Waging War without Warriors?: The Changing Culture of Military Conflict

Overview

"In the past, posits Christopher Coker, wars were all-encompassing; they were a test not only of individual bravery but of an entire community's will to survive. In the West today, in contrast, wars are tools of foreign policy, not intrinsic to the values of a society - they are instrumental rather than existential. The clash between these two "cultures of war" can be seen starkly in the recent struggle in Afghanistan." "Coker offers both a history of martial cultures and an analysis of how these are now changing. He locates the origins of the
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Overview

"In the past, posits Christopher Coker, wars were all-encompassing; they were a test not only of individual bravery but of an entire community's will to survive. In the West today, in contrast, wars are tools of foreign policy, not intrinsic to the values of a society - they are instrumental rather than existential. The clash between these two "cultures of war" can be seen starkly in the recent struggle in Afghanistan." "Coker offers both a history of martial cultures and an analysis of how these are now changing. He locates the origins of the Western way of war in ancient Greece, in the heroic ideals of Homer's Iliad. He then traces the development of this warrior spirit, moving from Rome's systemization of violence to encounters with such alternative ways of war as Sun Tzu's, the Islamic tradition, and Japan's kamikaze actions during World War II. This trajectory, he finds, ends in a crucial contemporary fault line: for the first time in history, war is no longer considered humankind's most revealing behavior." What does this mean for the future? Coker argues that tomorrow's combatants will be technicians and even machines, divorced emotionally from the battlefield. He elegantly explores the significance of an evolving culture of war devoid of the figure of the heroic warrior.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588261304
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Series: Iiss Studies in International Security
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The Warrior's Dishonor 1
2 The Origins of the Western Way of Warfare 15
3 The Western Way of Warfare and the Modern Age 45
4 The Death of the Warrior Tradition and the American Way of Warfare 61
5 The West Encounters the Non-Western World 83
6 The Warrior Tradition and the Non-Western Way of Warfare 111
7 Posthuman War 159
Notes 197
Selected Bibliography 213
Index 219
About the Book 223
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