Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture: The Future of War. A History

  • Lawrence Freedman
20 March 2018
P.J. Veth Building
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

Leiden University, in collaboration with the Netherlands Defence Academy and The Hague Center for Strategic Studies, will host one of today’s most eminent military and strategic thinkers, Prof Lawrence Freedman. He will talk about his latest book The Future of War; A History.

How have past generations grappled with the unpredictable future trajectory of war and warfare? Going back to thinking about war in the future from 1870 onwards, the book takes a very sobering look at the many pitfalls and shortcomings associated with this kind of future gazing. Time and again we are caught unawares, confronted by new types of actors and new developments in strategic thinking and in weapon technology. The arguments highlight the Clausewitzean truism that war indeed is a chameleon, changing its shape to given circumstances. In his lecture, Prof Freedman will discuss the changes and the continuities in thinking about future war.

About the speaker

Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London. He was the official historian of the Falklands Campaign, and a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War ('the Chilcot Inquiry'). He has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the Cold War, and comments regularly on contemporary security issues. His book, Strategy, was a Financial Times and Economist book of the year; A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East won the 2009 Lionel Gelber Prize and Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature.


See also the masterclass with professor Freedman on Wednesday, March 21st.

Lawrence Freedman