Waltz 2—Kenneth, pol sci prof at Berkeley (:Beyond Bin Laden” , International Securtiy 26:3, http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/walt_winter_01_02.pdf, ZBurdette)
The danger that some failed states pose also reminds us that unresolved conflicts are always a potential danger. Protracted conflicts generate hatred and the desire for revenge, foster the emergence of groups whose main aim is to wage war, and empower leaders who depend on a climate of fear to justify their own rule. These conditions provide ideal breeding grounds for precisely the sort of people who willingly engage in mass terror. The terrorist network that the United States now seeks to eradicate is a product of the protracted conflicts in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The September 11 attacks on the United States might never have occurred had these violent struggles been resolved. Thus, helping to settle protracted civil conflicts is not merely good for the world in general; it can also make the United States safer. 17
Conventional war is probable. Sound deterrent strategies should guide policy analysis.
Horowitz and Shalmon ‘9 (Michael, Assistant Prof. Pol. Sci. – U. Pennsylvania, Dan, Senior Analyst – Lincoln Group and Graduate Student – Georgetown U., Orbis, “The Future of War and American Military Strategy”, 53:2, ScienceDirect)
Some scholars question the notion that state-on-state warfare has become unlikely. Army Colonel Gian Gentile argues that the COIN community's analysis “more than anything else… stakes a claim on the future,” concluding that Iraq does not provide a “model” for America's future wars.15 U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major General Charles Dunlap has argued that land forces “will be of little strategic import in the next war.”16 Gentile disagrees with Dunlap but also with the COIN community, writing that “‘legacy’ large-scale battles… might, in fact, still be looming on the horizon.” Citing Iranian, North Korean and Chinese threats, heargues that planners “could (and should) imagine many types of conflict in the near-to-medium term, not all or even most of them counterinsurgencies.” 17 Michael Mazarr assails the “naïve… assumption that the world has been rendered immune from the requirement for deterrence of major conventional war,” referencing possible threats from rogue states, Russia and the People's Republic of China (PRC).18 Referencing similar threats, Dunlap attacks the COIN community for believing that “human nature will change, that peer competitors will not arise and that the rest of the world will not attempt to challenge U.S. air power.”19 Metz callsfor defense thinkers to “jettison the concept of counterinsurgency,” which he describes as having “outlived its usefulness,” and rethink how they understand irregular threats, since “not all armed conflict is war.”20 This is similar to Mazarr's argument that the use of military force is not the most effective way of winning COIN operations. Whereas COIN advocates argue for minimizing the costs of irregular warfare commitments by dedicating units to enhancing the capabilities of friendly regimes—especially those facing Islamic radicalism—Posen and Metz oppose most capacity-building efforts because twenty first century insurgency is “not simply a variant of war” but is rather “part of systemic failure and pathology,” requiring comprehensive social re-engineering.21 Consequently, host nation governments and the United States have inherently conflicting interests. Mazarr makes an even broader argument, claiming that given the character of twenty first century irregular warfare, militaries should de-emphasize COIN and focus on conventional warfighting.22 Reversing McMaster's argument, the essential traditionalist claim is that focusing on irregular war, for which violent tools are ill-suited, will undermine the U.S. military's role in doing what it does best—preventing and winning full-scale interstate wars.
Multiple nations are gearing up for conventional war-fighting now. Absent adjustment the world will face risks of large-scale conflict.
Sieff ‘9 (Martin, Defense Policy Editor, UPI, “Defense Focus: Land war threats -- Part 1”, 6-3, L/N)
The two conventional land wars that were fought in the Northern Hemisphere over the past year were both small ones, almost tiny in geographical range and short in duration. But Russia'sfive-day war in Georgia in August 2008 and Israel's three-week incursion into Gaza in January 2009 taught the old, hard lesson that a country without adequate tanks, armor, combat aircraft and heavy artillery can't stand up to any country that has them. And for all the problems that Sunni Muslim insurgents in Iraq have given the U.S. Army and Marines over the past six years, they weren't able to stop U.S.-led armed forces from conquering that country in less than three weeks in March-April 2003 and staying there ever since. Military occupations can certainly become costly and exhausting over the months and years without an adequate political solution, but as the Red Army in 1979 and the U.S. armed forces in late 2001 both showed in Afghanistan, the only thing that can stop a well-equipped military force from conquering a country is a comparably armed military force on the other side. Since the collapse of communism it has been widely assumed by U.S. policymakers that gigantic, full-scale land wars on major continents involving hundreds of thousands or even millions of troops have become inconceivable. In the 21st century, U.S. policymakers, spearheaded by Donald Rumsfeld during his momentous six-year reign as secretary of defense, have been convinced that the advent of precision weapons, reconnaissance and communications means that the United States will remain militarily supreme around the world without needing hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of ground troops to fight large-scale wars. Republicans, raised in the age of Tom Clancy novels, have lived in a world where this seemed to be true for the past quarter-century. Democrats don't buy into the vision of electronic super-weapons rendering huge masses of less well-equipped troops, cannon and armored vehicles obsolete as enthusiastically as Republicans do, but they still think that the age of massive land confrontations has passed. That is also the wisdom in every major nation of the European Union, and it's especially the case among European Commission policymakers in Brussels. The only trouble is that a lot of other major powers around the world do not believe it is true -- and are planning on very different assumptions. The Russian army is currently upgrading its equipment on a more massive scale than at any time in at least the past 30 years. Until September 2008, it could afford to do that because of the soaring global price of oil and gas, and Russia was the world's largest exporter and revenue earner of those energy sources. However, even after global energy prices collapsed as the worldwide economic recession took hold last fall, the Russian government has remained resolutely committed to its ambitious military modernization plans. And the Russian invasion of Georgia showed that the current rulers of the Kremlin certainly do not regard the use of their ground forces in conventional wars to further state aims as inconceivable.