Adrian Weale

All We Ever Do Is Fight

Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars Is More Important Than Winning Them

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Yale University Press 311pp £25 order from our bookshop

David Keen, Professor of Complex Emergencies at the LSE, tries in Useful Enemies to challenge the traditional, ‘common sense’ model of war as a contest between two (or more) ‘sides’ aiming to win. To make this challenge, he examines those various ‘functions’ of war served by strategies that aren’t aimed at gaining military victory: economic, political and psychological. In this way, he is seeking to demonstrate that wars are often fought and prolonged for reasons other than one side gaining victory over the other.