Air Power: The Quest to Remove Battle from War

Authored by: Joel Hayward

The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754674108
eBook ISBN: 9781315613284
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042495


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Dr Joel Hayward is the Dean of the Royal Air Force College. He is a director of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies. He also heads King’s College London’s Air Power Studies Division.

Warfare is among humans’ oldest collective activities. Etched in clay or carved in stone within our earliest writings, depictions and descriptions of war reveal armed competitions between communities which seem, in their nature although not in their technology, little different to many of today’s wars. Records of conflicts occurring in all of the last 50 centuries teach us that by far the most common forms of warfare, and most of history’s decisive battles, have involved small or large armies inflicting lethal violence upon each other and, sometimes, disregarding ideals, upon civilian communities. Battles and wars have occurred at sea far less frequently. Navies have more often served as trade protectors and as transporters of soldiers to more distant regions where, once ashore, the soldiers fought on battlefields. Indeed, throughout the last 50 centuries armies have dominated warfare. Ideas on how to raise, train, sustain, deploy and command armies have dominated military thinking. It is unsurprising, then, that the word ‘strategy’ comes from the Greek words for ‘army leadership’.

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