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Tomorrow’s Wars

March 1, 2010

Victor Davis Hanson in City Journal:

Have we not seen, then, in our lifetime the end of the Western way of war?” Two decades ago, I concluded The Western Way of War with that question. Since Western warfare had become so lethal and included the specter of nuclear escalation, I thought it doubtful that two Western states could any longer wage large head-to-head conventional battles. A decade earlier, John Keegan, in his classic The Face of Battle, had similarly suggested that it would be hard for modern European states to engage in infantry slugfests like the Battle of the Somme. “The suspicion grows,” Keegan argued of a new cohort of affluent and leisured European youth—rebellious in spirit and reluctant to give over the good life to mass conscription—“that battle has already abolished itself.”

Events of the last half-century seem to have confirmed the notion that decisive battles between two large, highly trained, sophisticated Westernized armies, whether on land or on sea, have become increasingly rare. Pentagon war planners now talk more about counterinsurgency training, winning the hearts and minds of civilian populations, and “smart” interrogation techniques—and less about old-fashioned, “blow-’em-up” hardware (like, say, the F-22 Raptor) that proves so advantageous in fighting conventional set battles. But does this mean that the big battle is indeed on its way to extinction? [More]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 11:06 AM

    You have provided a lot of great points. As I have searched about this topic before, I think many people would understand your blog.

  2. March 14, 2010 11:06 PM

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

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