by Gian Gentile
Harvard International Review
War is, by its very nature, about death, destruction, and pain for both individuals and societies. Despite what proponents of counterinsurgency might argue, war cannot be recast as a foreign policy tool that is beneficial to societies. It is something to be avoided, and only used as a last resort in the pursuit of national security interests. Experts should not giddily pursue wars as a means of testing their new theories of warfare in the name of transforming warfare and the foreign societies that are placed in its path of destruction. All of this is a strategic fool’s errand. To presume that there is such a thing as “better” and “beneficial” war is to operate blindly on faith rather than drawing upon an understanding of history and clear strategic thinking toward current and future security problems.