Rethinking the Nature of War

By Isabelle Duyvesteyn; Jan Angstrom | Go to book overview

Are the forms (Formen) of war new but its essence (Wesen) the same, to use Clausewitz's differentiation of the phenomenon war? 7 Or have Clausewitzian notions of war and warfare been rendered obsolete by events during the past decades? Philip Wilkinson, for example, comments that warfare 'based upon the European Westphalian state model and Clausewitzian approach to military operations has been thoroughly challenged and found wanting' when applied to modern low-intensity conflicts. 8 Does it matter, as Azar Gat points out, that Clausewitz's understanding of the nature of war was formed during an era long gone and 'reflected the earth-shattering collapse of the warfare of the ancien régime when confronted by the revolutionary and Napoleonic art of war', rather than the post Cold War world? 9 Or is Colin Gray correct in his assessment that 'Clausewitz still rules, OK'? 10 Mike Smith even claims that 'What we call low intensity conflict can be fully understood - can only be understood - within Clausewitzian parameters, which embrace the entire spectrum of war. War is war, regardless of what tactics are used'. 11 Do the 'wars by other means', for example peace-support operations or the conflicts in which the operations take place, represent something unprecedented? 12 How should we understand and conceptualise modern war? Is it still rational - as Clausewitz held - or are the wars in the developing world irrational and chaotic?

The aim of this book is to contribute to the debate on the nature of modern war and modern warfare, in particular conflicts in the developing world. In analysing modern warfare, other studies have overlooked the levels of strategy in these conflicts. The different chapters produce empirical evidence from, among others, cases in Africa, the Balkans, Algeria, Lebanon, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the United States, as well as theoretical discussions. In doing so, they - albeit from differing perspectives - take issue with the notion of 'new' wars. Although far from agreeing among themselves, the chapters collectively provide a challenge to our common understanding of the nature of modern war and modern warfare.

It is important to stress that the book does not attempt to explain the outbreak of large-scale violence. 13 Instead, the puzzle at hand is how we should understand and conceptualise modern war, especially with respect to war in the developing world. It is also important to stress that we have not tried to impose a unified conceptual framework upon the contributions. Although terminological unity may be important, so too is conceptual precision.

There are several arguments suggesting that a study such as this is important - and late in coming. First, so-called low-intensity conflict (or whatever we choose to call wars that seem to evade the traditional understanding of war as interstate and conventional) has been the predominant form of armed conflict in the international system since at least the late 1950s. Quantitative studies suggest that during the 1990s, over 90 per cent of the armed conflicts took place within states rather than between states. 14 Hence,

-2-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rethinking the Nature of War
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 247

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.