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Edward Nicolae Luttwak (born November 4, 1942) is an American military strategist, consultant, and historian who has published works on military strategy, history and international relations. He is chairman of the board of APFL, an aviation lessor, head of a conservation ranch in the Amazon, and active internationally as a consultant.
Luttwak was born into a Jewish family in Arad, Romania, and raised in Italy and England. After elementary school in Palermo, Sicily, he attended Carmel College and Quintin Grammar in England, where he also received basic training in the British Army, and then the London School of Economics where he graduated in analytical economics in 1964. After working in London, Paris, and Jerusalem, he moved to the United States in 1972 for graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he received a doctorate in 1975. He had held an academic post before moving to the United States, at the University of Bath. Subsequently, he only taught part-time as a research or visiting professor at Johns Hopkins and at Georgetown University in 1975. He has long been associated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
He has served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the United States Department of State, the United States Navy, United States Army, United States Air Force, and several NATO defense ministries. Working for OSD/Net Assessment, he co-developed the current maneuver-warfare concept, working for TRADOC, he introduced the "operational level of war" concept into US Army doctrine, wrote the first manual for the Joint Special Operations Agency, and co-developed the Rapid-Deployment Force concept (later US Central Command) for OSD/ISA.
Luttwak has been a frequent lecturer and consultant, and is known for his innovative policy ideas, suggesting for example that major powers' attempts to quell regional wars actually make conflicts more protracted. His book Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook has been reprinted numerous times, and translated into 18 languages. His Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace is widely used as a textbook in war colleges and universities, has also been translated in several languages, including Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese (forthcoming), and Turkish.
The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire from the First Century AD to the Third is controversial among professional historians. Luttwak is seen as an outsider and non-specialist in the field. However, his book is recognized as seminal because it raised basic questions about the Roman army and its defense of the Roman frontier. Although many professional historians argue against his views on Roman strategy, some at book length, his 1976 book has undoubtedly increased interest in the study of Roman frontiers and strategy (for a summary of his thesis and criticism: Defence-in-depth (Roman military).) Since the 1980s he has published articles on Byzantium and his book, The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire, was published in late 2009.
Luttwak is frequently cited by Italian media on political subjects. He has also co-authored two books in Italian with Susanna Creperio Verratti, (a political philosopher and journalist): Che cos’è davvero la democrazia ("What Democracy really Is"), 1996 and Il libro delle Libertà ("The Book of Liberties"), 2000.
He served on the editorial boards of Geopolitique (France), the Journal of Strategic Studies, The European Journal of International Affairs, and the Washington Quarterly. He speaks English, French, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish, among other languages.
- Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook, ISBN 0-674-17547-6. [ London 1968,frequently reprinted since] 1969; Revised Edition: (Cambridge, Mass., 1979),(London, 1979; Sydney, 1979). Foreign-language editions: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French (2 eds), German, Greek, Italian (2 eds), Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish
- A Dictionary of Modern War (London, 1971), ISBN 0-7139-0130-6, also in Spanish.
- The Strategic Balance, 1972 (New York, 1972), ISBN 0-912050-33-0.
- The Political Uses of Sea Power (Baltimore, 1974), ISBN 0-8018-1658-0. Also in a Japanese edition.
- The US – USSR Nuclear Weapons Balance (Beverly Hills, 1974), ISBN 0-8039-0096-1.
- The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire from the First Century AD to the Third (Baltimore, 1976), ISBN 0-8018-2158-4. Also in French, Hebrew, and Italian editions.
- Strategic Power: Military Capabilities and Political Utility (California, 1976), ISBN 0-8039-0659-5.
- Sea Power in the Mediterranean: Political Utility and Military Constraints (California, 1979), ISBN 0-8191-6010-5
- The Israeli Army (with Dan Horowitz) (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1983), ISBN 0-06-012723-6. Also in a Chinese edition
- The Grand Strategy of the Soviet Union (London, 1983), ISBN 0-312-34260-8. Also in French, Italian editions
- The Pentagon and the Art of War (New York, 1984), ISBN 0-671-61770-2. Also in French, Italian, Korean editions
- Strategy and History (New Jersey, 1985), ISBN 0-88738-065-4
- Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1987), ISBN 0-674-00703-4. Also in French, Chinese, German, and Italian editions.
- The Endangered American Dream: How To Stop the United States from Being a Third World Country and How To Win the Geo-Economic Struggle for Industrial Supremacy (New York, 1993), ISBN 0-671-86963-9. Also in French, Italian and Japanese editions.
- Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy (New York, 1999), ISBN 0-06-019330-1 also in French, Dutch, German, Italian,Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish editions
- Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace Rev.Enlarged Edition (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002), ISBN 978-0-674-00703-1. Also in French, Estonian, Korean, Italian, Russian and Turkish Editions.
- The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2009), ISBN 978-0-674-03519-5. Also in French, Greek, Italian, Russian and Turkish editions.
