American Ways of War since 1945

In: International Bibliography of Military History

This essay considers the literature about an American way of war. It pays particular attention to the U.S. in the world since 1945, but also situates contemporary American warfare in its longer historical trajectory. It addresses the early Cold War era, the Vietnam War era, and the post-Cold War era as distinct periods in which different threats, or threat perceptions, shaped American strategy; yet it also shows underlying continuities in the national security ideology, heavy emphasis on technological solutions, and the search for proper operational approaches and doctrine.

  • 2

    Brian M. Linn“The American Way of War Revisited,” The Journal of Military HistoryVol. 66 No. 2 (April 2002) 501-533 and The Echo of Battle: The Army’s Way of War (Cambridge MA 2007).

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  • 10

    Richard H. Kohn“The Danger of Militarization in an Endless War on Terrorism,” in The Journal of Military HistoryVol. 73 No. 1 (January 2009) 177-208.

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  • 17

    J. Samuel Walker“Recent Literature on Truman’s Atomic Bomb Decision: A Search for Middle Ground,” Diplomatic HistoryVol. 29 No. 2 (April 2005) 311-334.

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  • 31

    David Alan Rosenberg“The Origins of Overkill: Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy, 1945-1960,” International SecurityVol. 7 No. 4 (Spring 1983) 3-71.

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  • 41

    David C. Elliot“Project Vista and Nuclear Weapons in Europe,” International SecurityVol. 11 No. 1 (Summer 1986) 163-183; Douglas Bland The Military Committee of the North Atlantic Alliance: A Study of Structure and Strategy (New York 1991); and Simon Duke and Wolfgang Krieger eds. U.S. Military Forces in Europe: The Early Years 1945-1970 (Boulder CO 1993).

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  • 105

    TrauschweizerCold War US Army195-227.

  • 106

    LinnEcho of Battle193-232.

  • 116

    Saul Bronfeld“Fighting Outnumbered: The Impact of the Yom Kippur War on the U.S. Army,” The Journal of Military HistoryVol. 71 No. 2 (April 2007) 465-498.

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  • 117

    BacevichNew American Militarism179-204.

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