Albert Einstein famously remarked that he did not know what weapons would be used in World War III, but World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars, government officials, politicians, journalists, and statesmen examine what can be learned from the wars of the twentieth century and how that knowledge might help us as we step ever so perilously into the twenty-first.
Following an introduction by Padraig O'Malley, the book is divided into four sections: "Understanding the World as We Have Known It"; "Global Uncertainties"; "Whose Values? Whose Justice?"; and "Shaping a New World." The first section reviews what we have learned about war and establishes benchmarks for judging whether that knowledge is being translated into changes in the behavior of our political cultures. It suggests that the world's premier superpower, in its effort to promote Western-style democracy, has taken steps that have inhibited rather than facilitated democratization.
The second section examines the war on terror and the concept of global war. From the essays in this section emerges a consensus that democracy as practiced in the West cannot be exported to countries with radically different cultures, traditions, and values. The third section visits the question of means and ends in the context of varying value systems and of theocracy, democracy, and culture. In the final section, the focus shifts to our need for global institutions to maintain order and assist change in the twenty-first century.
Although each contributor comes from a different starting point, speaks with a different voice, and has a different ideological perspective, the essays reach startlingly similar conclusions. In sum, they find that the West has not absorbed the lessons from the wars of the last century and is inadequately prepared to meet the new challenges that now confront us.
Contributors to the volume include J. Brian Atwood, Susan J. Atwood, John Cooley, Romeo Dallaire, Ramu Damodaran, Valerie Epps, Michael J. Glennon, Stanley Heginbotham, Robert Jackson, Winston Langley, Alfred W. McCoy, Greg Mills, Jonathan Moore, Chris Patten, Gwyn Prins, Jonathan Schell, John Shattuck, Cornelio Sommargua, Brian Urquhart, Stephen Van Evera, and Robert Weiner.