Sir John Winthrop Hackett
Sir John reflects on the nature of war and the role of the military profession in this lecture, suggesting that Clausewitz's view of total war must today be revised. He anticipates that the role of the military must become that of containing violence in the sense of Janowitz's constabulary conception and that total war must be avoided. He calls for talented minds to handle tomorrow's military challenges and emphasizes the positive personal rewards of competent military service. He perceives the military and civilian society as moving closer together but predicts that the military calling will always maintain its unique professional character because of its special function and its unlimited liability.
After World War I, in England, we did better. A conscious effort was made in the 1930s to build up a more professional and modern army and there was progress. A more professional outlook developed, with better pay and brighter promotion prospects leading to harder work and higher efficiency. The British commanders of the second German war were, in consequence, generally much better at their jobs than those in the first, even if they were not better, braver, finer men, which on the whole they were possibly not. Most knew their business, not as of yesterday, like some of the senior commanders in the first war, but as of today.
It has, in our time, been customary to think of war and peace as though one must be at war if one is not at peace and vice versa.
Reprinted from The Profession of Arms, The 1962 Lee Knowles Lectures, pp. 54-66. London: The Times Publishing Co., Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated. © 1962 by General Sir John Winthrop Hackett.