The Strategic Object of War

Alyson J. K. Bailes

in The Oxford Handbook of War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199562930
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 The Strategic Object of War

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This article addresses the purpose of contemporary defence and security efforts by exploring the three questions—the thing to be defended, the antagonist(s), and the specific field(s) of action and actor(s) involved. It ends with brief speculations on what this evolution might mean for the whole world strategic scene. Defence of the homeland is a strong, simple, and universal motive for fighting. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, acknowledging the universal right of self-defence, is most straightforwardly read as referring to it. However, it does not follow that this has always been the default model and that anything more complex is a modern artefact.

Keywords: contemporary defence; security efforts; antagonist; field of action; United Nations Charter; modern artefact

Article.  6426 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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