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IR-505 Dimensions of Modern Strategy

Course Outline


Syed Muhammad Ali

Department of International Relations Faculty of Contemporary Studies National Defence University


This core Course is aimed at introducing the students of International Relations to the basic conceptual framework of strategy and its relationship with modern statecraft and international Politics. This will be followed by a brief exposure to selected Classical works on strategic thought, its various contemporary theoretical and practical aspects and finally understanding its various modern and evolving dimensions and also their relevance with the Classics. The students are expected to not only develop an understanding of the relationship between statecraft, national interests, policy and the diverse range of strategic means available to the state but also to be able to critically appreciate the difficult yet essential relationship between politics and various elements of power. The Students are encouraged to consult a variety of contemporary and classical texts and develop an understanding of the modern strategic issues by actively engaging in academic debates in the form of Class participation, Presentations, Group Discussions and by also writing book reviews of relevant and credible literary works on strategic affairs and issues. The Course will be structured into the following six thematic sections:

A. Strategy: Theoretical and Conceptual framework (Week 1-3)

1. Man, State and War

2. Strategic Theory and the History of warfare

3. Law, Politics and the Use of Force

4. The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace

B. Introduction and interpretation of Classics

(Week 4-5)

5. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

6. Arthasastra on War and Diplomacy by Kautilya

7. On War by Clausewitz

8. Strategy: The indirect approach by Basil Liddell Hart

9. Arms and Influence by Thomas C. Schelling

C. Conventional Strategy and Evolution of Joint-warfare

(Week 6-8)

10. Land Warfare: Theory and Practice

11. Sea Power: Theory and Practice

12. Air Power: Theory and Practice

D. Contemporary Approaches to Strategic Affairs (Week 9-12)

13. Deterrence in the Post-Cold War World

14. Arms Control and Disarmament

15. Terrorism and Irregular Warfare

16. Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice

E. Issues affecting Grand Strategy

(Week 13- 14)

17. Technology and Warfare

18. Weapons of Mass Destruction

19. Humanitarian Intervention and Peace Operations

20. Psychological Warfare

21. Space Warfare and Defence

F. Future of Strategy and Warfare

(Week 15-16)

22. A New Agenda for Security and Strategy

23. Strategic Studies and the problems of power

24. Non-Kinetic Warfare

25. Why Strategy is Difficult?

26. The Future of Strategy

Assessment Criteria:

Surprise Test/Quiz: 10 Marks Book Review + Presentation: 20 Marks Mid-Term Written Exam: 20 Marks Class Participation + Group Discussion: 10 Marks Final Exam: 90 Marks

Recommended Readings:

1. Kenneth Waltz, Man, the State, and War, Columbia University Press, New York, 1959 2. Baylis, Wirtz, Cohen, Gray, Strategy in the Contemporary World: An Introduction to

Strategic Studies, Oxford, 2002

3. Colin Gray, Modern Strategy, Oxford, 1999 4. Edited by Thomas G. Mahnken and Joseph A. Maiolo, Strategic Studies: A Reader,

Routledge, London, 2008

5. Edited by J. Boone Bartholomres, Jr., Theory of War and Strategy, 3rd Edition, US Army War

College, 2008
6. Colin Gray, War, Peace and International Relations: An Introduction to Strategic History,

Routledge, 2007
7. Problems of Modern Strategy, Vol 1, IISS, 1970 8. Colin Gray, RMAs and the Dimensions of Strategy, JFQ, Autumn/Winter 1997-98

9. John Keegan, Intelligence in War, Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda,

Hutchinson, London, 2003

10. Timothy N. Jones, Modern Military Strategy: Clausewitz, Jomini and the development of

German Theory, East Tennessee State University, 1994

11. Edited by Peter Paret, Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age,

Oxford, 1986
12. Lawrence Freedman, The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy, 2nd editon, MacMillan, 1989 13. Bernard Brodie, The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World Order, Harcourt, Brace

and Co., 1946 14. Bernard Brodie, Escalation and the Nuclear Option, Princeton, 1966
15. Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State, Random House, New York,1957 16. John Stoessinger, Why Nations go to War, 5th Edition, Services Book Club, Rawalpindi, 2003 17. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Translated by Thomas Cleary, Shambala, Boston, 2005 18. Boesche, Roger, Kautilyas Arthasastra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India, The

Journal of Military History, Vol. 67, Number 1, 2003, 9-37

19. Carl von Clausewitz, On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Peret.

Princeton University Press. 1984

20. Hans J. Morgenthau, revised by Kenneth Thompson, Politics among Nations: The Struggle

for Power and Peace, 6th edition, Vanguard, 1985

21. Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict, Harvard, 1980 22. Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence, Yale, 1967 23. Rapoport & Chammah, Prisoner's Dilemma, The University of Michigan, Michigan. 1965 24. Herman Kahn, On Escalation: Metaphors and Scenarios, Transaction Publishers, New

Jersey, 2010
25. Bert Chapman, Space Warfare and Defence, ABC Clio, Oxford, 2008