Beginning with an exploration into the question of what war is, War and Warfare since 1945 provides a chronological analysis of military history since the end of World War II extending through to an analysis of the limits of modern warfare in the nuclear age with the purpose of examining why war occurs and how it is carried out. Among the types of conflict considered within the book are:
- state conflicts
- civil wars
- proxy wars
- terrorism and counterterrorism
Both theoretical and historical, War and Warfare since 1945 also explores the definitions, ethics, morals, and effects of the use of militaries in and after war, and puts forward important questions about how wars are resolved. The wars discussed include the first Arab-Israeli War, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq war. The book concludes with an investigation into modern war and speculation on the changing face of warfare.