Download The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society by William H. McNeill PDF

By William H. McNeill

In this really good synthesis of army, technological, and social background, William H. McNeill explores an entire millennium of human upheaval and lines the trail during which we have now arrived on the scary dilemmas that now confront us. McNeill strikes with equivalent mastery from the crossbow—banned through the Church in 1139 as too deadly for Christians to exploit opposed to one another—to the nuclear missile, from the sociological outcomes of drill within the 17th century to the emergence of the military-industrial complicated within the 20th. His valuable argument is advertisement transformation of worldwide society within the 11th century brought on army job to reply more and more to industry forces in addition to to the instructions of rulers. basically in our personal time, indicates McNeill, are command economies changing the industry keep an eye on of large-scale human attempt. The Pursuit of strength doesn't remedy the issues of the current, yet its discoveries, hypotheses, and sheer breadth of studying do supply a viewpoint on our present fears and, as McNeill hopes, "a floor for wiser action."

"No precis can do justice to McNeill's problematic, encyclopedic therapy. . . . McNeill's erudition is gorgeous, as he strikes simply from ecu to chinese language and Islamic cultures and from army and technological to socio-economic and political advancements. the result's a grand synthesis of sweeping proportions and interdisciplinary personality that tells us virtually as a lot concerning the background of butter because the historical past of weapons. . . . McNeill's better accomplishment is to remind us that each one humankind has a shared previous and, fairly with reference to its number of guns and conflict, a shared stake within the future."—Stuart Rochester, Washington put up ebook international

"Mr. McNeill's comprehensiveness and sensitivity do for the reader what Henry James acknowledged that Turgenev's dialog did for him: they recommend 'all kinds of helpful things.' This narrative of rationality utilized to irrational reasons and of ingenuity cannibalizing itself is a piece of readability, which delineates mysteries. the best of them, to my brain, is why humans have by no means discovered to cherish their very own species."—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker

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Extra info for The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society since A.D. 1000

Example text

To come to grips with a programme of reconstitution of the armed forces we need, in principle, to define clearly whether we desire to have them. This implies engaging all of society and the civilian elites. We believe the answer should be yes. After we accept this premise we need to define its purpose. This should be military rather than having a force with a military appearance performing non-military functions. Last, we need to discuss, what resources it should have and therefore how should it be organised, trained, and deployed.

Andean militaries and police are presently no match for narco-trafficking organisations operating transnationally and backed by private armies, advanced weaponry, and highly sophisticated intelligence systems. Andean security forces are further hamstrung by operational inefficiency and ineffectiveness. A November 1989 raid on the eastern Bolivian town of San Ramon, touted by the US Embassy as 'the largest counter-narcotics enforcement operation in recent times' is a case in point. The raid was compromised by a tip-off; the targeted Colombian and Bolivian traffickers fled the site over 12 hours before the operation.

Using the military to send electoral signals to the US public is not exactly the kind of national policy objective that Clausewitz and his current students have in mind. Decisive Means and Results: Can the US Military Secure National Objectives? The lack of clarity about objectives and mission makes it difficult to evaluate the drug war in terms of other principles - is this a kind of war in which the means and results can be decisive, and is military force the best way to secure these objectiyes?

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