Units of Study

Here follows a daily schedule of our class meetings, discussion topics, and readings. Please note that this material is subject to change. Our course is organized into the following six parts. 

  • I. Language and Epistemology 
  • II. The Search for a Science of Strategy and War 
  • III. Strategy in the Era of Total War 
  • IV. The Globalization of Grand Strand Strategy 
  • V. Theory and Practice 
  • VI. Contemporary Challenges of Strategy

I. Language and Epistemology

The Language of International Relations: National Interest and Sovereignty 

  • Read: Viscount Castlereagh to Ambassador Rose, 28 December 1815, in Correspondence, Despatches, and Other Papers of Viscount Castlereagh, series 3, vol. 3, ed. Charles William Vane (London: John Murray, 1853), 104-108. 
  • Read: Paul Gordon Lauren, Gordon A. Craig, and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Challenges of Our Time, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Read the Introduction, pp. xii-xvi, and Chapter One, “The Emergence of Diplomacy and the Great Powers,” pp. 3-23. 
  • Read: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan [1651], ed. Marshall Missner (New York: Pearson Longman, 2008). Read chapter xiii, “Of the natural condition of mankind as concerning their felicity and misery,” pages 81-85. 

The Language of International Relations: Power and Force 

  • Read: Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, 7th ed., rev. Kenneth W. Thompson and W. David Clinton (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2005). Read chapter one, “A Realist Theory of International Politics,” pages 3-16. 

The Language of Strategic Thought: Tactics, Strategy, and Grand Strategy 

  • Read: John Baylis and James J. Wirtz, “Strategy in the Contemporary World: Strategy after 9/11,” in Strategy in the Contemporary World, 3rd ed., ed. John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Colin S. Gray (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 1-15. 
  • Read: Paul Kennedy, “Grand Strategy in War and Peace: Toward a Broader Definition,” in Grand Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Paul Kennedy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 1-7. 

II. The Search for a Science of Strategy and War

Sun Tzu 

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  • Excerpts: Sun Tzu, The Art of War [c. 512 BC], trans. Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Oxford University Press, 1963). 
  • Read: Henry Kissinger, On China (New York: Penguin, 2011); read chapter one, “The Singularity of China,” pp. 5-32, focusing especially on “Chinese Realpolitik and Sun Tzu’s Art of War,” pp. 22-32. 

Thucydides and Polybius 

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  • Excerpts: Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War [c. 400 BC], trans. Rex Warner, ed. M. I. Finley (Baltimore: Penguin, 1954). 
  • Excerpts: Polybius, The Histories [c. 146-118 BC], trans. W. R. Paton (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1922), pp. 265-365. 
  • Read: Eliot A. Cohen, “Thucydides, Really!” The American Interest (January-February 2007): 163-166. 
  • Read: Richard K. Betts, “Not with My Thucydides, You Don’t,” The American Interest (March-April 2007): 140-143. 


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  • Read: Arther Ferrill, “The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire,” in Grand Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Kennedy, 71-86. 


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  • Excerpts: Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince [c. 1513-1514], trans. Harvey C. Mansfield, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). 
  • Read: Felix Gilbert, “Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War” in Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, ed. Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), 11-31. 

Philip II and Elizabeth I 

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  • Read: J. H. Elliott, “Managing Decline: Olivares and the Grand Strategy of Imperial Spain,” in Grand Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Kennedy, 87-104. 
  • Read: R. B. Wernham, “Elizabethan War Aims and Strategy,” in Elizabethan Government and Society, ed. S. T. Bindoff, J. Hurstfield, and C. H. Williams (London: Athlone Press, 1961). 

Kant and Metternich 

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  • Read: Immanuel Kant, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch” [1795]; available online
  • Read: Henry A. Kissinger, “Responsible Statesman of International Order,” in Enno E. Kraehe, ed., The Metternich Controversy (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1971), 55-60. 
  • Read: Paul W. Schroeder, “Short-Range Opportunist,” in ibid., 61-72. 


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  • Excerpts: Carl von Clausewitz, On War [1832], ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993). 
  • Read: John Lewis Gaddis, “Living in Candlestick Park,” The Atlantic Monthly (April 1999): 65-74. 


III. Strategy in the Era of Total War

Imperial Geopolitics: Bismarck and Lord Salisbury 

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  • Read: Erich Eych, Bismarck and the German Empire (New York: George Allen and Unwin, 1950; reprint, New York: W. W. Norton, 1968). Read the excerpt from chapter three entitled, “The Foundation of the German Empire,” pages 174-186 and the excerpt from chapter four entitled, “The Congress of Berlin, 1878,” pages 243-252. 
  • Read: A. L. Kennedy, Salisbury, 1830-1903: Portrait of a Statesman (London: John Murray, 1953; reprint, New York: Kraus, 1971). Read chapter eight, “1878-1880: The Salisbury Circular and Berlin Conference,” pages 114-137. 
  • Read: Josef Joffe, “‘Bismarck’ or ‘Britain’?: Toward an American Grand Strategy after Bipolarity,” International Security 19, no. 4 (Spring 1995): 94-117.
  • Read: Sir Eyre A. Crowe, Memorandum on the Present State of British Relations with France and Germany, 1 January 1907; National Archives of the United Kingdom, FO 881/8882X. 
  • Optional: Lady Gwendolen Cecil, Life of Robert Marquis of Salisbury, vol. 2 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1922). Read chapter seven, “The Eastern Question, 1878: The Negotiation of the Settlement,” pages 225-277. 

