Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know

Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know
Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know
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The History and Modern Based Literature Analysis of Strategy Serves as a Valuable Guide to Policymakers and Students

In this monograph, the author examines why it is so difficult to devise, implement, and sustain sound strategies and grand strategies. Her analysis begins with an examination of the meaning of the term “strategy” and a history of the ways that political actors have sought to employ strategies and grand strategies to achieve their desired political aims. She examines the reasons why the logic undergirding strategy is often lacking and why challenges of implementation (including bureaucratic politics, unforeseen events, civil-military tensions, and domestic pressures) complicate and undermine desired outcomes.

Author: Dr. Tami Davis Biddle


TAMI DAVIS BIDDLE is Professor of National Security at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC), in Carlisle, PA. She was the Hoyt S. Vandenberg Professor of Aerospace Studies at the USAWC from 2011-13. Prior to that, she was the 2005-07 George C. Marshall Professor of Military Studies at the USAWC and the 2001-02 Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army’s Military History Institute. Before coming to the USAWC, she taught in the Department of History at Duke University, where she was a core faculty member of the Duke-University of North Carolina Joint Program in Military History. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Military History. Dr. Biddle’s research focus has been warfare in the 20th century, in particular the history of air warfare. She also studies and writes about military organization and leadership, civil-military relations, grand strategy, national security policy, and professional military education. Dr. Biddle’s book, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002) was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2002 and was added to the Chief of Air Staff’s Reading List, Royal Air Force. Recently, she wrote the chapter on strategic bombing for the Cambridge History of the Second World War (2015). Other publication credits include: “Leveraging Strength: The Pillars of American Grand Strategy in World War II” in Orbis, Winter 2011; “Dresden 1945: Reality, History, and Memory,” in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 72, No. 2 (April 2008); and “The Role of Military History in the Contemporary Academy,” a Society for Military History White Paper (2014), written with Robert M. Citino. Dr. Biddle has held fellowships from Harvard, the Social Science Research Council, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, and she holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University.

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This clear-headed critique, built on a broad base of literature (historical and modern; academic and policy-oriented), will serve as a valuable guide to students and policymakers alike as they seek to navigate their way through the unavoidable challenges—and inevitable twists and turns—inherent in the development and implementation of strategy.

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Defense Dept., Army, U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute
  • Biddle, Tami Davis
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  • Advancing Strategic Thought Series
  • What Students and Practitioners Need to Know
  • Grand Strategy
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