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History Questions: "War Amongst The Peoples" (Coursework Sample)


Topic 1

The central theme of this course has been the shift described by General Rupert Smith from wars between conventionally-armed states to what he terms "war amongst the peoples." Since World War II, the frequency of war between states has gone into terminal decline even as the number of civil conflicts have increased or held steady in the frequency of their occurrence. How might you explain this trend? Why is it that wars between states have declined even as civil wars have continued to disturb the peace, so to speak? And what have been the consequences for warfare (that is to say, how to these wars differ in how they are fought from the “conventional” wars that Smith says no longer exist)?

Topic 2

One of the central themes of Jeremy Black's book on war since 1991 is that we cannot expect a technological solution to the war. The question is, why not? Why is it so difficult to translate technological superiority in warfare into military "victory" (understood as achieving one's strategic objectives)? 

Black uses the on-going conflict in Afghanistan to illustrate some of the issues that can make it difficult to achieve lasting and durable political results by means of war. Explain how the example of Afghanistan illustrates Black's basic argument regarding the limits and efficacy of military force. Make sure to cite some factual evidence in support of the argument. At the same time, you should offer an assessment of Black's argument: is he convincing? Note that such an assessment can operate at least two levels: is he convincing regarding the limits of military force in Afghanistan? Is he convincing that the example of Afghanistan is applicable to war more generally?

Topic 3

Terrorism is arguably as old as war. Commentators such as David Kilcullen, however, argue that there is something new about the "international terrorism" of the last couple of decades. Explain what is not new about recent developments in international terrorism; explain what is new about such developments, and finally explain why these new developments present challenges to organizations seeking to combat international terrorist groups.

Each question should more than 175 words.


History Questions


Institutional Affiliation
History Questions

Topic 1

Smith (2007) establishes that confrontation, combat, and conflict between states no longer exist, unless in states which rely on armed forces for the manifestation of power. He defines war as the conventional man and machine in the battlefield to settle international disputes which are of great significance. The decline in the trend he identifies began with the introduction of nuclear weapons, which made industrial war practically impossible. The definitive demise in such a war referred to as mutually assured destruction (MAD), signified a change in the paradigm shift. The new paradigm shift in wars has abolished the significance of industrial wars.

The new paradigm in wars involves the engagement of armies which do not have a comparable force in battle and more strategic wars among the people. The war among the people is not exclusive of civilians and identified battlefields for armies, rather, the war targets and at times is propagated by the civilians. War today is perpetrated anywhere and often the political objectives or other vested interests are often not realized.

Topic 2

Afghanistan has been experiencing consistent insecurity and obstruction of peace despite the lengthy deployment of military forces by other nations to establish peace. Failure has been consistent despite the diversification of the military approaches employed by military forces, including dispatching unmanned drones and the use of satellite imaging to study the war fields. Cohen (1996) establishes that technology has the ability to change the art of war as we know it, but

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