Joseph R. Miller, Ph.D Student, University of Maine
John Grenier’s the First Way of War has become a highly influential text, but the work’s path was difficult because of how it contented with a popular theory. Attrition strategy and the targeting of civilians in wars like Viet Nam and World War II were previously argued to be a result of Clausewitzian strategy, but Grenier work has illustrated that these sorts of strategies are a theme that begins in colonial American history. In Russell Weigley’s highly popular The American War popular notions that attrition strategy was born in the wake of the Second World War stagnated scholarship on the subject for years. Given the technological improvements to modern warfare, it might be assumed that popular ideas do not shape the memory of contemporary events. But when a complex attack decimated an American infantry platoon in Kandahar province, it was remembered as a solitary roadside bomb. The 14 May 2013 attack claimed the lives of four soldiers and wounded six. The common story of roadside bombs overtook the eventualities and the facts got lost in powerful narration of the roadside bomb destroying U.S. vehicles. Read More.