The Difficulty of Prediction

“The reason that the future is difficult to predict is that it depends on choices yet to be made, including by our governments, in circumstances that remain uncertain. We ask questions about the future to inform choices not to succumb to fatalism. By stressing this aspect if thinking about war, peace, and the use of armed force this book provides a reminder that history is made by people who do not know what is going to happen next. Many developments that were awaited, either fearfully or eagerly, never happened. Those things that did happen we’re sometimes seen to be inevitable in retrospect but they were rarely identified as inevitable in prospect. ‘History’ as John Comaroff has observed, can be usefully studied as ‘any succession of rupturing events which together bring to light our misunderstandings and misrecognitions of the present.'”

The Future of War by Lawrence Freedman

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