America and the Future of War

America and the Future of War

The Past as Prologue

Author: Williamson Murray
ISBN: 978-0-8179-2004-3
Publication Date: 4/1/2017

The end of war? History tells us not likely

Throughout the world today are obvious trouble spots that have the potential to explode into serious conflicts at any time in the immediate or distant future. This study examines what history suggests about the future possibilities and characteristics of war and the place that thinking about conflict deserves in forming American strategy in the coming decades. The author offers a historical perspective to show that armed conflict among organized political groups has been mankind’s constant companion and that America must remain prepared to use its military power to deal with an unstable, uncertain, and fractious world.

Williamson Murray shows that although aspects of human conflict will not change no matter what advances in technology or computing power may occur, the character of war is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, with scientific advances providing new and more complex weapons, means of production, communications, sensors, and myriad other inventions, all capable of altering the character of the battle space in unexpected fashions. He explains why the past is crucial to understanding many of the possibilities that lie in wait, as well as for examining the course of American strategy and military performance in the future and warns that the moral and human results of the failure of American politicians and military leaders to recognize the implications of the past are already apparent.

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Williamson Murray

Williamson Murray is an American historian and author. He served in the United States Air Force, taught at a variety of universities, worked as a consultant, and has authored numerous works on history and strategic studies, the most recent being the highly acclaimed A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War (Princeton University Press).

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1 An End to War?
2 The Nature and Character of War
3 The Nemesis of Human Affairs: The Ever-Changing Landscape
4 Déjà Vu All Over Again
5 The American Problem
6 When the Lights Go Off: The United States and War in the Twenty- First Century
Appendix: Potential Trouble Spots

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