Book Review: Landpower in the Long War: Projecting Force After 9/11


by Jason W. Warren, editor

Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2019. Pp. xii, 364. Diagr., notes, index. $70.00. ISBN: 081317757X

The Army and “Conventional Warfare” in an Unconventional” Era

Warren, an Army officer and author of several books, including Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675–1676, has collected eighteen essays by various specialists, military and academic and at times both, that look at American “landpower” in the changing global environment. The papers fall into five categories.

Essays groups under “The Strategic Underpinnings of U.S. Land Power” cover the application of U.S. landpower since 9/11, the evolution of American military thought since the end of the Gulf War of 1990-1991, and civil military relations.

“The Projection of U.S. Landpower” includes papers covering operations in Iraq, with a look at the Army’s lack of preparation for what it faced, as well as USMC responses to the unconventional environment.

Papers in “Other Purveyors of Landpower” cover the role of U.S. allies in the “GWOT” and how ISIS fights.

“The U.S. Army as a Landpower Institution” has papers that look at how the Stryker Brigade functioned in Iraq, headquarter operations and contractors, and the role of the National Guard in the war.

The three papers in the final section, “Landpower’s Influence on Society”, cover the Army’s role in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, cultural considerations in generating landpower for the “GWOT”, and the problem of PTSD.

An important theme that runs through the book, albeit outrightly stated, is the problem of how to be prepared for whatever may come, particularly at a time when operations pull doctrine and training in one direction, yet the many possible contingencies may each require different solutions. Recalling the Vietnam Era, when the U.S. largely ignored “conventional” operations and the defense of the Central Front in Europe, while concentrating on counter-insurgency operations in southeast Asia, a number of military thinkers have raised questions about the Army’s ability to fight a conventional enemy.

A volume in the series “AUSA Books”, Landpower in the Long War is an important read for anyone concerned with readiness and the future of the Army.


Note: Landpower in the Long War is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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