Philip Bobbit, a scholar with an unfortunate name, is a leading American interpreter of the changing patterns of interstate behavior, post 9/11. He is a nephew of Lyndon B Johnson and holds a doctorate both in History and Constitutional law, and if there is anyone eminently qualified to write about statecraft in the modern world it is this scholar.
I had come across quite a few references to the book, The Shield of Achilles:War, Peace and the Course of History and decided to order the book through Amazon.com. Since I do not have a credit card I had to ask my wife to purchase it for me. I can say that this is the second most important book on statecraft that I have read as Prince still remains my favorite. Philip Bobbit traces the interaction between three distinct elements in the shaping the practice of statecraft: Law, Constitutional Form and History. He says that quite early in European history, the epoch of feudal monarchies, public law that evolved into international law was founded on the disputes between princes on their obligations and loyalty. He is able to demonstrate that even in the chopice of military strategy the constitutional form of the state played a role.
Bobbit is at his best is showing the flawed strategies of the MAD doctrine that held sway in the world from the end of World War II till the collapse of communism in 1994. This is a long, well researched book and all serious students of history and statecraft must read it.