Imperial Geopolitics: Russia on the Periphery of Power 

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  • Read: Hugh Seton-Watson, “What is Europe, Where is Europe?” Encounter 65, no. 2 (1985): 9-17. 
  • Read: William C. Fuller, Jr., Strategy and Power in Russia, 1600-1914 (New York: Free Press, 1992). Read the designated excerpts from chapters seven and eight, “From the Treaty of Paris to the Congress of Berlin, 1856-78: Russia and the New Vulnerability” and “Alliances, Squandered Opportunities, and Self-Inflicted Wounds: Russia Between Two Wars, 1878-1903.” Read the introductory pages to chapter seven (pages 265-268) and the sections entitled “Military Strategy Under Alexander II,” “Decentralized Strategy: Russia in Central Asia,” “Russian Policy in the Aftermath of German Unification,” “‘Wiped from the Earth by History’: The Strategic Conference of 1873,” “An Interim Strategy for Russia: Technologists into Magicians and the Horse Against the Machine,” and “War, Military Policy, and Strategy: Some Assessments” (pages 286-308 and 323-327). From chapter eight, read the introductory pages (pages 328-338). 
  • Read: Paul W. Schroeder, “Containment Nineteenth Century Style: How Russia was Restrained” in Systems, Stability and Statecraft: Essays on the International History of Modern Europe, ed. David Wetzel, Robert Jervis, and Jack S. Levy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 121-133. 

Democratic Geopolitics: The United States on the Periphery of Power 

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  • Read: Henry A. Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994); read chapter two, “The Hinge: Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson,” pages 29-55. 
  • Read: N. Gordon Levin, Jr., Woodrow Wilson and World Politics: America’s Response to War and Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968); read the introduction, pages 1-10. 
  • Read: Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); read the introduction and chapter one, pages 3-34. 
  • Read: Stephen A. Schuker, “The 1919 Peace Settlement: A Subaltern View,” Reviews in American History 36 (2008): 575-585. 
  • Read: John Lewis Gaddis, “Ending Tyranny: The Past and Future of an Idea,” The American Interest (September-October 2008), 6-15. 

A British Way in Warfare 

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  • Read: Sir B. H. Liddell Hart, The British Way in Warfare (London: Faber and Faber, 1932); read chapter one, “The Historical Strategy of Britain.” 
  • Read: Sir Michael Howard, “The British Way in Warfare: A Reappraisal,” Neale Lecture in English History, (London: Cape, 1975). 
  • Optional: John B. Hattendorf, “Alliance, Encirclement, and Attrition: British Grand Strategy in the War of Spanish Succession, 1702-1713,” in Grand Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Kennedy, 11-29. 

The Great War: A British Way in Warfare? 

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  • Read: Sir Michael Howard, “British Grand Strategy in World War I,” in Grand Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Kennedy, 31-41. 
  • Read: Sir Edward Grey, statement on “Great Britain and European Powers,” 3 August 1914; in The Hansard, The House of Commons debates, vol. 65, cc. 1809-1832. 
  • Read: David Lloyd George, address on British war aims, 5 January 1918; in Documents and Statements Relating to Peace Proposals and War Aims, ed. Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1919), pp. 108-115. 

The Great War: A Peace Without Victory 

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  • Read: Telegram from the U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to U.S. Ambassador to Germany James W. Gerard, 10 February 1915, in Diplomatic Correspondence Between the United States and Germany: August 1, 1914 - April 6, 1917, ed. James Brown Scott (New York: Oxford University Press, 1918), pp. 27-29. 
  • Read: Woodrow Wilson, address to the Senate on “Peace Without Victory,” 22 January 1917; 
  • Read: Woodrow Wilson, war message to Congress, April 1917 
  • Read: Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points, January 1918
  • Read: John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (London: Macmillan, 1919); read chapters 1, 2, and 3. 

The Second World War: German Visions of Victory 

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  • Read: Volker R. Berghahn, Europe in the Era of the Two World Wars: From Militarism and Genocide to Civil Society, 1900-1950 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005). Read the section within chapter 4, “Visions of a New European Order,” pages 113-129. 
  • Read: Joseph Goebbels, “The Europe of the Future” (11 September 1940), in Documents on the History of European Integration, vol. 1, Continental Plans for European Union, 1939-1945, ed.. Walter Lipgens (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1985), 73-76. 
  • Read: Hans Frohwein, “Basic Elements of a Plan for the New Europe” (7 June 1943), in ibid., 132-137. 
  • Read: Dennis E. Showalter, “Total War for Limited Objectives: An Interpretation of German Grand Strategy” in Kennedy, Grand Strategies in War and Peace, 105-123. 

The Second World War: Allied Visions of Victory 

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  • Read: Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address on “National Security, 29 December 1940. 
  • Read: Eliot A. Cohen, “Churchill and Coalition Strategy in World War II,” in Grand Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Paul Kennedy, 43-67 [chap. 4]. 
  • Read: Douglas Porch, “Arms and Alliances: French Grand Strategy and Policy in 1914 and 1940,” in Strategies in War and Peace, ed. Kennedy, 125-143. 

The Second World War: The Real Postwar World 

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  • Read: Gerhard L. Weinberg, Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Read chapter nine, “The Real Postwar World,” pages 211-233. 
  • Read: German Act of Surrender, 8 May 1945; and Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority by the Allied Powers, 5 June 1945; in Documents on Germany, 1944-1961, Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968), pp. 11-17. 


IV. The Globalization of Grand Strategy

A War Without Borders: World Communist Revolution 

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Origins of the Cold War: An Interpretation 

Origins of the Cold War: The United States 

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Origins of the Cold War: The Soviet Union 

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Evolution of Nuclear Strategy 

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The Cold War 

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Ending the Cold War 

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V. Theory and Practice

The Uses of History 

History and Practice 

History and Policymaking 


VI. Contemporary Challenges of Strategy 

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations