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The American Way of War39:11

This article is more than 18 years old.

Television news reports of the wars the U.S. has fought over the last decade have shown images of satellite tracking systems pinpointing targets and American precision-guided bombs hitting such targets. These recurring images have reaffirmed to the American public that the U.S. is willing to do whatever it takes to fight the kind of wars that spare the lives of its soldiers. The use of high-technology equipment in conducting warfare leads to an increase of invulnerability in conventional combat soldiers by allowing them to inflict harm without being in harm's way.

On this week's show, we featured a lecture delivered at Boston University last week by Associate Professor of Military History at the United States Military Academy Eugenia Kiesling. In her lecture, Professor Kiesling traces the course of weapons technology throughout American history and its effects on the American way of war. She argues that the high technology-low casualty successes of the NATO bombing in the Balkans and Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in 1991 represent a dramatic departure from the conventional American way of war. In her opinion, such a departure is not only changing the code of the American warrior but it is also posing uncertain consequnces for the future of American war-fighting.

Boston University Professor of International Relations H. Joachim Maitre who is also Director of the Division of Military Education responsed to Professor Kiesling's lecture and comments. We also heard from Lt. Commander John Miller who is commander of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Boston University.

This program aired on April 1, 2001.

Robin Lubbock Twitter Visual/Social Media
Robin Lubbock produces visual and social media for WBUR.


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