CHRISTOPHER PIKE’s first book in his trilogy Making Sense of War examined war as a social phenomenon. About War (2021) explained why war, organised violence, happens. Also available from the Brown Dog Bookshop.
War in Context shows – through examples from history – how the state legitimises war and how war legitimises the state, and how Britain has used military force in the past.
Pike asks: is war necessary? Can it be predicted? Is terrorism war? Is terrorism effective and how should it be countered? What were the implications of al Qaeda’s attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in September 2001?
What then might be the effect on world stability of America’s less assertive leadership?
War in Context looks at deterrence, the basis for nuclear strategy; and the strategic implications of such modern phenomena as cyborgs, Artificial Intelligence and Drones. But the human factor is emphasised – the moral and physical pressure on commanders of robots and hypersonic missiles.
Above all, it is humans who decide how and when death is delivered. Science increases the intensity of battle, but man, not the machine, controls the outcome.
The book ends with an assessment of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.