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Future Strategy and Challenges

The Next World War

The reader will probably be tired of hearing this; the end of the Cold War brought about a power shift that only began to stir during the 70s with the rise and influential impacts of Islamic fundamentalism and extremism. Suffice to say that this war, undeclared in the 80s and 90s was formally launched on 11 September 2001.

The New World Disorder

The Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) taught American and its Allies the wrong lessons. Having fought the Iraqi Army, which was essentially a surrogate Warsaw Pact force, and defeated it easily, the American military did not have to reconsider or redesign its doctrine. While the CIA and the rest of the Intelligence Community focused on an emergent China and a slowly retrogade totalitarian regime in Russia under former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, the true threat in Al Queda essentially remained under the collective radar. The challenge for the Western world then, is not so much one of opposing militaries as it is one of ideology and a competing vision of secular versus non-secular government.

Limited War Limited war in the true sense of the term experienced a rebirth during the Falklands and Gulf Wars. This rebirth is one of the many impacts which the combination of the Information Age and Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) has had. As more countries obtain access to this combination, limited war will occur more frequently, without warning. Limited war is a conflict which occurs between professional armies for limited political goals and has little or no impact and collateral damage on the civilian population.

Strategy in the 21st Century Strategy in the 21 st Century will be defined by the duality which structured it in the 20 th: Technology and politics. The prime difference between these eras in strategy is that emerging technology will offer political leaders the capability to impose their will on others with little or no chance of repercussion from the international community. The use of emerging technology and a new dimension for warfare only widens the scope for conflict.

Lessons from the Sandino Affair

In 1926, US Marines intervened in Nicaragua to protect American interests from a growing insurgency under Augustin Sandino. The story is a familiar one: US military deployment to an unstable environment with no clear objectives, little popular support either at home or in country. A guerilla force that proves surprisingly resilient against modern technology.

The Effects of Nuclear War

The emerging conflict over the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology represents a challenge to civilization and its ability to survive. The impacts of nuclear warfare are profound, not just in terms of physical damage but in terms of psychological ones.

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