Black’s work is strongest when he questions conventional wisdom regarding how we see war. His approach is an excellent counter to a linear view of warfare—one that sees the evolution of warfare through various stages, culminating at some point. By focusing on the unique circumstances (societal, technological, industrial) of the period ranging from 1860-1945, Black helps us understand how and why this period’s conflicts were fought in a particular way and why their consequences were important to the world we live in today.
Often confused for one another, Revolutions in Military Affairs (RMA) are much less influential than the societal-military earthquake-inducing Military Revolutions (MR). The confusion is not simply semantic, but rather crucial as RMAs have little to no influence beyond the tactical and operational levels of war. RMAs, as Knox and Murray tell us in “Dynamics of Military Revolution,” are no “substitute for strategy.”