Wars increasingly not being fought by armies-opinion

Perhaps most obviously, in the Iraq conflict it became clear that a very large number of attacks by the American forces were not being carried out by normal military, but were being carried out by Special Forces and the CIA, often under conditions of extreme secrecy and unknown oversight.

The role of these agencies is even more dominant in Afghanistan, where the CIA has had thirty years of involvement in ‘dirty ops’ against the Soviets and the financing of irregular forces like Islamic extremist groups.

With the introduction of drones to the theatre it becomes easier to separate the surveillance and attack functions even further from the regular army and air force and to increase secrecy even further. It seems certain that in many cases the regular army is not informed about what its own side is doing.

And of course the privatisation of military roles has been well documented and discussed.

What becomes clear is that in a time when public oversight of war is becoming more feasible, and the demand for it increased, the war administrators have chosen to take the battlefield into secret places, and to make sure that we stay uninformed about its conduct.

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