Fighting in the seams: Small wars and peace wars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The routine assignment of US combat forces to non-combatant or quasi-combatant roles heavily impacted with political and cultural variables is a mixed blessing for the American military and for the political leadership. The insertion of forces into failed states on constabulary missions requires a mastery of the art of military coercion and propitious circumstances within which to exercise command of that art. Even if the mastery is there, the favorable environment (political, social and cultural) for the effective application of military persuasion may not be. Urban environments present an especially daunting challenge for US planners and policy-makers. Throw in a US public, Congress and media that are casualty averse and video trained to believe that technology cures all problems and you have a recipe for political and military disappointment, not to say disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalLow Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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