Letter from the Editors

By Barron, Owen; Kovacevic, Natasa | Harvard International Review, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Letter from the Editors


Barron, Owen, Kovacevic, Natasa, Harvard International Review


What does "modern war" entail? The end of the Cold War signalled a shift--at least temporarily--away from territorial conflicts between large states and towards smaller, messier forms of warfare. US counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan typifies one emergent model of conflict--"small wars" fought at the cutting edge of politics, culture and law. Ethnic conflicts in Rwanda, Darfur, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo may come to represent another common form. But is the old model dead? Nuclear weapons, rather than being disassembled, are being developed in a number of rogue states. NATO is still operating, and its reach is wider than ever. In this symposium, we search for a new paradigm for war. As new threats arise and old antagonisms persist, how will international actors accommodate themselves to the emerging realities of conflict?

We begin our symposium with a discussion of US defense spending. Ted Bromund debunks prevailing arguments for reducing US military spending, arguing that the level of US spending is appropriate given its security concerns. Joseph Cirincione examines necessary strategies Obama's regime must take to repair the damage done to the nonproliferation regime. He concludes with optimism that the new administration seems to be making progress toward disarmament. We then discuss the nature of the transatlantic agenda on the eve of NATO's 60the anniversary. James Goldgeier explores how NATO can broaden its ties to no-western democracies in order to successfully meet the challenges of the new century. William Rosenau examines the growing role of counterinsurgency efforts in US military strategy. Madeline Morris addresses the lack of provisions in international law that govern the detention of private actors, and proposes a legislative framework for counterterrorism detention. Finally, Michael N. Schmitt closes our Features section by analyzing how the climate of warfare influences attitudes toward the law of war, and argues that international humanitarian law is undergoing a 21st century revitalization.

In our Perspectives sections we tackle the dismal reality of human trafficking and slavery in the modern age. …

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