publics. (Location 1228)

reflected popular disenchantment with the Versailles settlement and reinforced those groups that favored direct, extralegal, anticonstitutional action. (Location 1233)

Mussolini himself, however, left the coalition and relentlessly attacked the government, recognizing that the true source of his appeal lay in his posing an alternative to parliamentarianism. (Location 1247)

Rather he threatened to do so, began mobilizing the fascist paramilitaries, and thus provoked the collapse of the government. (Location 1256)

was finally invited by the king to be prime minister on the advice of the very parliamentarians whose ability to form a government he had frustrated. (Location 1258)

also on the triangulated conflict between fascism, communism, and parliamentarianism refracted through domestic and international dimensions. (Location 1259)

When unemployment exceeded 30 percent, workers began to abandon the center parliamentary parties for the fascists and communists, the support for the latter ironically increasing the support for the former. (Location 1273)

both were brought to premierships by the calculations of other politicians who realized they needed them. (Location 1281)

Legitimacy is a constitutional idea that is sensitive to strategic events; when the Versailles system proved itself strategically vacuous, the legitimacy of the parliamentary regimes that were its constitutional progeny suffered accordingly. (Location 1284)

with the goal of expelling the Western interlopers once economic self-sufficiency was achieved. (Location 1322)

legitimating the role of the military as the voice of the nation, and showing the politicians up as petty and partisan. (Location 1331)

These two facts—the role of the protofascist Prussian constitution and the alarm at socialism— (Location 1345)

I am inclined to believe that this precise division was entirely a matter of the condition and location of armies in Europe, and that the date of the Normandy invasion—as to which the Americans actually had less leeway than any of the negotiating parties believed—determined the line of advance of Western forces of any magnitude. (Location 1354)

the Allies made two decisions that, though not explicitly connected, interacted so as to ensure that the Long War would not be ended at this stage. (Location 1398)

detailed arrangements were made for the temporary occupation of Germany according to four zones of authority, corresponding to the four great powers of the United Nations alliance (the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and the USSR). Berlin (Location 1399)

These elections were never held, and the noncommunist elements in Poland were liquidated. (Location 1405)

the Western states did not wish to ratify the subjugation and deformation of the states of Central and Eastern Europe; (Location 1419)

unless the USSR held free elections, the West would never recognize the governments that held power in these states. (Location 1422)

The immediately precipitating event for this statement was communist assistance to guerilla movements in Greece and Turkey and the continued Russian occupation of northern Iran. (Location 1432)

But the United States was not threatened with a change in its own system, as were the states that chose to resist in the various campaigns of the Long War— (Location 1445)

On the American side, war meant (1) extending nuclear deterrence to Europe and Japan; (2) restoring conventional force levels in Western Europe to credible size so that this extension of nuclear deterrence could function; (3) refraining from initiating the use of force in Europe; and (4) accepting the challenge in “hot” campaigns outside Europe. (Location 1449)

After the Soviet acquisition of nuclear weapons, however, that sort of victory was never an option because a total defeat requires a total war. (Location 1460)

What was needed was a change of heart on the part of the persons enabling the Communist system to continue. (Location 1462)

it had to deploy a force sufficient to deter attacks by the Red Army and also sufficient to prevent the development of a West German nuclear force that would otherwise be inevitably raised to defend the Federal Republic of Germany from Soviet coercion. This deterrence was impossible to accomplish with (Location 1472)

Only by developing and deploying nuclear weapons to defend American allies, rather than just the American homeland, could the United States field a force that would accomplish its strategic objectives. (Location 1475)

the United States had to find ways to refrain from actually resorting to fire in Europe, because its logistical position—six weeks across the Atlantic from delivering its full force— (Location 1488)

The USSR also had to show restraint, because a change in U.S. policy to fight an active war in Europe would, whatever the ultimate outcome, threaten cataclysmic destruction for the Soviet state. (Location 1489)

once the Soviets acquired the ability to attack the U.S. homeland. (Location 1492)

both parties tended to confine conflict to areas outside Europe. (Location 1493)

the USSR could maintain the conflict outside Europe and, it seemed for a while, even prevail in certain theatres. (Location 1494)

The Marshall Plan, which was begun as a program of reconstruction for Britain, France, and other Western European states, was soon extended to Germany. (Location 1507)

In retaliation the Russians introduced a new currency in their sector. (Location 1510)

The next day, the Russians cut off all access by road, rail, and canal between Berlin and the West. (Location 1512)

One might say that a “crisis” is the form of battle that is customary in a cold war, and that distinguishes it from a “hot” one. Engagements (Location 1516)

following a pattern that was to repeat itself in many different parts of the Third World. Beginning as a civil war, (Location 1519)

The United Nations (the international organization, not the wartime alliance) assumed responsibility for the peninsula and designated the United States and the Soviet Union to administer the south and north of Korea respectively. (Location 1531)

The U.N. Security Council—with the Russian member absent in protest over the refusal to seat the Communist Chinese representative—voted to send assistance. (Location 1540)

urgent requests to Washington from the U.S. commander for nuclear weapons support were denied and the line of defense was not stabilized until the U.N. forces had been pushed back to a latitudinal parallel roughly marking the original division of the country. (Location 1543)

Mao’s assessment of U.S. fortitude had proved to be a fateful error. Had it not been for the Korean conflict with its massive Chinese commitment of forces, China would likely have successfully seized Taiwan, (Location 1549)

