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New Wars: Melvyn Bragg examines whether we are in a new era in the history of modern warfare.

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Summary

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of modern warfare. In the early nineteenth century the Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz seemed to define war for all time when he called it “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will” and “nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means”. But after the nuclear bomb, the Cold War and the brutal and perplexing recent wars in Africa and Eastern Europe does his definition still hold true? Or are we in a new era when the idea of a continuation of peacetime politics and the notion of a national will is increasingly irrelevant? Are the technologically billion dollar new wars, coupled with the wars on the ground which are more like crimes, revolutions or more organised violence than war, a way of following Clausewitz’s notion of war as a continuation of politics by other means or do they constitute something completely different?With Sir Michael Howard, Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Oxford University; Dr Mary Kaldor, Director of the Programme on Global Civil Society, London School of Economics; General Sir Michael Rose, former Commander of the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia and author of Fighting for Peace: Lessons from Bosnia.

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