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Panel Discussions - Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Utility of Force: The Art of Modern War

IPI hosted the launch of a new book by Rupert Smith entitled The Utility of Force: The Art of Modern War.

In this book "General Smith draws on his vast experience as a commander in the 1991 Gulf War, in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland, to give us a probing analysis of modern war and to call for radically new military thinking. Why, he asks, do we use armed force to solve our political problems? And how is it that our armies can win battles but fail to solve the problems?

"From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechnya, Smith charts a stream of armed interventions that have failed to deliver on promises of resolution. He demonstrates why today's conflicts must be understood as intertwined political and military events. He makes clear why the current one-size-fits-all model of total war, fought out on battlefields, that politicians still cling to must be abandoned in favor of new strategies that take into account the fact that wars are now fought among civilian populations. And he offers a compelling new model for how to fight these battles--and secure our world."

Our distinguished panel included the author, General Sir Rupert Smith, who retired from the British Army in 2002. His last appointment was Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe. We were also pleased to have on our panel Dr. David Harland, Acting Director, Europe and Latin America Division, Office of Operations, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Dr. Thant Myint-U, Visiting Senior Fellow, International Peace Academy, served as Chair.

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