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Military History Circle & Whitehall Dialogue Joint Event
War and American Power - The United States and the Use of Force in the Twentieth Century
RUSI Whitehall, 15 December 2006
Lunch starts 12.15 (£6 Optional) Lecture starts 12.45
Professor Edwina Campbell
Professor of National Security Studies, Air Command & Staff College, Air University
Maxwell AFB, Alabama, USA
Professor Edwina Campbell is Professor of National Security Studies, Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, USA and concurrently Visiting Senior Lecturer, International Policy Institute, King’s College, London.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the legitimacy of the use of force was an inherent aspect of international statecraft. But after 1914, two successive generations of Europeans waged war on each other, and the violence of the early twentieth century lingered on in the European consciousness to create a consensus on the illegitimacy of war and the use of force. Today, the United States faces the dilemma of using military power in a world in which the willingness to wage war and American power are inextricably linked; whist in Europe, European identity and the illegitimacy of war are now similarly linked in strict contrast to a century ago.
The US in the twentieth century never left the strategist path. The use of force—the option of war—remains available and legitimate among American decision-makers, whatever their political party or personal history. Professor Campbell will discuss how, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the United States’ willingness to use military power to achieve its national security aims and the delegitimization in Europe of the use of force make the future of transatlantic cooperation highly problematic.