- The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2012), ISBN 978-0-674-06642-7. Also in French, Italian, Japanese (forthcoming) and Russian (forthcoming) editions
Selected Editorial Reviews 
The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy
"... entertaining and provocative.. Edward Luttwak’s The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy, [is] a bold book that flatly predicts that China won’t successfully rise as a superpower, indeed that it cannot in its current incarnation. Ian Johnson "Will the Chinese Be Supreme?" - New York Review Of Books APRIL 4, 2013
"Luttwak presents a rich, persuasive, and lucid analysis of the strategic implications of China's rise and of the anxieties it generates. China's foreign policy and military investments are raising concerns that require the sort of well-informed, precise argumentation that Luttwak delivers. Based on a long-term view of China's strategic inclinations and extensive research on current developments, this book offers medium-term predictions of the likely outcomes that the 'logic of strategy' may dictate, and thus explains with great clarity the issues at stake. Luttwak's work is a must-read for laymen and specialists alike, and an essential contribution to the political debate. - Nicola Di Cosmo (Institute For Advanced Study, Princeton )
The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third
'A fascinating book, well written and forcefully argued...Luttwak's formulations are as refreshing as they are convincing...He has done for Roman historians what they have not done for themselves.' - Z. Yavetz (New Republic)
'Luttwak has done scholarship an immense service... Every page brings detailed insights into the working of Roman military organization, in strategy and tactics.' - E. Badian (New York Review of Books)
The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire
"One of America's leading strategic minds...The traditional stereotype of the Byzantine Empire, established by Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, has undergone considerable revision of late, thanks to a renaissance of Byzantine studies, to which Edward Luttwak has now made an important contribution. Luttwak had long promised a sequel to Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire covering the Roman Empire in the East from the fourth through the fifteenth centuries, and finally it is here." - Stuart Koehl (Weekly Standard)
'Nothing Luttwak writes is uninteresting...His ventures into the military history of antiquity and the Middle Ages are unlike the work of academic historians and equally unlike the superficial surveys produced by journalists for the general public. Thanks to his polyglot reading, his many scholarly contacts and his opinionated style, he succeeds wondrously in reaching both specialists and the public...If the practicality of what he suggests is less than obvious in any given contemporary crisis, the historical analysis which has brought him to his conclusions is exciting, challenging and erudite. It is rare and refreshing to find such deep research on a great empire of the past deployed so eloquently for the guidance of the beleaguered governments of the present.' - Glen Bowersock (London Review of Books)
Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook
"Coup d'État demonstrates that scholarly analysis can be good social science and at the same time fun to read. It is nontechnical in approach and informal in style… Moreover, Edward Luttwak's familiarity with the basic concepts and problems of political science is evident throughout. He is seldom superficial and never trivial in his treatment of his subject. The result is a book of value to everyone interested in the sudden changes of government that occur so frequently in many parts of the world and also curious as to why they so often seem to result in more of the same… We can all have the satisfaction of understanding the strategies and techniques employed, and we can enjoy learning them from this lucid and witty book." - Virginia Quarterly Review
'This short book is…wicked, truthful, and entertaining. The author, after outlining a step-by-step procedure for bringing about a coup, analyzes modern (post–Second World War) coups, and points out why some succeeded and others failed.' - New Yorker
Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace
"Luttwak's...purpose is to make us think about what to all too many Americans has become the unthinkable. And here he has succeeded magnificently. For peacemakers and warmakers alike, Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace is essential reading." - Harry G. Summers, Jr. (New York Times)
"If Edward Luttwak does not always persuade, he always provokes. In this superb book, one that will become a classic of strategy, he does both...His definitions of five levels of strategy are enriching and his historical examples fascinating." - Gregory F. Treverton (Foreign Affairs)
"A tour de force, brilliant...[Luttwak] has tried to demystify matters military, renouncing its jargon and macho banalities, and making it accessible to anyone willing to read--and to think." - Leonard Bushkoff (Christian Science Monitor)
Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy
"On occasion Luttwak musters a delicious Galbraithian barb. On the whole, he writes with a measured fair-mindedness. He is fully aware of the appeals of market fundamentalism--the innovation, the excitement, the constant change. But he asks, over and over, whether the fruits, such as they are, are always worth the social price." - Washington Monthly
"Since the administrations of Reagan and Thatcher, the virtues of deregulation and privatization have become accepted wisdom in the U.S. and the U.K. Luttwak, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and the author of The Endangered American Dream, has dubbed this free market, with its accelerated rate of structural change, "turbo-capitalism." Although he shares the general opinion that deregulation, privatization and globalization have reinvigorated sleepy economies, he writes that within the shiny apple of prosperity achieved in the U.S. and Britain lurks a worm in the form of reduced real wages, greater income inequality and increased alienation among those excluded from the benefits of growth. Luttwak argues that, in the U.S., such negative consequences are balanced by a vigorous legal system and Calvinist values. He is not as sanguine about the prospects for countries where turbo-capitalism is unchecked by such legal and cultural balances. Seeing unemployment as the global problem of our time and realizing that turbo-capitalism is more likely to aggravate than alleviate it, Luttwak singles out Japan as exemplary for its full employment policy, which endorses the position that the economy exists to serve society, not the other way around. Clearly relishing his Cassandra-like role, Luttwak outlines worst-case scenarios: conservative European monetary policy (with the euro) inhibits employment opportunities; geo-economic conflicts erupt with the spread of globalization. Even if his darkest forebodings never materialize, Luttwak puts readers on notice that, at the very least, speed bumps lie along the road ahead." - Publishers Weekly
See also 
- "What the Byzantines Can Teach Us about Our National Security” by Ishmael Jones, American Thinker, March 6, 2010.
- "Why China Will Not Become the Next Global Power… But It Could” by Edward Luttwak, Infinity Journal, Fall 2011.
- Interview about Libya from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
- Interview about Soviet Union from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
- Luttwak, Edward (July 1999). "Give War a Chance". Foreign Affairs.
- Luttwak, Edward (January 2005). "Iraq: The Logic of Disengagement" (PDF). Foreign Affairs.
- Luttwak, Edward (May 2007). "The middle of nowhere". Prospect.
- Robin, Corey. "The Ex-Cons: Right-Wing Thinkers Go Left!"., an analysis containing several pages on Luttwak's life and thought.
- Interview with Edward Luttwak, Conversation with Edward Luttwak, Conversations with History, March 1987.
- Interview with Edward Luttwak, The Logic of Strategy and U.S. Foreign Policy, Conversations with History, November 2007.