Small Wars Journal

Confronting the Evolving Global Security Landscape: Lessons from the Past and Present

SWJ El Centro Fellow Dr. Max G. Manwaring has a new book out: Confronting the Evolving Global Security Landscape: Lessons from the Past and Present.


Confronting the Evolving Global Security Landscape: Lessons from the Past and Present

Max G. Manwaring

Praeger, June 2019: 173 Pages

This book will help civilian and military leaders, opinion makers, scholars, and interested citizens come to grips with the realities of the twenty-first-century global security arena by dissecting lessons from both the past and the present.

This book sets out to accomplish four tasks: first, to outline the evolution of the national and international security concept from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) to the present; second, to examine the circular relationship of the elements that define contemporary security; third, to provide empirical examples to accompany the discussion of each element—security, development, governance, and sovereignty; and fourth, to argue that substantially more sophisticated stability-security concepts, policy structures, and policy-making precautions are required in order for the United States to play more effectively in the global security arena.

Case studies provide the framework to join the various chapters of the book into a cohesive narrative, while the theoretical linear analytic method it employs defines its traditional approach to case studies. For each case study it discusses the issue in context, findings and outcomes of the issue, and conclusions and implications. Issue and Context sections outline the political-historical situation and answers the "What?" question; Findings and Outcome sections answer the "Who?", "Why?", "How?", and "So What?" questions; and Conclusions and Implications sections address Key Points and Lessons.


• Addresses the changing nature of the contemporary global security landscape in an illuminating introductory chapter
• Clearly demonstrates the evolving nature of global security through case studies
• Takes a linear analytic approach, with a vignette that examines an internal security situation accompanying each chapter
• Addresses the major gaps in the national and international security literature


Categories: El Centro


The following short paper -- also by our author Dr. Max G. Manwaring above -- entitled "THE SECURITY LEXICON FROM WESTPHALIA TO THE PRESENT" -- this such short paper may prove useful to those of us who have yet to gain full and complete access to the book, by Dr. Manwaring, introduced in our present SWJ thread:

Crucial question: 

Might we need to argue, somewhat, with those portions of this short paper -- and thus with those portions of the book -- which suggest that "sovereignty was considered sacrosanct" during the period 1648 through the Old Cold War? 

In this regard, let us:

a.  First consider an excerpt from the Dr. Manwaring's short paper -- that I note and link above -- and: 

b.  Then consider a decidedly different opinion -- from Hans Morgenthau back in 1967 -- who suggested (in his paper "To Intervene or Not to Intervene") that (a) during the Old Cold War (b) sovereignty was routinely and systematically violated by both the U.S./the West and by the Soviets/the communists also; this, (c) in dogged pursuit of their (diametrically opposed?) "transformative" and "universalist" efforts and initiatives.

First, from Dr Manwaring's short paper provided above:


Part One -- A Bit of Essential History: The Traditional Concept of Conflict (The Thesis):

Several international relations/politics texts teach that the bloody international anarchy of 17th Century Europe generated a determination on the part of the controlling elites to devise an interstate system that would prevent anything like the Hundred Years War from happening again. The resultant negotiations promulgated the Peace or Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The major powers pledged to honor other nation-states’ complete control over the territory and people affirmed to be theirs. That sovereignty was considered sacrosanct, and was defined as national security. Intervention by one nation-state into the domestic or foreign affairs (i.e., sovereignty) of another country—including interests abroad—was defined as aggression. This would be a fundamental beginning part of the thesis in Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s dialectic. ...

Part Two -- Change and the Development of an Antithesis:

In 1996, Boutros Boutros-Ghali described the most important dialectic at work in the postCold War world as globalization and fragmentation. He observed that globalization was creating a world that has become increasingly interconnected and a positive force for decolonization, good government, socio-economic development, human rights, and improving the environment. The Secretary General understood, too, that that dialectic was acting as a negative fragmenting force leading people everywhere to seek refuge in smaller more homogenous groups characterized by isolation, separatism, fanaticism, and proliferation of intra-state conflict. He also recognized that that kind of fragmentation can act as an important cause—related to poverty, social exclusion, and poor governance—of state failure. ...


Next, from Dr. Morgenthau's 1967 paper "To Intervene or Not to Intervene:"


The United States and the Soviet Union face each other not only as two great powers which in the traditional ways compete for advantage. They also face each other as the fountainheads of two hostile and incompatible ideologies, systems of government and ways of life, each trying to expand the reach of its respective political values and institutions and to prevent the expansion of the other. Thus the cold war has not only been a conflict between two world powers but also a contest between two secular religions. And like the religious wars of the seventeenth century, the war between communism and democracy does not respect national boundaries. It finds enemies and allies in all countries, opposing the one and supporting the other regardless of the niceties of international law. Here is the dynamic force which has led the two superpowers to intervene all over the globe, sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes openly, sometimes with the accepted methods of diplomatic pressure and propaganda, sometimes with the frowned-upon instruments of covert subversion and open force.


Bottom Line Question -- Based on the Above:

If (from "Part One" of the Dr. Manwaring short paper provided above) "the fundamental beginning part of the thesis in Boutros Boutros-Ghali dialectic" is in error and/or is flawed -- for example, as suggested by Dr. Hans Morgenthau above -- then what does this do (if anything):

a.  To the rest of his (Boutros Boutros-Ghali's) ideas (to wit: his anti-thesis, synthesis, etc.) and, also,  

b.  To the ideas of Dr. Marwaring?

In addition to the items I have provided immediately below, the following may also prove useful:

From Boutros Boutros-Ghali's 1992 "An Agenda for Peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping: Report of the Secretary-General:" 

"17. The foundation-stone of this work is and must remain the State. Respect for its fundamental sovereignty and integrity are crucial to any common international progress. The time of absolute and exclusive sovereignty, however, has passed ... " 


Excerpts from this new book:

First, from the Foreword, Page "x"

"Herein lies the importance of this book.  Among its many lessons, it has one important takeaway: to achieve sustainable security, we must address root causes of conflict."

Next, from Chapter One, Page 4:

"Sovereignty (i.e. security) in the past was the unquestioned control of territory and the people in it.  Security (and thus sovereignty?) is now conditional.  It is the national and international responsibility to generate stability and the well-being that enables political-economic-social development and also enables liberal democracy and a sustainable peace.  This is not a simple moral-human concern.  Boutros Boutros-Ghali would remind us that the new internal legal practices of protection and prevention of harm, and the accompanying redefinition of security and sovereignty, are intended to preclude a coerced transition of extant values of a given society to the unwelcome values of a given winner."

(Note: The second item in parenthesis above, to wit: "and thus sovereignty?", is mine.)