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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
  • Author: Quentin Peel, Michael Stürmer
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Michael Stürmer: Occasionally, and very pointedly, you have described yourself as 'the man from Halle'. What does Halle stand for in your life? Hans-Dietrich Genscher: It is the city that has moulded me. It is a very defiant, revolutionary city, with a great tradition in the Enlightenment, in the Reformation, but also in the labour movement. So it is no surprise that on 17 June 1953, the centre of the uprising, outside Berlin, was in Halle. But also in the Third Reich there was strong resistance in this region.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: James Spence
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shadows of 'bougets', in the old sense of moneybags, loom over Britain's stance on the EU budget today, as they did over EC budgets 40 years ago. Three of the make-or-break issues for the UK in the negotiations over the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period from 2014 to 2020 concern the direct cost of UK membership. The first is maintaining the British correction or 'rebate', while also maintaining member state sovereignty over budget revenue decisions. (The current rebate, some claim, was finally gained by another 'bouget', Mrs Thatcher's fabled handbag, in 1984.) Cutting finance to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the second, and closely linked to the first. At the time Britain was negotiating its terms for accession, its less Eurocentric agricultural trade patterns, and its higher dependence on cheap food imports from outside the Communities, marked it off from the six founding EC member states for which food security was a high priority. UK food prices were relatively low compared to Continental prices. Agriculture was a smaller economic and employment sector in the UK than it was in Continental Europe, and land ownership patterns also differed markedly. The third, and again related, issue is reducing the overall size of the MFF: that is, limiting the amounts available for the EU's annual budgets over several years, and therefore reducing the UK's contributions.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Arthur I. Cyr
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is no shortage of attention to disagreements and tensions between the United States and the nations of Europe, considered both individually and collectively. The 40th anniversary of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union (EU), is a good benchmark anniversary not only for reflection on what has transpired to date but also for evaluation of current trends and likely future developments. The nation's course, regarding both entry into membership and participation, has hardly been smooth, but the relationship with the institution has endured.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Europe
  • Author: Thomas Cargill
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The next big thing: Once known only for hunger and war, Africa's moment has arrived
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: James Nixey
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Boosting morale while straining the neck. Why countries vie to have the tallest flagpoles
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Egypt
  • Author: Trevor Mccrisken
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It has been almost ten years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon led President George W. Bush to proclaim a 'war on terror'. This article focuses on the difficulties faced by his successor, Barack Obama, as he has attempted to move away from much of the Bush rhetoric and practice of counterterrorism. Obama came to office determined to 'reboot' US counter-terrorism policy so that it would not only be more effective but also more in keeping with what he perceived as the core moral values and principles at the heart of American political culture. For many observers, Obama has not lived up to expectations as he has not made wholesale changes to counter-terrorism policy. This article argues, however, that he always intended to not only maintain but, in fact, deepen Bush's war against terrorism, not because he was trapped by Bush's institutionalized construction of a global war on terror, but because he agrees fundamentally with the core assumptions and imperatives of that war on terror narrative. Nonetheless, Obama promised to continue combating terrorism in ways that were distinctive from his predecessor, not least because a higher moral standard would be applied to the conduct of counter-terrorism. By addressing his policies toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, Guantanamo Bay and torture, and the use of unmanned drone attacks, it is argued that Obama's 'war' against terrorism is not only in keeping with the assumptions and priorities of the last ten years but also that, despite some successes, it is just as problematic as that of his predecessor.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Jasper Humphreys, M L R Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Carl von Clausewitz might seem an unusual thinker to invoke in the name of wildlife protection but his insights into the nature of war provide a unique perspective into an arena that arguably poses more complex moral questions of responsibility to protect than with humans. The increasingly dangerous world of wildlife conservation offers a prism for examining many issues linked to sovereignty, especially in developing countries. This study highlights how the commercial rewards of the wildlife trade have fed into problems surrounding national security such as corruption, sub-state insurgency and state legality. These factors have led to the growing militarization of wildlife protection and, in turn, raise a fundamental question: is it ever right for an outside actor to ignore international convention to save a species from extinction?
  • Topic: Sovereignty, War
  • Author: Robert Foley, Stuart Griffin, Helen McCartney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: While the US and British armies have proved adept at fighting high-intensity conflict, their initial performance against asymmetric threats and diffuse insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated how much each army had to learn about conducting counterinsurgency operations. This article examines one important means by which the US and British armies have transformed themselves into more flexible and responsive organizations that are able to harness innovation at the front effectively. It traces the development of the lessons-learned systems in both armies from the start of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq to today. Reform of US and British army learning capabilities offers an important insight into the drivers of military change.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Alex Danchev
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article reviews the fruits of a sustained collaboration between the writer and reporter Sebastian Junger and the photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, embedded with the US Army in Afghanistan: Junger's meditation, War; Hetherington's photographs, Infidel; and the documentary film they co-directed, Restrepo. Taken together, these works offer perhaps the most significant insight into the nature of combat, and combat effectiveness, yet to emerge in the era of the 'war on terror'. Remarkably enough, their fundamental theme is love.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Christian Barry
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Troubled times often gives rise to great art that reflects those troubles. So too with political theory. The greatest work of twentieth century political theory, John Rawls's A theory of justice, was inspired in various respects by extreme social and economic inequality, racialized slavery and racial segregation in the United States. Arguably the most influential work of political theory since Rawls—Michael Walzer's Just and unjust wars—a sustained and historically informed reflection on the morality of interstate armed conflict—was written in the midst of the Vietnam War. It should be no surprise, then, that the bellicose period of the past 20 years should give rise to a robust new literature in political theory on the morality of armed conflict. It has been of uneven quality, and to some extent episodic, responding to particular challenges—the increased prevalence of asymmetric warfare and the permissibility of preventive or preemptive war—that have arisen as a result of specific events. In the past decade, however, a group of philosophers has begun to pose more fundamental questions about the reigning theory of the morality of armed conflict warfare—just war theory—as formulated by Walzer and others. Jeff McMahan's concise, inventive and tightly argued work Killing in war is without doubt the most important of these challenges to the reigning theory of the just war. This review article discusses McMahan's work, some of the critical attention it has received, and its potential implications for practice.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Vietnam
  • Author: David Fisher, Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is based on a debate held on 22 March 2011 at Chatham House on 'Was Iraq an unjust war?' David Fisher argues that the war fully failed to meet any of the just war criteria. By contrast, current coalition operations in Libya are, so far, just. This is a humanitarian operation undertaken to halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place, with wide international support, including authorization by the UN Security Council. Nigel Biggar argues that the fact that the invasion and occupation of Iraq suffered from grave errors, some of them morally culpable, does not yet establish its overall injustice. All wars are morally flawed, even just ones. Further, even if the invasion were illegal, that need not make it immoral. Regarding Libya, Biggar notes the recurrence of conflict over the interpretation of international law. He wonders how those who distinguish sharply between protecting civilians and regime change imagine that dissident civilians are to be 'kept' safe while Qadhafi remains in power. Against those who clamour for a clear exitstrategy, he counsels agility, while urging sensitivity to the limits of our power. What was right to begin may become imprudent to continue.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya