War and Human Nature argues that new findings about the way humans are shaped by their inherited biology may help provide answers to such questions. This seminal work by former Defense Department official Stephen Peter Rosen contends that human evolutionary history has affected the way we process the information we use to make decisions. The result is that human choices and calculations may be very different from those predicted by standard models of rational behavior.
This notion is particularly true in the area of war and peace, Rosen contends. Human emotional arousal affects how people learn the lessons of history. For example, stress and distress influence people's views of the future, and testosterone levels play a role in human social conflict. This thought-provoking and timely work explores the mind that has emerged from the biological sciences over the last generation. In doing so, it helps shed new light on many persistent puzzles in the study of war.
It does so by confronting two inter-related research problems: the nature of victory and defeat in modern war and the explanations of victory and defeat. By first questioning the extent to which the concepts of victory and defeat are meaningful to describe the outcomes of modern wars, and whether the contents of these concepts are changing, it then evaluates different theories purporting to explain the outcomes of war and the impact of variables, ranging from technology to culture. The book tackles several key questions:What is the definition of victory in the ‘War on Terror’? What is the meaning of victory and defeat in contemporary insurgencies, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are the counterstrategies that were developed in the mid-twentieth century valid in order to deal with present and future conflicts?
With case studies ranging from the Malayan Emergency to the current conflict in Iraq, Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War will be of great interest to students of war and conflict studies, security studies, military history and international relations.
Written by leading strategist Professor Colin Gray, the book provides students with a good grounding in the contribution of war to the development of the modern world, from the pre-industrial era to the age of international terrorism and smart weapons.
This second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated:It is the first one-volume strategic history textbook on the market; It covers all the major wars of the past two centuries; It is up to date and comprehensive, including a new section on the American Civil War, a new chapter on geography and strategy, and completely rewritten chapters on Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s and on irregular warfare.
This textbook will be essential reading for students of strategic studies, security studies, war studies, international relations and international history.
(The Art of War by Sun Tzu, 9789380914893)