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The Navy in the Post-Cold War World Hardcover – Aug 1994


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About the Author

Colin S. Gray is Professor of International Politics and Director of the Center for Security Studies at the University of Hull and European Director of the National Institute for Public Policy (U.S.). He is the author of many books, including Weapons Don't Make War: Policy, Strategy, and Military Technology (Kansas, 1993) and The Leverage of Sea Power: The Strategic Advantage of Navies in War (The Free Press, 1992). In 1987 Dr. Gray received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the U. S. Navy for his contribution to the development of maritime strategy. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An valuable concept put in correct perspective 29 Feb 2000
By Datar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
1. Colin S Gary is a general strategic theorist. He is a professor of International Politics and Director of Centre for Security Studies at the University of Hull. He is the author of another book on utility of navies in war, titled `The Leverage of Sea Power: The Strategic Advantages of Navies in War' (1992). He has also authored two more books on military matters.
2. While he is supposed to have concentrated on establishing linkage between land and sea power in his last book, the book under review is primarily aimed at putting forward the reasoning that Sea Power and Land Power of a state are not competing but complementary.
3. He develops his theory in the first chapter. As the chapters unfold, utilising the historic and present scenario in the geo-politics, he brings out, in a systematic manner, the core of his argument that a nation, which utilises Sea Power in conjunction with and complementing the Land Power in correct mix of both, succeeds. He has utilised the 400 years of British History till end of Second World War to prove his point apart from other historic events, to support his argument.
4. The book brings forth the fact that the Sea Power being complementary to the Land Power is generally not understood by nations and they tend to either develop first class Land Power or first class Sea Power, while the second element in either case remains second class. Second class power can not achieve any strategic objective, be it on land or at sea.
5. A Land Power can annex and hold territory which a Sea Power can not do, however, sea power can control access to a country by sea, thereby choking her to relent in the land battle. He states that the seamen have a broader perspective and generally think over a wide spectrum, since they enjoy the freedom of the seas, while a soldier's thinking is sector or terrain oriented. While crediting seamen for better understanding of strategy, he also acknowledges that Land Power captures and controls her gains almost permanently, while due to very nature of medium, a Sea Power can control a certain area or choke point for certain amount of time and thus the gains are temporary.
6. In conclusion of the book, he strongly advocates that USA needs to evolve an integrated Land Power/Sea Power concept with due consideration to air and space forces and thus needs strong Navy. In the Post Cold War world, this, in his opinion, would be essential to achieve strategic objectives for USA.
7. The core arguments of the author that emerge from reading this book are as follows: -
(a) Sea and Land Power of a state are complementary and not competing.
(b) Sea Power alone can not win wars, but Land Power would need help of Sea Power in all cases except when enemy is land locked.
(c) A judicious use of both of them in conjunction with air and space forces is essential to achieve global strategic objective.
(d) Strong naval force (Navy) is an imperative for USA to achieve strategic objectives around the globe, despite the end of Cold War.
8. In all, a book that has propagated what was required to be understood centuries ago by the nations. Though the author has concentrated on USA, the concept the he has put forward is valid universally. Extent of applicability, however, may vary from country to country based on individual strategic perspective.
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