JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

War from the Ground Up: Twenty-first-century Combat as Politics, by Emile Simpson

Maj Gen Alok Deb, SM, VSM (Retired) is Deputy Director General at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). Click here for detailed profile
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  • October 2017
    Volume: 
    11
    Issue: 
    4
    Book Review

    War from the Ground Up is not easy reading. The author’s erudition, bolstered by a wealth of detail and historical context, makes this one of the more serious studies on contemporary military conflict. Emile Simpson has attempted to arrive at an overall understanding of war in its contemporary and traditional forms by drawing on his experience of three tours as an infantry officer with the Royal Gurkha Rifles in Afghanistan. As he explores the myriad complex strands that comprise an insurgency with an analysis of examples from Afghanistan and a number of other countries, he concurrently attempts to relate these findings to other models of war, ranging from ancient times to the Clausewitzan to the hybrid wars of West Asia. He completes his study by examining whether traditional concepts and theories of war and the necessary constructs for its prosecution still find resonance in the present era.

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