The problem of strategy in the nuclear age is simple–how to prevent the outbreak of nuclear war. Unfortunately, the solution to the problem is far from simple, Philip Lawrence's belief that students of strategic studies do not appreciate the moral, political and military complexities of the issues is both unfair and unscrupulous. To be sure, strategic studies like most disciplines has its fair share of crazies. But to label such extremists as models of the discipline is akin to blaming all politicians for the horrors-of Hitler or Pol Pot. Students of strategy have shown themselves to be far more sophisticated, and the problems they analyse are more complex, than Lawrence admits. Strategic studies deserves a better press.
(Online publication 1985)
Gerald Segal lectures in politics at Bristol University. Last year he co-edited Defending China and Soviet Strategy Towards Western Europe.