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Moral Force in a Fractured West

The eminent British military historian Michael Howard has described Emile Simpson’s War from the Ground Up as a worthy coda to On War, Carl von Clausewitz’s nineteenth-century treatise on the objective characteristics of warfare. Like On War, Simpson’s book is dense with philosophical insight. Simpson served as an officer in the British Army, leading the Royal Gurkha Rifles into battle on three tours in southern Afghanistan. His book intersperses shards of memoir with an extended contemplation on the nature of contemporary warfare, how it has both retained some of the elemental characteristics outlined by Clausewitz some two centuries ago and…

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