27 August 2010

What kind of war to prepare for?

Some people, including many I admire such as Martin van Creveld, argue that the modern armies of Western states are preparing for the wrong kind of war: state-on-state war rather than low-intensity conflict (LIC). They are...right. But what springs to my mind is the an army that was prepared for and extremely experienced in LIC - the British Army in 1914, which of course then suddenly found itself in the mother of all state-on-state wars, for which I suspect it was unprepared.

The solution might be something along the lines of what Thomas Barnett is proposing. I see a state-on-state war army, from which veterans are drawn into a LIC army. The beauty of this is that it offers a career path (40 years as a private rifleman is not a particularly appealing prospect), an outlet for talent, and promotions all round.


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