Founded and rooted in Enlightenment values, the United States is caught between two conflicting imperatives when it comes to war: achieving perfect security through the annihilation of threats; and a requirement to conduct itself in a liberal and humane manner. In order to reconcile these often clashing requirements, the US has often turned to its scientists and laboratories to find strategies and weapons that are both decisive and humane. In effect, a modern faith in science and technology to overcome life's problems has been utilized to create a distinctly 'American Way of Warfare'. Carvin and Williams provide a framework to understand the successes and failures of the US in the wars it has fought since the days of the early Republic through to the War on Terror. It is the first book of its kind to combine a study of technology, law and liberalism in American warfare.
Stephanie Carvin is Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa. While a Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University School of Law, Dr Carvin served as an expert advisor to the US Department of Defense during their writing of the new US manual on the laws of war. She is the author of Prisoners of America's Wars (2010). Michael John Williams is Reader in International Relations at the University of London. He was the head of the Transatlantic Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute and worked in the US Senate Office of Joseph R. Biden and at the US Embassy in London. He is the author of three books and several articles on strategic aspects of international relations.
Introduction; 1. Law and science in the Western way of war; 2. Conceptualizing the American way of war; 3. Vietnam and the 'science' of war; 4. Immaculate destruction; 5. Revolution denied: the 'war' on terror; 6. Back to the future?