The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution

Author(s): Keith L. Shimko

Middle East Conflicts

Many saw the United States' decisive victory in Desert Storm (1991) as not only vindication of American defense policy since Vietnam but also confirmation of a revolution in military affairs (RMA). Just as information-age technologies were revolutionizing civilian life, the Gulf War appeared to reflect similarly profound changes in warfare. A debate has raged ever since about a contemporary RMA and its implications for American defense policy. Addressing these issues, The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution is a comprehensive study of the Iraq Wars in the context of the RMA debate. Focusing on the creation of a reconnaissance-strike complex and conceptions of parallel or nonlinear warfare, Keith L. Shimko finds a persuasive case for a contemporary RMA while recognizing its limitations as well as promise.


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'Did Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom herald a transformation in warfare? In a clearly written examination of these two wars, Shimko's answer is yes. His book advances the debate over the existence and scope of the revolution in military affairs (RMA) by giving defense planners and scholars a framework to judge the evidence themselves. Shimko outlines the key features of the revolution, speculating on what they mean for the low-intensity conflicts of today and how they might shape the high-intensity conflicts of the future. Advocates as well as skeptics of a transformation in warfare will find The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution valuable because it is the most coherent statement to date in support of the RMA.' Jasen J. Castillo, Texas A&M University 'In The Iraq Wars and America's Military Revolution, Keith Shimko offers an informed and fair assessment of the rich yet often disputatious range of views on the evolution and combat use of American military power since Vietnam. In considering the hard investment choices now facing the nation's defense leaders, he has well spotlighted both the merits and the manifest exaggerations on all sides of the debate over the relative strengths and inadequacies of America's transformed warfighting posture from the Persian Gulf War of 1991 to today's very different counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.' Benjamin Lambeth, RAND Corporation 'Keith L. Shimko has written a clear and carefully nuanced work on the emergence of the American revolution in military affairs. It should be read by all interested in current defense issues.' Williamson Murray, Ohio State University

Keith L. Shimko is Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University, where he has taught since 1989. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of international relations and security. Professor Shimko is the author of Images and Arms Control, which received the Quincy Wright Award in 1992, and three editions of International Relations: Perspectives and Controversies. He has also taught at the University of Hamburg, where he was a guest Professor in the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy in 2002-3.

1. Military revolutions and the Iraq wars; 2. From Vietnam to Iraq - the rebirth of American military power and the origins of an RMA; 3. The first Iraq War, 1991 - a revolution dawns?; 4. The Iraq interregnum, 1991-2000; 5. Afghanistan and the second Iraq War, 2001-3 - a revolution confirmed?; 6. The third Iraq War, 2003-? - a revolution denied?; Conclusion: the future of America's military revolution.

General Fields

  • : 9780521128841SECA
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : April 2010
  • : 228mm X 152mm X 15mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 956.70442373
  • : 262
  • : 2 b/w illus. 2 maps
  • : Keith L. Shimko
  • : Paperback