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Command
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Table of Contents

1. Command in the twenty-first century; 2. The division; 3. Defining command; 4. Twentieth-century operations; 5. Twentieth-century command; 6. Leadership; 7. The counter-insurgents; 8. Kandahar; 9. The march up; 10. The new headquarters; 11. Distributing command; 12. The decision point; 13. The crisis; 14. The command collective.

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A history of modern military command, from the individualist, heroic generals of the twentieth century to the highly-professionalised command teams of the twenty-first.

About the Author

Anthony King is the chair of War Studies in the Politics and International Studies Department at Warwick University. His most recent publications include The Combat Soldier (2013) and, as editor, Frontline (2015). He has acted as a mentor and adviser to the British Army and the Royal Marines for over a decade and worked as one of General Carter's special advisers in the Prism Cell in Regional Command South, Kandahar, in 2009-10.

Reviews

'A timely study of the transformation of military command from the realm of individual genius to a more collective and participatory style better suited to today's multifaceted organizations, global distances, and complex environments. King argues that twenty-first century generalship requires not just heroic leadership and tactical brilliance, but the ability to establish networks and empower subordinates in a more collaborative model tuned to the realities of the information age. A controversial argument that is highly recommended reading for military officers and defense policy makers.' Peter R. Mansoor, author of Surge: My Journey With General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War
'This book is bound to become a core text on contemporary military command. By focusing on the divisional structure Anthony King is able to chart the move from traditional individualistic and hierarchical approaches to a more professional and collectivist approach. This is done using examples of military success and failure, from Monash to Mattis, and from conventional battles to counterinsurgency.' Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King's College London
'A fascinating study of the evolution of military command over the past century, explaining how and why many of the challenges of command today are different. Highly recommended - not least for twenty-first-century generals and those who aspire to be.' John Kiszely, Retired Lieutenant General and author of Anatomy of a Campaign. The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940
'No one gives a better inside view of what goes on in a combat headquarters than Anthony King. His fieldwork in the Afghanistan War is set against the background of heroic generals in the World Wars, the growth of administrative bureaucracy in WWII, and the shift to counterinsurgency midway through the Iraq War. Throughout, King discerns a growing trend to program combat decisons in a collective of headquarters officers. Apart from the usual studies of generals' strategies and heroism, King shows how generals have actually commanded their divisions in daily action. On a new level of sociological sophistication, King shows the lifeworld of command - the mesh of individual leaders with the organization that enables and constrains them.' Randall Collins, author of Civil War Two
'... this book should be on the list of all serious students of our profession. For those who aspire to command as a general officer, it should be required reading.' William F. Mullen, III, War on the Rocks
'A very good book comparing the qualities and personality traits required of today's senior generals against those of the last century.' Andy Kay, Soldier Magazine
'A timely study of the transformation of military command from the realm of individual genius to a more collective and participatory style better suited to today's multifaceted organizations, global distances, and complex environments. King argues that twenty-first century generalship requires not just heroic leadership and tactical brilliance, but the ability to establish networks and empower subordinates in a more collaborative model tuned to the realities of the information age. A controversial argument that is highly recommended reading for military officers and defense policy makers.' Peter R. Mansoor, author of Surge: My Journey With General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War
'This book is bound to become a core text on contemporary military command. By focusing on the divisional structure Anthony King is able to chart the move from traditional individualistic and hierarchical approaches to a more professional and collectivist approach. This is done using examples of military success and failure, from Monash to Mattis, and from conventional battles to counterinsurgency.' Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King's College London
'A fascinating study of the evolution of military command over the past century, explaining how and why many of the challenges of command today are different. Highly recommended - not least for twenty-first-century generals and those who aspire to be.' John Kiszely, Retired Lieutenant General and author of Anatomy of a Campaign. The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940
'No one gives a better inside view of what goes on in a combat headquarters than Anthony King. His fieldwork in the Afghanistan War is set against the background of heroic generals in the World Wars, the growth of administrative bureaucracy in WWII, and the shift to counterinsurgency midway through the Iraq War. Throughout, King discerns a growing trend to program combat decisons in a collective of headquarters officers. Apart from the usual studies of generals' strategies and heroism, King shows how generals have actually commanded their divisions in daily action. On a new level of sociological sophistication, King shows the lifeworld of command - the mesh of individual leaders with the organization that enables and constrains them.' Randall Collins, author of Civil War Two
'... this book should be on the list of all serious students of our profession. For those who aspire to command as a general officer, it should be required reading.' William F. Mullen, III, War on the Rocks
'A very good book comparing the qualities and personality traits required of today's senior generals against those of the last century.' Andy Kay, Soldier Magazine

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