Smith, Rupert 1943–
Smith, Rupert 1943–
Born 1943. Education: Studied at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Military officer. Military service: British Army, 1962-2002, served in East and South Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Europe, and Malaysia; General Officer Commanding 1 Armoured Division, 1990-92, Assistant Chief of Defense Staff for Operations, 1992-94, Commander United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Sarajevo, 1995, general Officer Commanding in Northern Ireland, 1996-98, Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe, for NATO's Balkan operations, 1998-2001.
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; honorary doctorate from Surrey University.
The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, Allen Lane (New York, NY), 2005.
Rupert Smith is a retired general of the British Army. He first enlisted in 1962 and served in East and South Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Malaysia, and Europe, in a career that lasted over forty years. During this time he commanded an armored division in the Iraq War from 1990-92, the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Sarajevo in 1995, and was Deputy Supreme Commander of Allied Powers Europe for NATO's Balkan operations from 1998-2001. Instead of publishing his memoirs after his early retirement in 2002, he combined his personal experiences in the military with his views on what the future of military operations and combat roles should be in his first book, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. Published in 2005, The Utility of Force contends that conventional war is dead and nations looking to remain militarily competitive will need to adjust their current systems.
Reviews of the military policy book were mixed. In a Library Journal review, Robert Perret described the book as ‘an intelligent examination of the theory of modern warfare,’ written in a ‘clear, brisk, and compelling’ manner, and ‘expertly avoids … partisanship.’ Ian McIntyre, reviewing the book in the Spectator, took issue with Smith's writing, stating: ‘Smith is not a uniformly good stylist.’ Bill Latham, writing in the Military Review, commented of the key points in the book that ‘none of these ideas are new,’ but added that ‘Smith's well-reasoned arguments lend them considerable urgency.’ A contributor to the Midwest Book Review optimistically concluded that the book ‘holds much hope for the modern world."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, p. 10.
Library Journal, February 15, 2007, Robert Perret, review of The Utility of Force, p. 133.
Midwest Book Review, May, 2007, review of The Utility of Force.
Military Review, July 1, 2007, Bill Latham, review of The Utility of Force, p. 113.
NATO Review, summer, 2001, author interview, pp. 24-25.
Spectator, September 24, 2005, Ian McIntyre, review of The Utility of Force, p. 67.
Times (London, England), September 18, 2005, Robert Cooper, review of The Utility of Force.
Washington Post, January 18, 2007, author interview.
Wilson Quarterly, spring, 2007, Andrew J. Bacevich, The Utility of Force.
Carnegie Council Web site,http://www.cceia.org/ (January 24, 2007), Jeffrey D. McCausland, author interview.