what does war mean today?

Well, humans are very aggressive and scrappy, and go to war at the drop of a hat. However, a standard land war is no longer going to work as it is no longer technically possible. There are no fronts, the commanding headquarters of generals can be smashed instantly and are number-one targets, supply lines can be interdicted at will, trans-border invasions by organized national armies are heavily disapproved by large coalitions of nations. War as Napoleon knew it just not possible any more. However, we’re very unlikely to accept or recognize “world peace” even when we get it. Therefore, events that Queen Victoria would recognize as outrages, frontier skirmishes or minor popular rebellions will be reclassified as “war.” And so will major atrocities such as biological warfare and surreptitious nuclear explosions. They used to be seen as insane or unthinkable acts of madmen. But if they take place they’ll be called “war” too. And there will still be no conventional war.
– Bruce Sterling in Inside the Military Entertainment Complex

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