Why Nations Go to War: A Sociology of Military Conflict

1st Edition

Mark P. Worrell

Routledge
Published December 21, 2010
Textbook - 70 Pages
ISBN 9780415892117 - CAT# Y117027
Series: Framing 21st Century Social Issues

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Summary

The United States has been involved in many wars, sometimes for noble causes like defeating Nazism, and, at other times, it has compromised its own ideals, leading to a lot of soul searching and regrets. Some wars are celebrated as glorious achievements (World War II), some are ‘forgotten’ (Korea), and some are ‘ignored’ (Afghanistan). The current wars in the Middle East represent a complex interplay of motivations, challenges, and threats to America’s role as the world’s democratic leadership. In the case of Afghanistan, we find that during the Cold War the US defense and intelligence apparatus directly and indirectly created an incalculable number of radical extremists that have now turned their sights on their former benefactor. The invasion of Iraq represents a different calculus: under the multitude of rationalizations rests a simple political-economic case of a master nation punishing a disobedient subject. In this brief book, America’s relationship with war is explored with an eye toward changes in capitalism from industrialism to post-industrialism, America’s involvement in the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, torture, culture, and ideology.

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