New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era

New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era, 3rd Edition
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The least convincing contribution of the book is the proposal of kantian 'cosmopolitanism' as the solution and antidote to the spreading of this new type of wars.

Journal of Military and Strategic Studies

I agree instead when the author says that "civil society needs a state" p. If sticking to the Westphalian or modern state is anachronistic, the state that is needed is maybe a non-combatant manufacturer of public goods, including its own legitimacy, with zero tolerance for the private grabbing thereof. Feb 14, Rut added it.

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New & Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era - Mary Kaldor - Google Книги

Kaldor does a good job of setting up her argument as to how she views New War. I had some problems with it. For one, many of the New War tactics such as guerrilla warfare, asymmetric conflict, and technology have been implemented for hundreds of years. Secondly, she uses civilians death as a major show of how New War affects the inhabitants of a nation in "New War. Basically, genocide isn't new. In esse Kaldor does a good job of setting up her argument as to how she views New War.

In essence, Kaldor has a nice argument, but some of her evidence is flawed. I like where she's going with the New War idea, but sometimes it's best to judge every war individually. Don't put any more than two or three into a group. Also, her "solution," more or less, to New War is cosmopolitanism, which for me is almost as unrealistic as stopping War. Overall a good book, especially if one is wanting explanation about the Bosnian war s in the 90s.

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Kaldor's key thesis, the 'new wars' and manner in which they are dominated by complex interplay of civilian violence, decentralized command, small weapons proliferation, gratuitous violence, etc. Would be pointless to try to summarize more; easy to read, fascinating, and even when disagreeing with its thesis, the book is incredibly thought provoking. The chapter on cosmopolitanism gets a little pie-in-the-sky for my tastes, but that aside, this is a fascinating examination of the global and local mechanisms behind new trends in modern warfare, and what they could mean for our understandings of war in the future.

May 20, Nicolas Garcia rated it liked it. S rated it liked it Sep 23, Vitor Garcia rated it really liked it Nov 15, Mike Tiernan rated it really liked it Dec 07, Chrissie T rated it liked it Nov 29, David rated it it was ok Jan 02, Ovunc rated it really liked it Mar 29, Keith rated it liked it Jun 20, David K-Man rated it liked it May 02, Matilda rated it it was amazing Nov 21, Henry Dambanemuya rated it it was amazing Aug 23, Hampus rated it liked it Oct 05, Jared rated it really liked it May 17, Kendell rated it did not like it Dec 25, Branko Santo rated it it was amazing Nov 03, Melih rated it liked it Oct 09, Katarina rated it really liked it Aug 15, Sean rated it really liked it Jul 02, Acton rated it really liked it Jun 06, Chris rated it liked it Jan 11, In the Afghan conflict, the government has certainly lost the monopoly of vio- lence.

The main actors are: The government with its military units, external troops especially from the United States, and a coalition of other states under the umbrella of the International Security Assis- tance Force ISAF , the Afghan Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Mohammed Omar formally embodying the terrorist Haqqani Network and a variety of private foreign security companies.

Their main civil opponent is the Northern Alliance includ- ing mainly ethnically Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras. This mainly implies a throwback to the past, to old traditions or society structures aspired by those trapped with localities and excluded from global communication networks.

Mobilisation based on identity can be interpreted rather an aim of this type of wars than an instrument as it was in former wars. Their main goal is the re-establishment of Islamic and patriotic values.

However, they are more likely to gain a share of power than all of it, as they experienced social difficulties governing from until Yet, the overall motive of the Taliban is neither greed nor grievance despite the perception of some New Wars scholars. In Afghanistan, it is a mixture between backward looking identity pol- itics — without special labels — but though focused on ethnicity, religious ideology with the jihad holy war being the means and the establishment of sharia law the pursued end.

As indirect participants in New Wars, civilians play an important role. Kaldor states that the affection of civilians in Old Wars was mostly seen as collateral damage, warring parties today make increased use of insurgency techniques to control the population or force it into material support. Statistically, in conflicts of the post-Cold War era, eight affected civilians are equalled with only one affected soldier.

Moreover, if the difference between combatants and non- 15 CIA 16 Kaldor , pp.

New wars need new solutions

The examined conflict in Afghanistan can only partially be supported by evidence. Refu- gees and returning ex-refugees have also been a main concern for the UN organ. That means that the military tactics of the insurgency imply the use and affection of civilians. Even with those figures in mind, the Taliban tactics do not fully match with the description of Kaldor.

There have been reported rapes and the official num- bers are probably underestimating the actual victims as in line with orthodox Islam, women have to proof the occurred or are accused of adultery. Their religion and their head, Mullah Mohammed Omar, actually forbid the targeting of women and children. Mass rape or mass killing like in the Bosnia- Herzegovina conflict has not been reported.

Actors in Old Wars show deep ideological belief and fanaticism and the grievances of those for whom it is claimed to be fighting are the main goal. Kaldor claims that at least one side of the warring parties in Old Wars enjoyed support from the population and their actions left no space for looting, plundering, robbery or other criminal activities. As a matter of fact, actors have been involved in criminal activity during former wars and even used coercion methods against the population.

#REVIEW: New and Old Wars. Organized Violence in a Global Era.

The country is deeply cleaved along its ethnic lines, but the Taliban seem to gain continuously more support even from formerly adversary tribes and members of other ethnic groups. In some cases, their support is evidently based on fear, but often it is because the population does not see alter- natives. However, local factors, neighbourhood and the own family provide strong adherence, Vahedin Omanovic stressed referring to his personal experience in ethnically divided war-torn Bosnia.

The analysis of the actors in New Wars and the Afghan case study show that only some elements are actually new and provide evidence that a post-Cold War conflict might not inherit all elements Kaldor states. Furthermore, the wars in Africa are seen as involving not just national but also other international actors.


Edward Newman writes of the importance of considering historical examples for making any statements about qualitative changes in recent wars. He suggests that there are many valuable points made in new wars scholarship, including the importance of social and economic dynamics to warfare, and that there are examples of modern wars such as the Bosnian civil war that fit the new wars template. However, he argues that most of the elements of "new wars" are not actually new, but rather have existed for at least the past century.

In Newman's view, these elements have been more and less prominent at different times and places, rather than just increasing in recent times, and the major differences now are that "academics, policy analysts, and politicians are focusing on these factors more than before" and understanding them better and that the media have increased public awareness of the realities and atrocities of war. In , Kaldor addressed the four main components of her detractors' arguments: Critics concede the 'new wars' thesis is helpful in foreign policy decisions, which was her intent.

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