Best Defense

The wars that come after wars

I wonder if there is a study to be done (or that has been done) of the wars that occur after other wars. For example, there was fighting in Cambodia, and the Chinese-Vietnamese war, that both came after the American war in Vietnam. And the Vietnam War itself seemed to grow itself partly out of ...

via Wikimedia/German Federal Archive
via Wikimedia/German Federal Archive

I wonder if there is a study to be done (or that has been done) of the wars that occur after other wars.

For example, there was fighting in Cambodia, and the Chinese-Vietnamese war, that both came after the American war in Vietnam. And the Vietnam War itself seemed to grow itself partly out of French reluctance, after World War II, to give up its colonial empire. There also was a nasty Greek civil war after WWII.

Which of course leads the current fighting in Iraq with ISIS and other parties. It could be said to be part of the same war, especially as the U.S. military is back in it. Or it could be seen as a postwar war.

All in all, a damned depressing subject. But one a smart Ph.D. student could sink teeth into and make that academic rep on.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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