Questions of war were not central to the founding of the Labour Party, yet questions of war – specifically, under what circumstances the party would support the dispatch of British military forces to fight abroad – have divided and damaged the party throughout its history more deeply than any other single issue.
The Labour Party, War and International Relations, 1945-2006 opens by identifying and examining the factors that have influenced the party’s thinking about war, before considering the post-1945 Cold War context and analyzing a range of cases:
- the Korean War
- the party’s response to the 1956 Suez crisis
- the Wilson government’s approach to the Vietnam War
- Labour’s response to the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands
- the crisis over the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, culminating in the 1991 war
- the wars of the 1990s over Bosnia and Kosovo
- the case for war in Iraq developed by the Blair government during 2002-03.
This is a timely book that both illuminates approaches to past wars and helps us understand the basis of current military commitments. As such it will be of great interest to students across courses in politics, history, and war studies.