Monday, December 08, 2008

War & Peace

This is not an entry about Tolstoy's epic novel set during the Napoleonic War.

Recently US DOD approved and released their new Irregular Warfare (IW) Directive (pdf here).
IW will be seen as strategically important as conventional war. Conventional war is rare these days. Most conflicts exists between what is termed "irregular" and conventional.

Defence is no longer in the straightforward business of "war".

It used to be Peace - War. Two dichotomies in military studies. You are either at war. Or you are not.

Armed forces these days are operationally equipped and expected to provide a wide spectrum of capabilities.

Enter the Peace - War continuum: Peace - Troubled Peace - War. Where "troubled peace" represents what we have post 9-11. Nobody is betting on a resumption to "peace" anytime soon.
The type of operations in the Peace-War continuum is interesting: Peace - Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Relief and any other Operations Other Than War (OOTW) which may include Peacekeeping Support Operations (PSO), any operations undertaken by the military that does except War is under this catchall term. And War remains the bread and butter of any armed force in the world.

Within War itself, there is also consideration for pre-War prep, War itself and the post-War stabilisation phase. What a mess.

Odysseus: [to Achilles] War is young men dying and old men talking. - Troy [movie, 2004]

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