The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is considering refocusing its strategy on the new era where threat is less likely to come from conventional sources–and I sure hope they read Gregg Easterbrook’s article in the New Republic, The End of War?
Combat is not an inevitable result of international discord and human malevolence, [Ohio State University political scientist John] Mueller believes. War, rather, is “merely an idea”– and a really bad idea, like dueling or slavery. This bad idea “has been grafted onto human existence” and can be excised.
If War between nations is only an idea, it is possible that the new idea is war between terrorist groups and organized populations or communities of nations. In this case, what sort of army does a country need? And, less practically, the concept that war is merely an idea is brilliant, eh? The very fact that slavery was such an elemental fact of life for so long, but now slavery in Sudan and elsewhere is almost automatically assumed as evil (except by the UN, who continues to honor Sudan with membership) is proof enough to have one think about a post-War world. I’m ready. Bring it on.