Thucydides Was Right: Defining the Future Threat

Thucydides Was Right: Defining the Future Threat
Thucydides Was Right: Defining the Future Threat
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To define future threat is, in a sense, an impossible task, yet it is one that must be done. In this monograph, Dr. Colin S. Gray explains that the only sources of empirical evidence accessible to us are the past and the present. We cannot obtain understanding about the future from the future. Dr. Gray draws noticeably upon the understanding of strategic history obtainable from Thucydides' great History of the Peloponnesian War. The monograph advises prudence as the operating light for American definition of future threat, and the author believes that there are historical parallels between the time of Thucydides and our own that can help us avoid much peril. The future must always be unpredictable to us in any detail, but the many and potent continuities in history's great stream of time can serve to alert us to what may well happen in kind.

COLIN S. GRAY is Professor of International Politics and Strategic Studies at the University of Reading, England. He worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, UK, and at the Hudson Institute in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, before founding the National Institute for Public Policy, a defense-oriented think tank in the Washington, DC, area. Dr. Gray served for 5 years in the Ronald Reagan administration on the President’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament. A dual citizen of the United States and UK, he has served as an adviser to both the U.S. and British governments. His government work has included studies of nuclear strategy, arms control, maritime strategy, space strategy, and special forces. Dr. Gray has written 27 books, including: The Sheriff: America’s Defense of the New World Order (University Press of Kentucky, 2004); Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare (Weidenfeld and Nicol¬son, 2005); Strategy and History: Essays on Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2006); Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace and Strategy (Potomac Books, 2009); National Security Dilemmas: Challenges and Opportunities (Potomac Books, 2009); The Strategy Bridge: Theory for Practice (Oxford University Press, 2010); War, Peace and International Relations: An Introduction to Strategic History, 2nd Ed. (Routledge, 2011); Airpower for Stra¬tegic Effect (Air University Press, 2012); Perspectives on Strategy (Oxford University Press [OUP] 2013), which is the follow-on to Strategy Bridge. The final volume in the Strategy Bridge trilogy, entitled Strategy and Defence Planning: Meeting the Challenge of Uncertainty, was published by OUP in 2014. Dr. Gray is a graduate of the Universities of Manchester and Oxford.

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Political scientists, historians, and military strategists, and international relations specialists may be interested in this work as it pertains to the future security of our nation.

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Defense Dept., Army, Strategic Studies Institute; and Army War College
  • Gray, Colin S.
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  • Advancing Strategic Thought Series
  • Thucydides
  • Defining the Future Threat
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