Academic journal article Military Review

Policing Wars: On Military Intervention in the Twenty-First Century

Academic journal article Military Review

Policing Wars: On Military Intervention in the Twenty-First Century

Article excerpt

POLICING WARS: On Military Intervention in the Twenty-First Century

Caroline Holmqvist, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke-Hampshire, England, 2014, 176 pages, $90.00

In Policing Wars, Caroline Holmqvist's print version of her doctrinal thesis, she describes the thought processes that many of our contemporary leaders, and those that comment on them, have towards the use of the military as an agent of international change. The book discusses neither the conduct of policing wars, nor the politics that lead toward the use of armed forces for those actions, but instead focuses on the concept of policing wars and their justifications. The crux of her argument is that liberal-minded leadership, regardless of political ideologies, view modern conflicts different from wars of the past. The Clausewitz perspective of war as a means to impose one nations' will upon another is no longer applicable because twenty-first century wars by liberal states, like the United States, are viewed as a corrective measure to regional disorder.

Justification made under this pretext derives from the concept that if there is no political opposition, since the use of policing is a way in which force imposes order, then policing actions cannot be considered war. There is no opposition, the argument goes, because when it comes to democratic principles and other ideas deemed good governance, logically there would be no opposition. Democracy is good government all around, and those opposed to such thought are criminal in nature; hence, policing those that would create disorder against legitimate governance is a justifiable course of action. …

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