Irregular Enemies and the Essence of Strategy: Can the American Way of War Adapt? [open pdf - 485KB]
"At present and probably for some years to come, America's enemies are of an irregular character. These irregular enemies necessarily wage war in modes that are largely unconventional. In this monograph, Dr. Colin S. Gray considers irregular warfare in the light of the general theory of strategy and finds that that theory is fully adequate to explain the phenomenon. Rather less adequate, Dr. Gray suggests, is the traditional American way of war. The monograph offers a detailed comparison between the character of irregular warfare, insurgency in particular, and the principal enduring features of 'the American way.' It concludes that there is a serious mismatch between that "way" and the kind of behavior that is most effective in countering irregular foes. Dr. Gray poses the question, Can the American way of war adapt to a strategic threat context dominated by irregular enemies? He suggests that the answer is 'perhaps, but only with difficulty.'"
Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/