The future of war : pathways towards destructive or constructive alternative futures?

Vrey, F. (2005)

Working Paper

The future of war pertains to war as a future instrument of policy while future warfare unfolds from how wars of the future are to be conducted. Both phenomena contain dynamics that contribute to explaining particular alternative futures. The future of war and its conduct through future warfare also demarcate much of contemporary debates about the future use of armed forces. Matters of altemative military futures, future war and warfare are not important per se. However, the contemporary quest for peace, stability, prosperity, and wealth of humanity is historic in kind and one that raised a perSistent interest in the unfolding of military futures and its destructive potential. Hence, the lingering concern with military futures in order to prevent destructive futures through the intimate relationship between humanity and war. In this article, the author finds no dominant theory or quasitheory that explains convincingly the future demise of war and the subsequent rise of warless futures. None of the arguments presented are immune from substantial criticism. Consequently a number of alternatives concerning future warfare remain visible. Although progress to lessen destruction is observable from the investigation of rising forms of future warfare, an emergent new warrior class and context for warfare perpetuates the difficulty of removing war as a policy option and its execution through different forms of warfare.

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