Mershon Fellow Argues the Stupidity of War in Newest Book

March 24, 2021

Mershon Fellow Argues the Stupidity of War in Newest Book

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John Mueller, Mershon Center Senior Faculty Fellow, recently published his newest book "The Stupidity of War." In the book, Mueller argues with wisdom and wit rather than ideology and hyperbole that aversion to international war has had considerable consequences. There has seldom been significant danger of major war. Nuclear weapons, international institutions, and America’s role as a super power have been substantially irrelevant; post-Cold War policy has been animated more by vast proclamation and half-vast execution than by the appeals of liberal hegemony; and post-9/11 concerns about international terrorism and nuclear proliferation have been overwrought and often destructive. Meanwhile, threats from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, or from cyber technology are limited and manageable.

Unlikely to charm Washington, Mueller explains how, when international war is in decline, complacency and appeasement become viable diplomatic devices and a large military is scarcely required.

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About the Author

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John Mueller
John Mueller is a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and Adjunct Professor of Political Science. Among his books are Chasing Ghosts: The Policing of Terrorism (with Mark G. Stewart). New York: Oxford University Press, 2016; War, Presidents, and Public OpinionRetreat From Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major WarPolicy and Opinion in the Gulf WarAstaire DancingQuiet Cataclysm: Reflections on the Recent Transformation of World PoliticsCapitalism, Democracy, and Ralph’s Pretty Good GroceryThe Remnants of War (awarded the Joseph Lepgold Prize for the best book on international relations in 2004); Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe ThemAtomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda; (with Mark Stewart) Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Costs, and Benefits of Homeland Security; (ed.)Terrorism since 9/11: The American Cases;War and Ideas: Selected Essays. He has published articles in such journals as American Political Science ReviewInternational SecurityAmerican Journal of Political ScienceForeign AffairsPolitical Science QuarterlyInternational Studies QuarterlyBulletin of the Atomic ScientistsReasonNational Interest, and New Republic, as well as op-ed pieces in the New York TimesWall Street JournalWashington PostPlayboy, and Los Angeles Times. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and has received the International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Award as well as several teaching awards.