We hear a lot of talk about “new generations” of warfare. Everything is supposed to be new, different, and immutably changed from previous eras of conflict. Some people have even taken to numbering what they see as historical phases of warfare. First generation, second generation, third generation, etc. While there is some merit to this classification system, I think its disadvantages outweigh its advantages. Such neat categorizations tempt us into believing that things are somehow different now than they have been in the past.
Human nature being what it is, there will always be many different reasons why wars begin. All of these reasons ultimately find their roots in human passions: greed, the lust for power, or simply a desire to “put fortune to the test” (fortunam temptare) as the ancient Latin historians would say.
My latest article at Return of Kings focuses on the origins of the current Yemeni war. The article provides a basic background to the conflict, with a focus on the motivations of the major players.
Followers of Middle East news are likely aware of the simmering conflict in Yemen. It is now appearing to burst its narrow confines, and draw in a number of regional players. As with most conflicts that involve overlapping sectarian, regional, and internal power dynamics, the Yemen conflict is aggravated by the shifting motivations of the players. We will attempt here to describe the basics of the current war (and it is a war) in a way that imparts a general understanding without bogging us down in minutiae…
To read more, click here.