This chapter takes a comparative state-centric approach to illustrate the core issues of defence in Europe. The chapter reviews the influence of history, size, and geography on defence in Europe. It assesses the external threats facing European countries, including territorial threats from neighbouring countries such as Russia, energy security, and cyber security, and the ways in which these threats are perceived in Europe and in European states. It then shows how states respond to these threats, examining differences between European countries in terms of their strategic culture, defence capabilities, and military alliances. Efforts to build defence cooperation between countries are examined, including NATO and the emergence of common defence policies at the EU level.
Nikola Tomić and Ben Tonra
19. Strategic Studies
The West and the Rest
Amitav Acharya and Jiajie He
This chapter examines the limitations and problems of strategic studies with respect to security challenges in the global South. It first considers the ethnocentrism that bedevils strategic studies and international relations before discussing mainstream strategic studies during the cold war. It then looks at whether strategic studies has kept up with the changing pattern of conflict, where the main theatre is the non-Western world, with particular emphasis on the decline in armed conflicts after the end of the cold war, along with the problem of human security and how it has been impacted by technology. The chapter also explores the issue of whether to take into account non-military threats in strategic studies and the debates over strategic culture and grand strategy in China and India. It concludes by proposing Global International Relations as a new approach to strategic studies that seeks to adapt to the strategic challenges and responses of non-Western countries.
8. Technology and Warfare
This chapter explores the relationship between military technology and warfare, with a particular focus on the tools and the ways they are used in conventional wars between states. There are significant technological changes afoot in military affairs, and conventional wisdom suggests that countries failing to keep pace with developments risk being relegated to the dustbin of history. However, there is reason to doubt this general claim. Militaries have always been incentivized to develop weapons and to integrate them into existing and emerging forces. As a consequence, there have been several ‘revolutions in military affairs’ throughout history and it is possible that a new one is currently under way. Technological development in the warfighting realm is not easy, however. As militaries seek to develop new tools and processes, they are constrained by a variety of factors, including national capacities, strategic culture, and strategic requirements. When they do acquire new technologies, the utility of the tools is limited by the frailty of the humans using them, their own organizational processes, and the nature of war itself. Countries that solve these problems can bolster their efficiency, effectiveness, and power in combat and so gain a decisive edge in combat over those that do not. Perfect solutions are evasive, however, and, except in cases of extreme technological disparities, tools and processes only rarely determine outcomes. The challenges of technological development persist into the present day and will continue to confound attempts to weaponize tools like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Nevertheless, because there is significant potential in such technologies, strategists ignore them at their own peril.
6. Strategic Culture
Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky
Strategic culture shapes national security concepts, military doctrines, organizational structures of the armed forces, weapon systems, styles of war, and almost every other aspect of a state’s defence policy and strategic behaviour. Nevertheless, it is challenging to define and identify strategic culture in a systematic way and multiple definitions of the concept are debated by scholars. It can also be difficult to isolate its impact on national strategy. The strategic culture paradigm has evolved to explore the ways in which multiple cultures—national culture, military culture, and the organizational cultures of key institutions—exist within security communities. While most scholars explore the strategic culture of states, others have examined whether a cohesive strategic culture can exist within non-state actors (e.g. the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)) and supranational actors (e.g. North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the European Union) as well.
12. Nuclear Weapons in the Twenty-First Century
C. Dale Walton
This chapter examines the role played by nuclear weapons in international politics during and after the cold war, making a distinction between the First Nuclear Age and the ongoing Second Nuclear Age. After providing a background on the First Nuclear Age, the chapter considers the various risks present in the Second Nuclear Age, focusing on issues related to nuclear deterrence, nuclear proliferation networks, strategic culture, and ballistic missile defences. It then discusses the assumption that arms control and disarmament treaties are the best means to further counterproliferation efforts. It also assesses the future of nuclear weapons and whether the world is facing a Third Nuclear Age before concluding with an analysis of the relevance of deterrence in the face of changing political and technological circumstances.