Saving Democracies: U.S. Intervention in Threatened Democratic States

By Anthony James Joes | Go to book overview

4
The Changing Face of Insurgency in the Post-Cold War Era: Doctrinal and Operational Implications

Stephen Sloan

The coming decade will witness continued religious, racial, and ethnic revolt, the consequent collapse of weak states, widespread ungovernability, and the increasing importance of nonstate actors. This chapter raises some crucial questions: How will these trends change the nature of insurgency? How well will the U.S. military be able to cope with guerrilla challenges in an era of budget cutting and neglect of military needs?

The end of the Cold War has led to fundamental changes in the international political arena. Old threats have been replaced by new challenges, which have forced academics, policy makers, strategists, and those involved in the operational arts to reevaluate their thinking, as they are confronted with the transformation of the conflict environment. The tensions and accompanying challenges created by the transformation are in part the result of the interaction between highly innovative technologies associated with war fighting and the environment in which present and future conflicts will be conducted. On the one hand, Desert Shield and Desert Storm illustrated how high technology could be applied in what was, for all intents and purposes, a conventional war. But in the new threat environment, while the dangers of regional conventional war remain very real in the Middle East and North Asia, those who must address issues of national security face the daunting demands of applying high technology weaponry in a very ambiguous environ-

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