Throughout the world, countries are obliged to make great sacrifices in order to raise the vast sums of money needed to secure their defence. But both the sacrifice and the money will be wasted unless properly prepared and qualified commanders are available to direct military operations in the event of war breaking out.
Many books have been written which attempt to deduce the qualities required of contemporary generals by studying the performance of the great captains of history. By contrast, in Directing Operations, first published in 1989, Kitson works out the qualities needed by studying the tasks that would be likely to confront commanders of the day. He goes on to discuss how traditional methods of producing senior officers, which may have been suited to the needs of the massed armies of the first half of the twentieth century, should be adapted to fit the demands of the modern world.
Kitson's writings continue to be widely read and provoke strong opinions, and the ideas contained in Directing Operations remain highly relevant to the armies of all developed countries.