Wednesday, 26 September 2018
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reviews

Review of Carleton, G. Russia: The Story of War. London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2017 by Professor Andrew Monaghan,

In Russia: The Story of War, Gregory Carleton, Professor of Russian studies and Chair of the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies at Tufts University, presents what he calls Russia's war myth, illuminating the common stock of assumptions and consistent vocabulary that underpin it. This is myth as sacred tale, central to Russian national identity and a frame of reference based on archetypal sets of causality, character types, scenarios and outcomes on which Russia's past is structured. In so doing, he depicts the duality of Russia's image: to many outsiders, it is an insatiably aggressive country, but to many Russians it is a country that is a defender, protector, even saviour, fighting one invader after the next. The distance between these different interpretations is unbridgeable, he suggests, even though they come from the same events and actions.

Dr. Jeremy Black, professor of history at Exeter University, has a thought provoking article on the Foreign Policy Research Institute website entitled "Abraham Lincoln and American Destiny in a Divided World". https://www.fpri.org/article/2018/02/american-destiny-divided-world/

With the greatest respect, I would like to comment on three points he made, writes Joseph E Fallon, U K Defence Forum Research Associate

The UK government has announced that it will subject the defence elements of the National Security Capability Review (NSCR) to further review.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute has warned, however, that a long delay in the Defence Modernisation Programme 'could risk damaging consequences for the country's international credibility, especially if it has not been concluded before the NATO summit in July 2018. Despite being billed as a low-profile 'refresh', the NSCR has already lasted longer than either of the last two full Strategic Defence and Security Reviews (SDSRs), in 2010 and 2015, respectively. '

However, Professor Chalmers states that the review 'could be an opportunity for a more radical look at the balance of defence investment, accelerating the shift of resources into capabilities that are most relevant to a rapidly changing strategic environment.'

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