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The Future of Warfare is Irregular

August 26, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Global Governance

The Future of Warfare is Irregular

These realities suggest that competition between the United States and its main adversaries will likely be irregular—not conventional.

Kennan urged U.S. policymakers during the Cold War to disabuse themselves of the “handicap” of the “concept of a basic difference between peace and war” and to better understand irregular warfare and “the realities of international relations—the perpetual rhythm of struggle, in and out of war.” Kennan’s advice is even more pertinent today. America’s adversaries certainly think so.

Seth G. Jones holds the Harold Brown Chair and is director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is the author of A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland (W.W. Norton, 2018).

Jordanian soldiers watch smoke rising during an artillery drill, part of the "Eager Lion" military exercise near the southern town of Al Quweira, 50 km (30 miles) from the coastal city of Aqaba, June 19, 2013. Eager Lion military exercise, set to take place in Jordan between June 9-20 is an annual multi-national exercise designed to focus on facing irregular warfare, as well as terrorism and national security threats. The exercise also aims to promote military relationships among the participants consisting of 8,000 participants from 19 countries. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: MILITARY)