From Russia's war on Ukraine to the war on terror in Iraq conflicts involving the United States can seem intractable and like they will never end. Why is this the case?
According to Yale professor Samuel Moyn, the rise of ‘humane war’ in the second half of the twentieth century undermined the anti-war efforts of previous eras and instead shifted the focus to simply opposing war crimes. In August 2022 Moyn came to Intelligence Squared to discuss the themes of his book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War.
He argued that armed combat has been transformed from an imperfect tool for resolving disputes into an integral component of the modern condition. And discussing American wars from Vietnam to the new cold war with China, he claimed that as wars have become more humane, they have also become endless.
The event was hosted by author and research director at Demos Carl Miller.