This book has been derived from a doctoral thesis and contains some original thought in defining the concept of the holistic command of war. The text reads well and includes all of the supportive appendices and footnotes that the reader would expect. This form of book by a military professional is rare and highly informative, to satisfy both professionals and military enthusiasts. – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: Holistic Command of War, Wellington, Spinola and Petraeus FILE: R3314 AUTHOR: Nuno Lemos Pires PUBLISHER: Limetree Press BINDING: Soft back PRICE: £24.95 Paperback GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: command and control, multi-national forces, political interface, civilian support, multi-dimensional warfare, asymmetric warfare, insurgents, special forces, liberation movements, logistics ISBN: 979-865502137-2 PAGES: 427 pages IMAGE: B3314.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/dp8ntud6 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This book has been derived from a doctoral thesis and contains some original thought in defining the concept of the holistic command of war. The text reads well and includes all of the supportive appendices and footnotes that the reader would expect. This form of book by a military professional is rare and highly informative, to satisfy both professionals and military enthusiasts. – Most Highly Recommended The author chose three commanders, separated in time, but facing the same challenges of producing an holistic war plan and executing it. One of the challenges in using past events to advance a concept is that everything has been done in the past with variable results. It would have been possible to take other commanders back into ancient history, but three have been chosen here to cover the period of industrial revolution when warfare has become infinitely more complex. The basic challenge for commanders through history has been to keep inside the enemy's decision loop while doing everything to keep him outside your decision loop. The reader might think that Wellington is the odd man out as a commander, in the days of sail, horsepower and black powder, but he was one of the first commanders to fight in the new industrial age, if still two-dimensional warfare before the advent of submarines, aircraft and ballistic missiles. Before the industrial age, armies took their supplies with them, or relied on living off the land. Campaigns largely ignored the civilian population and commanders did not have rapid direct communication with their political masters. Many campaigns involved opposing armies, each made up largely, or completely, of single nationalities. Some will argue that Wellington was still operating in that environment and certainly naval forces of the era were, because once they sailed under orders they were soon out of communication with their admiralty, possibly for several years, and before a captain engaged an 'enemy' ship, the war might be over and the old enemy could be the new friend. However, Wellington, during the peninsula campaigns, was leading a multi-national force, including Portuguese and Spanish partisans and facing overwhelming odds with a number of well-led, well-equipped French Armies. To win, he had to keep his opponents from combining against him, keep his allies motivated and productive, and deal with his own political masters who were a relatively short distance away and in part supported by semaphore communications. Wellington was to many at the time a surprising choice to defend Portugal. He had served with distinction in India and responded well in Denmark when Britain sought, with great success, to take the Danish Fleet to a place of safety where Napoleon could not make use of the Danish warships. Against that, he was Irish and regarded as an India soldier with many more enemies than friends at Horseguards. He was also a professional soldier at a time when commissions were purchased and a coffee house fop could command a regiment. He understood how to use Light Divisions and combine new technologies. He had good political senses and he was pragmatic. He was also good at selecting capable commanders below him to allow them some autonomy within the plan he had developed. He managed to weld together all the nationalities, and political elements, with civilians who provided critical support and ensured that his soldiers were adequately supplied, so that they did not lose civilian support by raiding towns and villages for supplies. This makes him an interesting and appropriate commander for the purposes of this study. Spinola and Petraeus may have served in a different part of the industrial age but they needed to operate holistically. Their world may have been technically more complex but they still had to operate beyond the uniformed personnel under them and with the added media spotlight. A commander now has a wider and more detailed intelligence picture. The commanding general can now speak with a junior officer in the field and a junior officer can respond in audio and, frequently in live video. Databases fed by Sigint, Humint and Elint can provide intelligence of any part of the globe instantly. Politicians can also use these communications and information systems. War is total and the civilian is as much an element as the soldier. This means that a commander can source an amazingly rich seam of intelligence where sometimes the challenge can be in filtering out all but the essential kernels of knowledge. No longer are two armies to be moving on either side of woods or hills, blissfully unaware to each other's presence within weapons range. The great threat is in keeping the enemy outside your decision loop, while keeping very much inside his. Cyber warfare is now a critical element of battle and it can be a largely unseen threat. This demanding and fascinating new military world makes holistic command essential and this study makes absorbing reading.