The Future of War


The Future of War


Course description

The purpose of the seminar is to look into some aspects of the future of war and try to assess where they may be going. Various scenarios will be explored. However, there is no intention to make the students fixate on this idea or that. Instead, the course is intended as a basis that will enable them to develop their own thought as they see fit.

Prof. Martin van Creveld


I. Introduction.

1. What is War?


II. Some Scenarios:  

2. The end of history.

Reading: F. Fukuyama, "The End of History?" The National Interest,                      16, 1989, pp. 3-18.


3. The clash of civilizations.

Reading: S. P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations," Foreign Affairs, 72, 3, summer 1993, pp. 22-49.


4. Resource wars?

Reading: M. T. Klare, Resource Wars; The New Landscape of Global

Conflict, New York, NY, Holt, 2002, pp. 1-26, 213-26.


III. Some fundamentals:

5. Nuclear proliferation and missile defense.


  1. K. N. Waltz, “Peace, Stability and Nuclear Weapons,” IGCC, 1995, pp. 2-16.
  2. “A Nuclear Iran: ‘Promoting Stability or Courting Disaster?” S. Sagan, K. Waltz, and R. K. Betts, 2007,



6. Military technology.

Lecture by MvC, followed by discussion.


IV. Forms of war:

7. Subconventional.

Reading: M. Kaldor, New and Old Wars, Cambridge, Polity, 2nd ed., 2006, pp. 15-71


8. Space war.

Reading: B. S. Lambeth, Mastering the Ultimate High Command; Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space, Santa Monica, Ca, RAND, 2003, pp. 97-124.


9. Cyberwar:


1. G. McGraw, “Cyber War is Inevitable (Unless We Build Security In),” Journal of Strategic Studies, 36.1, 2013, pp. 109-18.

2. M. C. Libicki, “Cyberwar as a Confidence Game” Strategic Studies Quarterly, Spring 2011, pp. 132-45.


V. Futures:

10. Of US military power.

Reading: P. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, New York, NY, Viking, 1988, pp. xv-xxv, 514-40.


11. Of Chinese military power.

1. Reading: J. J. Ickenberry, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West,” Foreign Affairs, 87, 1, January 2008, pp. 23-37.

2. C. Glaser, “Will China’s Rise Lead to War?” Foreign Affairs, 90, 2011, pp. 80-91.


VI. Interlude:  

12. War and gender.

Reading: M. W. Segal, "Women's Military Roles Cross-Nationally: Past, Present,

and Future", Gender and Society, 9, 6 Dec., 1995, pp. 757-775.


VII. The Return of History:

13. The Return of History.

Reading: R. Kagan, The Return of History and the End of Dreams, New York, Vintage, 2008, pp. 3-24, 97-105.


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