I couldn’t have found a finer institution to look for deeper answers, and pose deeper questions to make some sense of it all.Pjer Šimunović
01 September 2021
War Studies MA, 1997 | Croatian Ambassador to the US
Living in Croatia during the momentous events of the late 1980s and 1990s, including the collapse of Communism, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and the war of Croatian independence, I keenly felt the omnipresence of war in human affairs – how this supremely violent, varied and organised collective use of force was capable of shaking, shattering, shaping, annihilating individuals, societies, states and worlds ancient and modern.
This led me to pursue a career in international and security affairs journalism, joining the BBC World Service in London in the 1990s. From the old World Service headquarters in Bush House on the Strand, it was the shortest of walks across the street to King’s and its Department of War Studies – where I enrolled on the MA War Studies. I couldn’t have found a finer institution to look for deeper answers, and pose deeper questions to make some sense of it all, hidden in the thick fog of Clausewitz’s theories on war.
It was a profoundly formative experience, in terms of understanding how to approach war and security in all their complex facets and layers, how to structure and develop ideas and arguments. The knowledge and skills I gained were absolutely fundamental and indispensable in providing me with the right instruments of thought to conduct various high-level positions in the Croatian Government, in the fields of national security, defence and diplomacy. Before assuming my current posting as Croatia’s Ambassador to the United States, I was Director of the Office of the National Security Council, Ambassador to Israel, Defence State Secretary for Defence Policy, National Coordinator for NATO and Assistant Foreign Minister in charge of International Organisations and Security.
Ultimately, I’ve always had the confidence and pride, that whatever the circumstances, I can firmly rely on the very special, interdisciplinary knowledge and inquisitiveness, openness, creativity, and logic acquired and honed at the Department of War Studies, making me now truly honoured to join the celebration of War Studies at 60.