In November he announced that Hungary would end its alliance with the Soviet Union and pursue a neutralist foreign policy. (Location 1561)

The successful prosecution of war depends, as Clausewitz wrote, upon the proper coordination of political leadership, armed forces, and the passions of the people. (Location 1570)

or many years the United States has been evading a peaceful settlement with Germany, putting it off to the indefinite future. The American Note shows that the U.S. Government prefers to continue adhering to this line.”14 (Location 1587)

absurd. It was in fact, as the perspective of the Long War shows, nothing of the kind, but reflected instead an acute appreciation of the fundamentally constitutional issues at stake. (Location 1597)

Building the “Berlin Wall” was a bold move by the Soviet Union and the wall’s survival was, as Khrushchev later claimed, a “great victory.” (Location 1605)

Actually, the president’s carefully worded ultimatum stated that if nuclear weapons were used against the United States from Cuba, the United States would retaliate against the USSR, a very different matter, and a position well within the parameters of the tacit U.S./Soviet rules of engagement.* (Location 1613)

This difficulty for the Soviet Union should remind us that its interests were not entirely coextensive with those of the ideological adversary against which the West struggled. (Location 1662)

the Chinese clearly saw, and what the West appeared to miss, was that Russians were anxious to rid themselves of socialist solidarity in favor of a world role within, and legitimated by, the great power system. (Location 1715)

harness popular opinion in order to bring about reform, Gorbachev called for greater democracy and pluralism. This, however, prompted the Baltic states to agitate for their independence. (Location 1724)

On December 25, 1991, the Soviet Union formally dissolved. Now all the great powers that had begun the turbulent search in 1914 for a legitimate and legitimating constitutional order to succeed the empires of the nineteenth century had reached consensus. (Location 1738)

This feeling is all the more likely if it accompanies what appears to be a moral consensus. (Location 1746)

The fascists believed in a sort of social Darwinism for states, by which the competition for survival among species was mirrored in the struggle among, and the domination of, genetically (Location 1749)

The communists took a sociological view of man, by which man could not only be wholly described according to his behavior in groups, but could be changed by manipulating the incentives of groups transcending states. (Location 1751)

“War is the continuation of politics by other means,”32 he intended to remind his readers that the destruction and human sacrifice that attends war could only be justified to the extent that war was absolutely necessary to accomplish political goals. (Location 1773)

The flip-flopping of Western decisions regarding Russia or Yugoslavia or Iraq is characteristic not so much of mystery as of changing incentives. (Location 1791)

This is not the first time that an epochal war has ended, and certainly not the first time that profound constitutional questions have been decided by strategic developments, nor that constitutional innovations—like parliamentary democracy—have driven strategic change. (Location 1796)

Roberts identified four profound changes in warfare in the period 1560–1660. (Location 1855)

To put this in other words, fire replaced shock as the decisive element on the battlefield. (Location 1857)

Second, a dramatic increase in the size of armies occurred, with the forces of several states increasing ten times between 1500 and 1700. (Location 1857)

Third, strategies changed as the possibility of decisive action in the field replaced the static and inconclusive siege tactics of the previous century. (Location 1858)

Geoffrey Parker, Roberts’s greatest student, observed a strikingly similar pattern that culminated in the establishment of the Ch’in imperial dynasty. (Location 1869)

European societies such a greatly intensified impact of war, that equally profound changes in the structure and philosophy of government came (Location 1872)

through constitutional centralization, first taking control of the recruiting, equipping, and supplying of troops (which in turn required a more extensive and accountable administrative structure); then establishing permanent standing armies; (Location 1875)

Parker traced the growth of armies to developments in fortification in the sixteenth century. (Location 1885)

enabling them to employ this technology defensively, that set the terms of the sixteenth century battlefield. (Location 1887)

Moreover, rather than seeing the creation of the modern state as the outcome of an earlier military revolution, Black concluded that the modern administrative and bureaucratic state that emerged in the early eighteenth century was the driving factor behind strategic change. (Location 1896)

In fact, he argued, the great majority of forces that fought in Europe before the end of the seventeenth century were not raised by states at all, but rather were recruited and managed by an extensive system of private entrepreneurs. (Location 1900)

For these purposes, we need not attempt to resolve many of the questions about the “military revolution.” (Location 1910)

It is undeniable that developments in strategy changed the ferocity of and resources required for war from the beginning of the sixteenth century onward, even if we do not know precisely how these demands were met. (Location 1913)

Nevertheless, these innovations forced neither military nor constitutional changes on the rest of Europe. (Location 1929)

that the nation-state has been the outcome of modern history, and that modern warfare has proceeded from loosely organized bands of mercenaries to the vast, professionalized standing armies of the present— (Location 1937)

In the following narrative, I will discuss the transformations of the State that have accompanied military revolutions. (Location 1951)

Significant events in the development of strategy will be shown to have important constitutional manifestations, and significant constitutional changes will enable and sometimes demand strategic shifts, including shifts in the deployment of technology and tactics. (Location 1957)

made possible, perhaps even required, the mobilizing nation-state capable of harnessing industry to wage war. (Location 1963)

the nobility, the clergy, burghers, and (Location 1995)

peasants—although some of these sectors were themselves organized vertically, (Location 1995)

It is to these cities that we owe the concepts and practices of trade, manufacturing, banking, and the organizations of guilds. Some cities were self-governing; some were under princely patronage. (Location 2001)