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The Warrior Ethos: military culture and the War on Terror

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Christopher Coker|
Routledge (April 2007)

This is the first scholarly book to look at the role of the 'warrior' in modern war, arguing that warriors' actions, and indeed thoughts, are increasingly patrolled and that the modern battlefield is an unforgiving environment in which to discharge their vocation.

As war becomes ever more instrumentalised, so its existential dimension is fast being hollowed out. Technology is threatening the agency of the warrior and this volume paints a picture of early 21st century warfare, helping to explain why so many aspiring warriors are becoming disenchanted with their profession.

Written by a leading thinker on warfare, this book sets out to explain what makes an American Marine a 'warrior' and why suicide bombers, or Al Qaeda fighters, do not qualify for this title. This distinction is one of the central features of the current War on Terror - and one that justifies much more extensive discussion than it has so far received.

Reviews

'Achieving the right balance in our own warrior ethos, and anticipating the challenges to it, are vital to the present and future operational effectiveness of our armed forces, as well as being important aspects of the wider ongoing debate on military culture and ethics. This book does not provide all the answers, nor does it seek to. But it does provide a comprehensive examination of this most important subject, and in a style which is both reflective and thought-provoking. It is an essential foundation to informed participation in the debate, and deserves to be widely read.
Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, director of the Defence Academy, RUSI Journal

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