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  • Author: Katherine C. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article uses the centenary of the First World War as an opportunity to re-examine a major element of the existing literature on the war—the strategic implications of supposed British decline—as well as analogies to the contemporary United States based upon that interpretation of history. It argues that the standard declinist interpretation of British strategy rests to a surprising degree upon the work of the naval historian Arthur Marder, and that Marder's archival research and conceptual framework were weaker than is generally realized. It suggests that more recent work appearing since Marder is stronger and renders the declinist strategic interpretation difficult to maintain. It concludes by considering the implications of this new work for analogies between the United States today and First World War-era Britain, and for the use of history in contemporary policy debates.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A century ago this autumn the first battle of the Marne ended Germany's attempt to crush France and its ally Britain quickly. In that one battle alone the French lost 80,000 dead and the Germans approximately the same. By comparison, 47,000 Americans died in the whole of the Vietnam War and 4,800 coalition troops in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In August and September 1914 Europe, the most powerful and prosperous part of the world, had begun the process of destroying itself. A minor crisis in its troubled backyard of the Balkans had escalated with terrifying speed to create an all-out war between the powers. 1 'Again and ever I thank God for the Atlantic Ocean,' wrote Walter Page, the American ambassador in London; and in Washington his president, Woodrow Wilson, agreed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, America, Europe, Washington, France, London, Vietnam, Germany, Balkans, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Jasper Humphreys, M. L. R. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Counter-poaching operations in South Africa's so-called 'rhino wars' have seen increasing use of kinetic strategies and tactics. It can be argued that this follows the country's historical tendency to react to threats with confrontation in the first instance rather than negotiation, as leaders invoke images of 'backs-to-the-wall' isolation. During the apartheid period the National Party strongly promoted patriotism and self-sacrifice, portraying South Africa as facing 'total onslaught'; today, the rhetoric of 'rhino wars' is often framed in similar terms, not least because the person leading the rhinoceros counter-poaching campaign, Major General Johan Jooste (retired), was himself heavily involved in the 'apartheid wars' in the latter half of the twentieth century.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Rosaleen Duffy
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Conserving biodiversity is a central environmental concern, and conservationists increasingly talk in terms of a 'war' to save species. International campaigns present a specific image: that parks agencies and conservation NGOs are engaged in a continual battle to protect wildlife from armies of highly organized criminal poachers who are financially motivated. The war to save biodiversity is presented as a legitimate war to save critically endangered species such as rhinos, tigers, gorillas and elephants. This is a significant shift in approach since the late 1990s, when community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) and participatory techniques were at their peak. Since the early 2000s there has been a re-evaluation of a renewed interest in fortress conservation models to protect wildlife, including by military means. Yet, as Lunstrum notes, there is a dearth of research on 'green militarization', a process by which military approaches and values are increasingly embedded in conservation practice.
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Geoffrey Sloan
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It was the British maritime strategist Sir Julian Corbett who, on the eve of the First World War, described doctrine as 'the soul of warfare'. This assertion conceals as much as it reveals, leaving out any explanation of how doctrine is formulated, disseminated or used, and any account of the relationship between doctrine and command philosophy. It is only through a synthesis of these two factors that fighting power can be generated. Doctrine can be described as a force multiplier in that a fighting organization that applies it consistently will be able to take on a larger force in battle and win. It is often analysed and evaluated in isolation from command philosophy. How, then, do we define doctrine and what are the major variants of command philosophy? What is the nature of the relationship between doctrine and command philosophy? Is it possible to identify and assess the component parts of doctrine, and to understand how they manifest themselves at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war?
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Benn
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Crimean War of 1854–6 has been described in many books. Nevertheless, the present book, written by a professor of history at the University of London, does in important ways supply a new dimension to the subject. It provides a wealth of new colour and detail, mentioning for instance that France bore the brunt of the fighting and that 40 American doctors volunteered their services on the Russian side. Above all, it places the war in its historical context, relying not just on English but on French, Russian and Turkish sources. The subject is of obvious importance to diplomatic historians—and also to military historians, if only because it seems to provide a textbook example of how not to conduct a war.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, London
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This edited volume has been published at the end of a year in which African actors have enjoyed almost unprecedented global attention. Protest movements across North Africa, but particularly in Egypt and Tunisia, captured headlines during the Arab Spring, and Time magazine named 'The protestor' as their person of the year for 2011. The world's newest state was born in South Sudan in June. The second half of the year was dominated by a violent revolt and civil war in Libya, against the backdrop of massive western intervention. As the year drew to a close, environmental diplomats and activists from across the world convened in Durban in December, as the possibility of a legally binding global successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change was hammered out. One might think, therefore, that the continued warnings from Africanists that most analyses of the continent's inter - national politics continue to 'occur largely from a vantage point of detachment, exclusion and aberrance' (p. 2) might start to ring a little hollow.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Jasper Humphreys
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It is a sad and startling fact that the second highest segment of global illicit commerce is in wildlife, dead or alive; in May 2012 the average price for rhino horn was higher than that of either gold or cocaine at US$60,000 per kilo.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Many people believed that Great Britain was not and did not wish to become European, and that Britain wanted to enter the Community only so as to destroy it or divert it from its objectives. Many people also thought that France was ready to use every pretext to place in the end a fresh veto on Britain's entry. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you see before you tonight two men who are convinced of the contrary.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany