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FrontlineCombat and Cohesion in Twenty-First Century$
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Anthony King

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719663

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719663.001.0001

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On Cohesion

On Cohesion

(p.2) (p.3) 1 On Cohesion

Anthony King

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an introduction to the book and outlines the historical and intellectual context in which it is situated. The chapter describes how the book aims to take some account of the unique archive of evidence about combat which is currently emerging, especially from Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, the chapter claims that this volume should be read as a contribution to an emergent paradigm in military scholarship about cohesion and combat. This paradigm rejects the classical primary group thesis and instead understands combat performance in terms of training, professionalism, and drills. The chapter concludes by arguing that this paradigm has close, though often ignored, parallels with military writings from the early modern period including Machiavelli, Guibert, and du Saxe.

Keywords:   combat, cohesion, du Saxe, Guibert, Machiavelli, primary group thesis, professionalism

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