(This is an archived extract from the book Patterns of Power: Edition 2)
When considering the use of military force, politicians have to decide whether or not they will achieve their objectives by doing so. A war can be costly, in economic terms and in the harm inflicted on people, and it can be unpopular – particularly if it is not seen as a 'just war' (188.8.131.52).
In this chapter the focus is on whether military force can be "proportional" and whether it has a "reasonable chance of success". It is argued below that “success” is now hard to achieve: the weapons available have limited utility (184.108.40.206), asymmetric warfare reduces an army’s chances of ‘winning’ (220.127.116.11), it is difficult to conduct war amidst the civilian population (18.104.22.168) and there are problems in occupying an invaded country (22.214.171.124).
© PatternsofPower.org, 2014