chapter  4
16 Pages

The waning of major war

ByMARTIN VAN CREVELD

In my view, major war has been on the wane not since 1980 but since 1945. Of course one might argue that, from a historical point of view, even half a century is not a very long period and that it does not represent an adequate basis for judgment; indeed one might argue – applying the reasoning of David Hume – that no period however long which has passed since an event took place can guarantee that it will not recur. Granting this, however, it seems to me that five decades are a much better basis than two on which to form our judgment. My starting point, accordingly, will be 1945.