The causes of war - and their consequences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The ‘post 9/11 wars’ should prompt western military thought to reconsider its assumption that war and policy exist in a linear continuum. Characterised by early operational successes which promised quick victories, the western interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya gave way to protracted conflict, leading to unsatisfactory outcomes at best and outright defeat at worst. These wars challenge Clausewitz's presumption that war is the continuation of policy by other means, prompting us in turn to rethink how we read On War. More importantly, they demand a more critical examination of the links between the causes of wars and their consequences. Strategic thought aligns ends, ways and means in a continuum that rarely applies in practice. War's place in international relations theory and its role in establishing world order have been characterised more often by unfounded expectations of an ideal that is only rarely achieved in practice than by realism founded on actual experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow wars end
Subtitle of host publicationtheory and practice
EditorsDamien Kingsbury, Richard Iron
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000825305, 9781003317487
ISBN (Print)9781032329512, 9781032329529
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge advances in defence studies


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