Posts Tagged ‘War A Short History


War: A Short History: Conclusions: Assessing War

War A Short History

The centrality of war in history emerges clearly in any discussion of particular countries or of specific centuries. A brief study written by a British author for a British publisher risks putting the premium on conflicts involving Britain, but the emphasis here has been more wide-ranging, not least with the discussion of developments in China. Such a focus serves as a reminder of the very different political and geographical environments for conflict. A stress on contrasting political environments is of particular importance because there is a tendency to emphasize regular warfare-wars between states; rather than paying due attention to conflicts within states, such as, in the case of China, the Sanfen and Taipeng Rebellions and the Chinese Civil War.
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War: A Short History: Introduction

War A Short History

We were promised the end of war with the ‘end of history’ or with the obsolescence brought about by nuclear weapons. The reality has been very different. War has been a major aspect of politics since 1990, notably, but not only, in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. As I write, the Russians are invading Georgia while NATO forces are under pressure from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the threat of hostilities remains a key feature in world developments, not least, in terms of ‘high spectrum’ weaponry, with talk of future confrontation between China and the United States, and, at ‘lower spec’, with discussion of conflicts over resources, particularly water. On top of this comes terrorism, as well as conflicts within states. A key element of the modern world, and one that threatens to be an important feature of the future, war therefore deserves re-examination. This book sets out to do so by providing a short thematic history, with references forward to present and future.
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War: A Short History: Preface

War A Short History

The opportunity to write a short history of war is particularly welcome because of the importance of the topic if we are to understand past, present and future. The major themes of the book are all pertinent today: the variety of military environments, systems and methods of warmaking, and thus the need for caution in assessing capability. Rather than assuming, in any specific period, the global effectiveness of a particular army, the theme here is the extent to which a number of effective forces co-exist as they display best practice in specific contexts. The chronological divisions used in the book are designed to focus on ‘world-scale’ issues. In Chapter 3, the West does not have the dominant role it enjoys in Chapter 5, while in Chapter 6 the West faces greater problems projecting its power irrespective of its strength.
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War: A Short History

War A Short History

By Jeremy Black




1 Until the ‘Barbarian’ Invasions

2 From the Creation of the Islamic World to the Start of European Transoceanic Expansion, 630-1490

3 The Gunpowder Empires of the Early-Modern World, 1490-1630

4 From the Mid-Seventeenth Century Crisis to the Age of Revolutions, 1630-1800

5 The World of the European Empires, 1800-1950

6 To the Present, 1950-

7 Conclusions: Assessing War

Republished by Kajian Internasional Strategis

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