18 Feb 2013 5:00pm - 6:30pm Mill Lane Lecture Room 9


Humanitas Visiting Professor in War Studies 2013:
Martin van Creveld

The Humanitas Chair in War Studies has been made possible by the generous support of Sir Ronald Grierson.

Professor Martin van Creveld (Emeritus Professor of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) will give a series of three public lectures and a concluding symposium on The Future of War.


Information, Intelligence, and the New Wars

The previous lecture having argued that the future of war is likely to be terrorism, guerilla and insurgency, this one will focus on the role of intelligence in this kind of conflict. First I shall sum up the most important development in the field from 1960 on, including the emergence of satellites, drones, and computers as well as so called cyberwar. Next, the lecture will list the problems that modern intelligence encounters. These include the vast amount of data it generates; the inability of machines to understand and to interpret that data without human assistance; the fact that most wars, instead of being waged in the open field, now take place in much more complex environments created by people, their dwellings, their means of communication and transportation, and their means of production; and the growing need for precision. Following these problems, and regardless of how advanced the hardware and methods intelligence may use, the idea that computers, data digging and the like can put an end to terrorism, guerrilla and insurgency is an illusion. To that end, different methods are called for.


Full lecture series:

The lectures are free and open to all, no registration required. Free online registration will be available for the symposium on Thursday 21 February shortly.

About Martin van Creveld

Martin van Creveld is an internationally recognised authority on military history and strategy.

The author of twenty-three books, which have been translated into twenty languages, he has lectured or taught at most leading strategic institutes, military or civilian, from Washington DC to Singapore and from Moscow to Rio de Janeiro. He was the only non-American author on the US Army’s required reading list for officers, and the only person – foreign or American – to have two books on that list. Born in the Netherlands, he holds degrees from the London School of Economics and from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was a faculty member from 1971 until his retirement in 2008.

About the Professorships

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors, and co-ordinated in Cambridge by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Humanitas Visiting Professorships are held by distinguished academics and leading practitioners who have contributed to interdisciplinary research and innovation in a broad range of contemporary disciplines in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Covering areas of urgent or enduring interest in today’s society, including the performing arts, Humanitas Visiting Professors present their pioneering work through a series of lectures or performances open to University audiences and the wider public.




Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk