“Middle War”: The new normal going forward

The face of Middle War: documents and weapons sized in raid in Al-Alam, Iraq. Photo by Uathor
The face of Middle War: documents. cash, and weapons seized during a raid in Al-Alam, Iraq in 2004 by the author.  There was plenty of other stuff but this is the best picture.
Photo by Me during my tour downrange

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has just released Beyond the Last War: Balancing Ground Forces and Future Challenges Risk in USCENTCOM and USPACOM.  The report makes for interesting reading.  What I found the most interesting aside from the scenarios considered was the realization that air power and spec-ops troops cannot win wars by themselves.  Conventional military forces will be required into the foreseeable future.  That view alone is a breath of fresh air given the Pentagon’s lamentable tendency over the past few years to tour both types of forces while the simple ground-pounders are out there doing Yeoman’s work trying to make an unstable world more stable.  High profile raids and airstrikes do not a war make.  It is the infantry, cavalry, artillery, and engineers out there interacting, fighting, and dying on a daily basis that win wars.  In fact, I cannot think of one war that ended by decapitation strike.