Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Understanding Modern Warfare

2nd Edition

$40.99 (X)

  • Date Published: August 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107592759

$ 40.99 (X)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Request examination copy

Instructors may request a copy of this title for examination

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Understanding Modern Warfare has established itself as the leading introduction to the issues, ideas, concepts and context necessary to understand the theory and conduct of warfare in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is an invaluable text for military professionals and students of military history. Key features include: incisive coverage of the debates surrounding contemporary and future warfare; accessible, yet sophisticated, discussion across the land, sea, and air environments; and coverage of contemporary topics such as drones, cyber warfare, and hybrid warfare. The book makes extensive use of text boxes to explain key concepts and to reference extended examples, and it includes annotated guides to further reading and key questions to promote the reader's further thinking. This second edition has been fully revised and updated to take into account new debates and recent events in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, and it has also been restructured to further improve its usefulness as a teaching tool.

    • Features content on the theory and conduct of modern warfare that is directly relevant to contemporary debates on the subject
    • Offers a balanced assessment of the different perspectives on modern warfare, including debates and controversies, in order to enhance students' appreciation of critical analysis
    • Revised and updated to take account of advances in doctrine and technology, and to address recent events and current debates
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Civilian academics typically and gratefully know next to nothing about real combat. This is why there is a yawning gap in the strategic studies literature on the non-trivial subject of actual warfare. Strategy is conveniently abstract but prospective anticipated tactical performance in the battle spaces on land, at sea, in the air, and now in cyberspaces commonly is mercifully omitted from close scholarly, but very inexpert, attention. Understanding Modern Warfare succeeds in addressing this major deficiency, and it does so even with the inclusion of first-rate analysis provided by the vital context of strategy. This book is one of the very few 'must acquire and read' items for all students of strategic studies."
    Colin S. Gray, University of Reading

    "Drones, 'transformation', and lethal advancements in technology do not mean contemporary conflict is becoming easier compared to times past; far from it, modern warfare is rife with strategic, political, cultural, and ethical complexity, indeed at all levels. With an engaging thematic approach, Understanding Modern Warfare offers conceptual clarity to what is deceptively complex and too often overlooked by scholars, military professionals, and pundits - the actual conduct of war in our time."
    William Thomas Allison, Georgia Southern University

    "This is a terrific volume! I wish it had been available for my students when I was Commandant of the National War College. Extremely well written, clear and comprehensive, it addresses both the theory and practice of modern war, including the conflicts of this century. Usefully, each chapter stands alone [and the book includes] very helpful suggestions for further reading - destined to be the standard reference on the subject."
    Michael McDevitt, Former Rear Admiral, United States Navy

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: August 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107592759
    • length: 450 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 174 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.97kg
    • contains: 43 b/w illus. 14 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Strategy:
    1. The study and theory of strategy
    2. Strategy defined
    3. The practice of strategy
    Part II. Land Warfare:
    4. Concepts of land warfare
    5. Modern land warfare
    6. Future land warfare
    Part III. Naval Warfare:
    7. Concepts of naval warfare
    8. The evolution of naval warfare
    9. Naval warfare in the twenty-first century
    Part IV. Air and Space Warfare:
    10. Concepts and characteristics of air and space warfare
    11. The evolution of air and space power
    12. Air and space power in the contemporary era:
    Part V. Irregular Warfare:
    13. Key concepts and terms of irregular warfare
    14. The historical practice of irregular warfare
    15. Current irregular warfare
    Part VI. Weapons of Mass Destruction:
    16. Weapons of mass destruction: radiological, biological, and chemical weapons
    17. Weapons of mass destruction: nuclear weapons

  • Authors

    David Jordan, King's College London
    David Jordan is a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College London, and is based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, UK. Prior to this, he was a Lecturer in the Department of Modern History at the University of Birmingham. He has been Academic Director for the air power aspects of the Advanced Command and Staff Course, Departmental Director of Teaching, and is currently the Air Warfare Historian to the Higher Command and Staff Course. He is a co-director of the RAF Centre for Air Power Studies, a member of the Chief of the Air Staff's Air Power Workshop and serves on the editorial board for the RAF's Air Power Review.

    James D. Kiras, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
    Dr James D. Kiras is an Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Joint Special Operations University, Tampa, Florida. His first book was entitled Special Operations and Strategy: From World War II to the War on Terrorism (2006). Dr Kiras has published extensively on the subjects of irregular warfare, special operations, and terrorism.

    David J. Lonsdale, University of Hull
    David J. Lonsdale is Director of the Centre for Security Studies at the University of Hull. As a lecturer in strategic studies, his main area of research is strategic theory and its application to historical and contemporary strategic settings. His publications include The Nature of War in the Information Age: Clausewitzian Future (2003), Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy (2007) and Understanding Contemporary Strategy (2012).

    Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
    Ian Speller is Senior Lecturer in Military History in the Department of History and Director of the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He also lectures at the Irish Military College and has lectured on maritime strategy and naval warfare at the UK Defence Academy and at NATO headquarters in London and Naples. He is the author of Understanding Naval Warfare (2014) and The Role of Amphibious Warfare in British Defence Policy, 1945–56 (2001), and is co-author/editor of Small Navies: Strategy and Policy for Small Navies in War and Peace (2014), Amphibious Warfare: Strategy and Tactics from Gallipoli to Iraq (2014) and The Royal Navy and Maritime Power in the Twentieth Century (2005). In addition to this, he has written numerous scholarly articles on naval history and maritime strategy.

    Christopher Tuck, King's College London
    Christopher Tuck is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Defence Studies at King's College London, and is based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, UK. Prior to this, he was a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He is the author of Understanding Land Warfare (2014) and Confrontation, Strategy, and War Termination (2013), co-author of Amphibious Warfare: Strategy and Tactics from Gallipoli to Iraq (2014), and co-editor of British Propaganda and Wars of Empire: Influencing Friend and Foe (2014). He has also published numerous articles and book chapters on topics including military innovation, war termination, counterinsurgency, and amphibious operations.

    C. Dale Walton, Lindenwood University, Missouri
    Dr C. Dale Walton is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Lindenwood University in St Charles, Missouri. He has published three books to date, including Grand Strategy and the Presidency: Foreign Policy, War and the American Role in the World (2012), Geopolitics and the Great Powers in the Twenty-First Century (2009) and The Myth of Inevitable US Defeat in Vietnam (2009).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.