Small Wars Journal

The Grim Future of Urban Warfare

The Grim Future of Urban Warfare by Darron Anderson - The Atlantic

Proxy and civil wars will continue to flourish, as will conflicts on the peripheries of power blocs. The danger of inadvertent escalation is high. The planet has already survived the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the Soviet false alarm of 1983, and the Norwegian Black Brant nuclear-rocket scare of 1995. Eventually our luck might run out, and when it does, cities will likely be ground zero. The world’s city-dwelling population exploded from 746 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018, according to the United Nations (which expects that total to increase by another 2.5 billion by 2050). To dominate a nation has come to mean dominating its population centers.

 

There are reasons that coming wars will be more, not less, deadly. As weapons systems become increasingly accurate through satellite positioning, surgical strikes on military targets will seem more viable. But the blood-soaked history of “smart bombs” show that they have only been as smart as the intelligence used to deploy them. In 1991, laser-guided missiles entered the Al-Amiriyya bomb shelter in Iraq through a ventilation shaft, killing more than 400 civilians. In 2008, an air raid obliterated a bridal party at Haska Meyna. Such “aberrations” likely will increase in frequency…

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A Path Forward in Afghanistan

A Path Forward in Afghanistan by Bharath Gopalaswamy - Atlantic Council

One year on, there appears to be little to show for U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s strategy for Afghanistan. The administration needs to implement this strategy in a way that creates an opportunity to end the war in Afghanistan while advancing core U.S. interests of defeating terrorism and demonstrating that a moderate Islamic state, aligned with the international community, can succeed.

 

The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center convened policymakers, analysts, and diplomats to assess the gaps in and imminent challenges facing the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. In a resulting report, “A Review of President Trump’s South Asia Strategy: The Way Ahead, One Year In,” these experts provide some important recommendations to the administration. Here’s a look at those recommendations…

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