Chapter 2

A THEORY OF THE DIFFUSION OF MILITARY POWER

WAR is a harsh teacher, Thucydides tells us. We either learn from others who are better at fighting than we are or we die. Yet there are puzzles. France knew after World War I that Germany remained economically and demographically stronger than France. Knowledge of the emergence of blitzkrieg warfare in Germany was available. In the 1930s, however, the French Army planned for the same kind of slow, methodical, defensive war that World War I had taught, even though the logic of its alliance system called for an offensive against Germany in the event of a German attack on Poland. Why? Egypt suffered a massive defeat in 1956 at the hands of the Israelis. It received massive financial and military ...

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