Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Twenty-First Century Warfare
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 9 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay , if essay element failed  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay , if essay element failed  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Outline the impact of new strategic challenges in the twenty-first century with particular attention to asymmetric threats and ballistic missiles.
2. Discuss critically the new trends in the application of force in international relations.
3. Outline the military implications of 9/11 and discuss the evolution of the `War on Terror?.
4. Discuss the impact of Operation Enduring Freedom with particular attention to air power and innovative military responses.
5. Outline the evolution of thinking regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) with particular reference to rogue states.
6. Discuss the impact of Operation Iraqi Freedom with regard to regime change strategies and its long-term implications.
7. Outline the contours of the debate related to US military transformation and its consequences as a global military trendsetter.
8. Discuss critically the future of nuclear weapons in global affairs.
9. Outline the implications of counter-insurgency warfare in the twenty-first century.
10, Identify new directions in modern warfare.


This module contributes to the Department'r provision in the area of Strategic Studies. It offers students the opportunity to engage with the most pertinent strategic issues in international relations in the twenty-first century and acquire an in-depth knowledge of the application of military force in contemporary global affairs.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with a good understanding of the latest strategic trends in contemporary international relations that includes the new challenges of the twenty-first century from asymmetric warfare to 9/11 and the continuing evolution of the `War on Terror?. This module will examine the most pressing strategic issues facing the world today and allow students to critically engage with the issues that are dominating the global strategic agenda with regard to the use of military force in international relations.


The New Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
Tackling Global Asymmetric Threats
Transferring Risk: The Western Way of War and Casualty Aversion Versus Civilian Protection
Ballistic Missile Defence and the Militarization of Space
9/11: The Military Implications
A Strategy to Respond: Preemption, Preventive War and the War on Terror
An Innovative Military Campaign: Operation Enduring Freedom
Weapons of Mass Destruction: Rhetoric and Reality
The `Axis of Evil? and the Challenge of Rogue States
Regime Change Strategies: Operation Iraqi Freedom
US Military Transformation and its Global Implications
The Future of Nuclear Weapons
Counter-Insurgency Warfare in the Twenty-First Century
New Directions in Modern Warfare

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students¿ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students¿ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Ability to evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex strategic problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 6