Edward Luttwak 101: American Writer and Military Strategist
Zatrun Published at April 03, 2024

Edward Luttwak is an American writer, historian, and strategist born on November 4, 1942. He is known for his work in grand strategy, military strategy, geographical economics, military history, and international relations. His book “Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook” brought him worldwide reputation. Luttwak’s book “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace”, published in twelve languages, is now included in the curriculum of most military schools.

Edward Luttwak’s ideas are highly popular among military leaders and strategists worldwide. As a writer who deals with grand strategic planning and political processes, he has played an important role in world politics. He has achieved many successes with his successful books, including The Economist’s “Book of the Year” award. If you want to learn more about Luttwak, you can read this article on

Edward Luttwak

Who is Edward Luttwak?

Edward Luttwak was born into a Jewish family in Arad, Romania. He grew up in Sicily and England. He received education at a boarding school in England and joined the British Army military corps. He moved to London at the age of 16 and attended a language school. Later, he studied analytical economics at the London School of Economics. In 1968, at the age of 26, he started working as a consultant for the oil industry in London.

At the same time, he published his book “Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook”, a military manual that detailed how to overthrow a government by examining coups in Africa and the Middle East. Spy fiction writer John le Carré praised the book and likened Luttwak to Machiavelli, known as the father of political science. Luttwak graduated from the London School of Economics in 1969.

Edward Luttwak served as a war volunteer in Israel in 1967 and later worked for the Israel Defence Forces. In 1972, he moved to the United States to pursue a master’s degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He completed his Ph.D. in International Relations in 1975.

His Works and Achievements

In March 1975, Edward Luttwak published an article titled “Seizing Arab Oil” under the pseudonym “Miles Ignotus” in Harper’s Magazine. In the article, he suggested that the United States Marines, supported by the 82nd Airborne Division, should attack the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.

Edward Luttwak

Although Luttwak’s article attracted a lot of attention, there was no evidence that the Ford administration was considering such an intervention. James Akins, the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia at the time, openly condemned the “invasion scenario” as a product of “sick minds.” In 2004, Luttwak told the Wall Street Journal that he had authored the article after consulting with “a few like-minded advisers and officials at the Pentagon.”

In addition to his handbook, Edward Luttwak published his book “The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire” in 1976, which attracted the attention of historians for its exploration of basic questions about the Roman army and its border defence.

In 1987, Luttwak wrote his most famous book, “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace,” which received widespread acclaim and established the author as a source of innovative ideas. Luttwak, who is fluent in English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and Romanian, is regarded as one of the most important strategic writers of the 20th century.

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