In an era when wars never end, America’s definition of peace needs to be defined down.
Which is more representative of modern war: The United States unleashing high-tech arsenals to defeat dubious Third World regimes swiftly or machete-wielding insurgents fighting brutal civil wars in Africa? The short answer: both. Yet neither of these scenarios conforms to the classic model of warfare as a titanic struggle between rival great powers. It's time to update the textbooks and reappraise the nature of war.
Lawrence Freedman is professor of war studies at King's College London and author of Strategy: A History.