Excellent analysis. My contention has always been that studying military history is as likely to cause any more wars as studying oncology will cause more cancer.
This post follows on from an entry by Dr. Matthew Ford and Dr James Kitchen on Chilcot and the Politics of Britain’s Military History.
The notion of an academy remote from public discourse and disinterested in government policy is an attractive stereotype. Aspects of the academic discipline of history could certainly produce such an impression. There is a strong body of thought within certain areas of History that considers any attempt to use the past to inform current debate as bordering on ‘instrumentalising’ previous experience. For some scholars the past was a simply an entirely different world, one which ought to be understood solely in its own terms and not compared to the present lest such an endeavour lead to inaccurate and misleading deductions.
This argument has always appeared less convincing to those engaged in the ‘traditional’ areas of historical enquiry – political, diplomatic and military…
View original post 1,573 more words