The Nature Of Armed Conflict

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The nature of armed conflict in the 21st century
Josh Camara
Pol 2I03
Dr. Mark Busser
Friday November 7, 2014

Pol 2I03
Josh camara
Who can understand modern warfare?

War has without a doubt changed extremely from what the term originally meant. War is already hard to define, according to Clausewitz, war is “an act of force intended to compel our opponents to fulfil our will… a continuation of political intercourse with a mixture of other means”(Michael Sheehan, 2014, 217). More specifically, war was between countries/states and it involved open armed conflict. But war cannot be defined like this anymore in our modern times.
With open conflict between nations and non-nation organizations, for example the War on Terrorism, the definition above is no longer fully true. A better definition would be Hedley Bull’s, “organised violence carried on by political units against each other” (Michael Sheehan, 2014, 218). Thus if the definition of war and how it’s waged in the 21st century changed, theoretical approaches best suited conceptually and analytically that can explain and understand modern war has also changed.
Ironically, the theoretical approaches that seem to be best suited to understand and explain modern war are two of the oldest theoretical theories; Realism and Liberalism. But which of these two is more applicable; both have their strengths in relation to understanding and explaining modern conflict, but Liberalism is bar
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