Military Geography

  • Robert E. Harkavy
  • Stephanie G. Neuman


Until very recently, and particularly in the United States, the field of military geography has remained mostly stunted and neglected. Indeed, in reviewing the massive compilations of newspaper articles, magazine and journal articles (including particularly those from the specialized military journals produced by the war colleges and services), and full-length books on Third World warfare, one may only rarely obtain a detailed, vivid picture, a “feel,” for what is happening on the ground. Maps are not usually provided, and when they are, they are usually on a full-country or regional scale, “flat” maps devoid of attention to terrain or vegetation, providing little more than the location of cities, major rivers, and national boundaries. One obtains therefrom little sense of the relevant topography, particularly as pertains to the tactical or operational levels of warfare. The military implications of the weather and the seasons are noted only sporadically, cursorily. With much greater frequency, reporters and academic military analysts focus on weapons (and the arms trade by which they are acquired), in a manner almost ignoring their important relationship to the terrain and the weather. One gets technological determinism in a geographical vacuum. Or at least that was the case before the massive attention paid to the 1990–91 U.S. buildup in the Persian Gulf area and the actual war in 1991, which focused attention on the terrain and weather aspects of warfare in a manner not before seen.


Rugged Terrain Inclement Weather Incumbent Regime Offensive Operation Rugged Mountain 
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© Robert E. Harkavy and Stephanie G. Neuman 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Harkavy
  • Stephanie G. Neuman

There are no affiliations available

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