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Report: What Makes Great Power War Possible

29.04.2016
Until recently the international security environment had come to reflect a relative calm among major powers. However, in the past two years, there have been tectonic changes in the international system. New features of conflict begin to arise. As military technology continues to evolve, the international system has once again begun to accommodate use of force by a growing diversity of actors – including major military powers against each other.

In the prevailing environment, the technological sophistication of military power has continued to increase while the thresholds for use of force among states have visibly declined. Besides that, numerous international competitors are seeing use of force as a solution to their challenges. In relations between Russia and NATO, China and Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and most recently – Russia and Turkey – power plays unfold with unpredictable repercussions.

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Infographics: Features and Methods of Modern Warfare

The world must once again concern itself with major inter-state, together with new military capabilities that have been developed largely in times of peace. The authors of the report speculate on possible scenarios and the consequences of a new war between great powers.

About the authors:

Michael Kofman, Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Wilson Center; Research Scientist, CNA Corporation.

Andrey Sushentsov, Programme Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Associate Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).


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