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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Notes

Political Science
Course Code
John Haines

of 6
Chapter 12: The Changing Character of War
Basil Liddell Hart ! if you want peace, understand war
Marxist Leon Trotsky ! you may not be interested in war, but war is
interested in you
About 14,400 wars have occurred
Since the cold war the number of wars, number of battle deaths and
number of war-related massacres have declined sharply (relative to Cold
War period)
! North Atlantic region security community: group of states for whom
war is no longer a means to end disputes b/w each other thought they
may continue to wage wars against nations outside community
! All democracies (ok to fight just not if its another democracy)
! Democratic peace:
Pressures on national economies and societies
! Impact of globalization or post-modernity
! Lead to changes in the perception of threats
" Influenced beliefs
" Force as an instrument of policy
" Forms and functions of war
" Different types of problems ! terrorism [use of illegitimate
violence by sub-states groups to inspire fear, by attacking
civilians and/or symbolic targets], insurgencies
Evolution in the structure of IR
! Changes in the international system [a set of interrelated parts
connected to form a whole] uncommon
! Temporarily subject to hegemonic control of a single state
! Americanization
Carl von Clausewitz ! the form of war may change but the essential
nature of it doesnt
Non-state actors: in post-cold war period so now war is on more fronts
! Battle space: the era of aircraft and satellites, the traditional
battlefield has given way to the 3-d battle space
! Satellites
Tangible capacity for war has also developed
! Weapons of mass destruction
! Surplus weaponry floods global market
! Quincy Wright ! a violent contract of distinct but similar entities
! Not sufficient
! Global human insecurity
! An act of force intended to compel our opponents to fulfill our will & a
continuation of political intercourse with a mixture of other means
! Websters dictionary:
! A state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict b/w
states or nations
! Cant be assumed anymore b/c non-state groups have become
prominent actors in contemporary warfare
! War is simply any form of armed violence b/w groups of people, but its
valid to ask what sorts of goals are involved and how much violence is
! 1992 Falklands/Malvinas War
! Barely qualifies w/ definition that war is at least a 1,000 battle
! But applies with Quincy Wrights definition
! War is organized form of organized human violence
! Easy to recognize when considering state use of personnel, military
and firepower
! But what about small-scale ! terrorism?
! All involve violence but violence doesnt always involve war
! Western understanding of war ! means to an end
! Not random violence
! Clausewitz ! a form of social and political behavior
! Globalization has eroded economic, political and cultural autonomy of
! Media has a powerful influence in providing framework
! ‘War fatigue
! Paradox
! ‘Made up of acts of enmity rather than cooperation, of imposition rather
than negotiation, of summary killing rather than due process, of
destruction rather than creation’
! Army is permanent organization for the destruction of life and property
! In another sense it is clearly a profoundly social activity
! `’Military dimension of society
" Requires a society to cooperate in performing complex tasks on a large
" A state at war is also a state at peace
! The machinery of the sate derived from the organizational demands of
! Modern states evolved from intensity of renaissance
! Thirty Years War
! 1618-1648
! At the end of which Europe was entering modernity
! Modernity
! Characterized by nationalism and increasingly centralized and
bureaucratic states with rapidly rising populations
! Industrial and scientific revolutions
! Secular ideologies, messianic visions and intolerance of opposing
! Marxism and other overarching ideologies
! Warfare ! mobilization through bureaucracies, industrialized on large
! Tax burdens increase
! Rules
" International law was developed
" Quincya condition of time in which special rules permitting and
regulating violence between governments prevails’
! Strains could lead to the disintegration of the sate
" South Vietnam in 1975
" USSR in 1991
! Now were at post-modernity
! Each age has its dominant characteristics but the core is the same
! Wright! war cannot be said to be occurring when the antagonists dont
recognize each other as participants, but see the opponents as obstacles to the
achievement of certain goals
! War is an agent of historical change
! Nationalism, class conflict, human nature
! If the core of war changed it wouldnt be war anymore
! Nature vs. character of war
! Clausewitz objective (what makes all wars the same) and subjective
(what makes each war unique) nature of war
! 1991 Gulf War
" Superior technology and doctrine gave US effortless victory
! Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, William Cohen -> when a nation’s
military seizes and opportunity to transform its strategy, military
doctrine, training, education, organization, equipment, operations and
tactics to achieve decisive military results in fundamentally new ways