Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 27

After a few decades spent envisaging how the US armed forces should think about, and prepare for fighting, the next war, Director of the Office of Net Assessment Andrew Marshall, 93, retired. Whatever one might think about the specific achievements, Marshall can be credited of the effort of bringing into the armed forces the idea that “exploring” and thinking out-of-the-box is one of their core activities.

Talking of future wars, there is a hot debate on which form these will take. Max Boot goes for “more small wars”. In a snapshot: Americans might not like fighting them, but they won’t simply disappear.

Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept focuses on “how” American participation to small wars does not always bring bright results. In particular, a new report shows how war on drugs in Afghanistan is largely ineffective.

Wherever the next wars will be fought, and whatever form they will take, the US armed forces seem inclined to make large use of advances in technology to provide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. That is why the Pentagon wants, rapidly, more aerial drones.

Last, the war(s) in the Middle East occur (also) over the artificial borders designed mostly by colonial power in WWI. Interestingly enough, Israel’s defense minister Moshe Ya’alon argues that this series of conflict will, and also should, probably lead to changes in Mideast borders.


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