Use of Armed Forces as an Instrument of Policy

  • Correlli Barnett


‘The Use of Armed Forces as an Instrument of Policy’ — when I gave the original lecture to the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in January 1996 on which this chapter is based, I was tempted simply to utter the word ‘Chechnya’ and then go off to the pub with the Commandant! What perhaps gives that rather feeble joke an extra point is that I had used it to begin my lecture this time the previous year. There we were, 12 months on and Chechnya was still just as apposite as a dreadful warning about the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of the military option. In contrast to my co-panellist, who was a distinguished international do-gooder, I am no more than a strategic historian; and it is as such that I approached the topic. All I would claim for strategic history is that it can help us to understand the dynamics of power and leverage, and in this way serve as a guide to the likely future course of particular current problems.


Armed Force Security Council Armed Attack Defence Expenditure Total Strategy 
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© Correlli Barnett 1998

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  • Correlli Barnett

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