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At the World Economic Forum's recent annual meeting in Davos, I participated in a panel of defense leaders to discuss the future of the military. The issue we addressed is a critical one: What kind of war should militaries today be preparing to fight?Against this background, the notion that force alone can transform conflict-riven societies in the Middle East and elsewhere is a dangerous fallacy.But, while war and force may be down, they are not out. The result is what Gen. Sir Rupert Smith, a former British commander in Northern Ireland and the Balkans, called "war among the people" – a kind of struggle that is rarely decided on conventional battlefields by traditional armies.This kind of warfare emerged largely in response to America's overwhelming conventional military advantage after the Soviet Union's collapse, underscored by its victory in the 1991 Gulf War, with only 148 American casualties, and its intervention in the 1999 conflict in Kosovo, in which no American lives were lost.
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