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Author Name:    SNYDER, Jack Cornell Studies in Security Analysis series

Title:   Ideology of the Offensive : Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914. First Edition in dustjacket

Publisher:    Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1984, ISBN:0801416574 

Seller ID:   113123

SNYDER, Jack. The Ideology of the Offensive : Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914. Ithaca and London : Cornell University Press, (1984). First Edition. Pp (4),5-267,(5). Maps, Figures and Charts. Index. 8vo, orange cloth, black lettering to spine. In the Cornell Studies in Security Analysis series. "Jack Snyder's analysis of the attitudes of military planners in the years prior to the Great War offers new insight into the tragic miscalculations of that era and into their possible parallels in present-day war planning. By 1914, the European military powers had adopted offensive military strategies even though there was considerable evidence to support the notion that much greater advantage lay with defensive strategies. The author argues that organizational biases inherent in military strategists' attitudes make war more likely by encouraging offensive postures even when the motive is self-defense. Drawing on new historical evidence of the specific circumstances surrounding French, German, and Russian strategic policy, Snyder demonstrates that it is not only rational analysis that determines strategic doctrine, but also the attitudes of military planners. Snyder argues that the use of rational calculation often falls victim to the pursuit oforganizational interests such as autonomy, prestige, growth, and wealth. F urthermore, efforts to justify the preferred policy bring biases into strategists' decisionsbiases reflecting the influences of parochial interests and preconceptions, and those resulting from attempts to simplify unduly their analytical tasks. The frightening lesson here is that doctrines can be destabilizing even when weapons are not, because doctrine may be more responsive to the organizational needs of the military than to the implications ofthe prevailing weapons technology. By examining the historical failure of offensive doctrine, Jack Snyder makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the causes of war." (from the dj). Contents : Preface. 1. Military Bias and Offensive Strategy : Nationality and Bias in Strategic Analysis; Offence and Defense: A Rational Calculus; Offenslsive Bias: Motivations and Interests; Offensive Bias: The Need to Simplify; The Synthesis: Organizational Ideology; Method of Analysis; Limitations and Qualifications. 2. France: Offensive Strategy as an Institutional Defense : Plan; Explaining the Intensity of French Bias. 3. France: Du Picq, Dreyfus, and the Errors of Plan : Ardant du Picq as Military Ideologist; The Predominance of the Defensive in the 1870s; Institutional Threat and Doctrinal Response in the 1880s; Realism and Self-interest in the 1890s; Subjugation and Reassertion, 1898-1911; Grandmaison, Joffre, and the Reassertive Reaction; The Joffre Revival; The Intelligence Failure of 1914; Conclusions. 4. Germany: The Elusive Formula for Decisive Victory : Premises and Risks of the Schlieffen Plan; Explaining the General Staffs Bias. 5. Germany: The "Necessary" Is Possible : Molke's Encirclement Doctrine; Schlieffen's Strategic Doctrine; Schlieffen's Planning for a Two-front War; War Planning under the Younger Moltke; Conclusions. 6. Russia: Bureaucratic Politics and Strategic Priorities : The Overcommitted Offenses of 1914; Explaining the Overcommitment. 7. Russia: The Politics and Psychology of Overcommitment : Danilov's Defensive Plan of 1910; Alekseev's Offensive Plan of 1912; The Response to Alekseev's Plan; The Hasty Attack Strategy, 1913-1914; Creating a Third Front: August 1914; Conclusions. 8. The Determinants of Military Strategy : Determinants of Strategy: Five Patterns; Determinants of Strategy: Comparisons; Offense and the Security Dilemma. Very good in dustjacket. 50.00


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