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Almost-War

We know what a hot war is, and a cold war, a guerrilla war, an on-again off-again war (almost-decided). When weapons became too powerful, all-out war became "mutually assured destruction" (or MAD), and we had to learn to fight the "almost-way." Almost-war has become the norm now, so much so that we have clear and distinct types or categories of almost-war.


Types/Categories:

1. Cold: Little or no actual fighting or bloodshed. Characterized by secrecy, mistrust, and sleuthing. (The so-called "Cold War" is an example, but there are actually many cold wars going on constantly, even between members of the same household, or between groups or departments in the workplace.)

2. Limited: Fighting without using all of the resources at one's disposal (on purpose, and as part of an implicit or explicit agreement). (Vietnam. Iraq.)

3. Guerrilla: Sporadic asymmetric warfare. (Vietnam. Iraq.)

4. Economic: Trying to out-compete. (This may "cripple" in extreme cases that involve the supplies of resources and skill over a long period.)

5. Formal Sanctioning: Punishing a nation economically and politically, or attempting to dissuade from certain behaviors. (The intent is to "cripple" in some way.)

6. Self-flagellation: Some competitive efforts between units, as seen from a perspective on the whole.

7. Cyber War: Fighting, where the combatants are behind the lines (probably still at their desks) wielding bits and bytes, while the non-combatants everywhere else suffer major or minor inconveniences (even death in some cases).


Examples:

North Korea vs. South Korea

Microsoft vs. Apple

Microsoft vs. Google

Microsoft vs. Sun Microsystems

Microsoft vs. The Linux world

Islam vs. "The West" (Roughly speaking: Christianity and Judaism)

Teenager vs. Parents

The Poor and the Rich vs. The Middle Class

The Democrats and the Republicans vs. the Libertarian in all of us


More:

As is the case in all-out-war, in an almost-war it is primarily competing values, value systems (ideas and ideologies) that are at play. When people get involved, these ideas manifest themselves psychologically by creating internal conflict.

Who Can Play?

Nations, industries, companies, clubs, families, individuals. If you sat down and tried to name all of the almost-wars you were involved in right now, you would probably give up before you had listed even most of them.

Almost-Anything As a Weapon

The extremes of all-out war are almost-unthinkable. One characteristic of almost-war is that dangerous physical weapons are considered a last resort, and almost everything else is tried first: movies, music, books, ideas, toys, food, beverages, banana peels, email, gossip, expectations, propaganda, advertising, elections.

The idea is that every dispute does not need to result in a death: where people are considered to be too valuable to be wasted during every decision-making process. There are just too many decisions to be made. Instead the rule of law, and ethics, and fairness and justice are held in high regard.

In almost-war, the side with the most lawyers (all other things being equal) will usually win.

In almost-war, perception is reality.


More Examples:

almost-war

An almost-good defense.


almost-war

Much in demand.


almost-war

Another weapon of choice.


Links:

Almost-War Comment
www.cracked.com Wars that might have almost happened . . .
listverse.com Wars that might have almost happened . . .
www.cnn.com The Star Wars that almost was

 




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