My lack of activity here is partly explained by the fact that I have had, and have, other writing commitments, including a piece in The Conversation in which I argued that there are no purely defensive weapons – see (https://theconversation.com/purely-defensive-weapons-theres-no-such-thing-for-ukraine-or-anywhere-else-37582) – which is a topic that I have visited more than once before – see Chapter 5 of the book for download on this site. This is just a brief comment on the responses to the article just mentioned (and to post the link).
The point of The Conversation is for ‘experts’, usually academics it seems, to write short pieces on matters of general interest or importance, both to inform and to provide a forum for a ‘conversation’. I was motivated to do something for several reasons, but mainly because I believe it is important to continue to attack the position that we need more weapons, more weapons research, etc., in the interest of defence – you can read my ideas on this all over this site. I was happy to have a conversation about it. But the responses were nearly all off the point and hence irrelevant. I was amazed how several commentators carried on their own exchanges, oblivious to the main issue. However, I hope the majority of the 1500 or so readers – far more than I ever normally get – took the main point. I suppose, having marked many many students papers in the past and listened to many student, and academic, tutorials I should not be surprised how some find it impossible to stay on the topic. But that, surely, is vital for a good conversation on any subject: changing the topic does not advance the matter at hand. And of course we are all familiar with politicians doing so. (Vote Green, incidently).