Leon Trotsky was famously reputed to have said, ‘You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you’. In the early twenty-first century, this statement seems to be more relevant than ever. Since 11 September 2001, conflict has spread or intensified globally. These struggles have accentuated a trend, traceable to the end of the Cold War, when conventional interstate warfare has been increasingly replaced by ethnic and religious conflicts often conducted by sub-national groupings, typically in urban setting.
This course examines the transformation of war, conflict and the military forces which fight them in the twenty-first century.