Naval War College Review


Before we can sense of the emerging changes in approach to national security and world order, we must understand the changes that have recently taken place in the scope and focus of the field of international relations. That understanding requires that we 6rst note some basic features of traditional international relations. So long as there have been states, they have interacted with each other. Indeed, the term "international relations" is a historically established misnomer, for it has always referred to relations not among nations but among states. Its domain has been the external behavior of states, their impingements upon each other. It has included the cooperation and alliance patterns developed among states, and it has been even more concerned with their frictions, disputes, and clashes. The major focus of international relations has been on wars among states and on their efforts to prepare for, prevent, win, terminate, and recover from those struggles.