Wars have played a crucial role in defining the United States and its place in the world. No one is better equipped to analyze this subject in depth than retired US Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark - decorated combat veteran, author, Rhodes Scholar, and former NATO Supreme Commander. In this course, Gen. Clark explores the full scope of America's armed conflicts, from the French and Indian War in the mid-18th century to the Global War on Terrorism in the 21st. These 24 absorbing half-hour lectures chart the remarkable growth of the United States from a colonial backwater into the most powerful nation on Earth, thanks in large part to its talent for rising to the occasion when called to war.
Drawing on his decades of study and military experience, Gen. Clark sheds light on the tactics and strategy behind such famous battles as Yorktown, New Orleans, Gettysburg, D-Day, Inchon, and Operation Desert Storm, among many others. He also recounts his own experiences in combat during the Vietnam War, which he barely survived. This presentation is the closest most listeners will get to studying war the way military officers do - with every battle serving as a textbook for possible paths to victory.
Among the many examples, you learn that the ideal time to attack is when an opposing force is separated, distracted, and disorganized due to crossing an obstacle such as a river, as happened to British Gen. Edward Braddock's troops while fording the Monongahela River during the French and Indian War. You also learn that the fall of Fort Donelson during the Civil War was due to incoherent strategy by the Confederates, combined with brilliant tactics by Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who went on to win the war for the North. In one of the last lectures, Gen. Clark gives insight into his own strategy for halting Serbian ethnic cleansing during Operation Allied Force in 1999, when he was the general in charge.
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