History of Strategic Thought (DIP 600)
Dr. Robert M. Farley
Office: Patterson 467
Office Hours: Tuesday, 1-3pm
Office Telephone: 859-257-4668
In this course we will study several of the “great books” of
military strategy and doctrine. While
most of these works come from Europe, we will also read selections from
This course will be conducted as a graduate seminar, with minimal lectures. I expect everyone to attend, have studied the readings, and have a familiarity with current events. Any major reputable newspaper will suffice for the latter, although I prefer the New York Times.
Grading will be based on class participation (25%), and three 7-9 page analytical papers (25% each).
Each of the three 7-9 page analytical papers must be typed and double-spaced. Please do not exceed the page limit. Although specific topic is up to you, one paper should have a regional focus, while the other should concentrate on a particular nation-state. The papers need not hold to any particular format (policy oriented memo, for example), but should be internally consistent in focus. Additional research is welcome, and may be necessary for the adequate presentation of some topics. One paper is due on the week of your presentation (see below), one on the final day of the course, and one at any time during the course other than those two dates.
You will be required to make an oral presentation and defense of one analytical paper during class. You must indicate to me a preference for which week to present by the second week of the course, such that I can stagger presentations. The presentation should last about fifteen minutes, and will be followed by a fifteen minute question and answer period. The presentation will make up 50% of your participation grade, or 12.5% of the total grade.
The papers will be evaluated on both content and presentation. Information must be accurate, arguments must be well thought out, and style must be compelling.
Purchase of the following books is strongly recommended. When possible, purchase the specific editions noted.
Week 1 (1/26): Sun Tzu, The Art of War (entire)
Week 2 (2/2): Thucydides, The Landmark Thucydides (selections)
Week 3 (2/9): Thucydides, The Landmark Thucydides
Week 4 (2/16): No Class
Week 5 (2/23): Hans Delbruck, Medieval Warfare (selections)
Felix Gilbert, Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War
Week 6 (3/2): John Kelsay, Arguing the Just War in Islam (entire)
Week 7 (3/9): Carl von Clausewitz, On War (selections)
Peter Paret, Clausewitz
Week 8 (3/23): Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783 (selections)
Chapters 1, 9-11, 14
Philip Crowl, Mahan: The Naval Historian
Week 9 (3/30): TE Lawrence, Revolt in the Desert (entire)
Douglas Porch, Bugeaud, Gallieni, Lyautey: The Development of French Colonial Warfare
Week 10 (4/6): E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis (entire)
David MacIsaac, From the Central Blue: The Air Power Theorists
Week 11 (4/13): Marc Trachtenberg, History and Strategy (entire)
Week 12 (4/20): People’s War People’s Army, Vo Nguyen Giap (entire)
John Shy and Thomas W. Collier, Revolutionary War
Week 13 (4/27): Andrew Bacevich, The End of American Exceptionalism (entire)