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The Impact of Nationalism on Joint Force Planning

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Journal article

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Nationalism has emerged as a powerful force in the post-Cold War world. Far from the end of history as presaged by Francis Fukuyama, there has been a return to history in gory detail. In much of Africa and Asia the contest between the two superpowers was a convenient mechanism for garnering economic aid and security assistance at a discount, but it was largely irrelevant in the context of regional politics. For example, in the Middle East, ArabIsraeli differences continued to fester independently of the superpowers, which became patrons of the opposing sides. Perhaps the most dynamic changes have taken place in areas once dominated by the Soviet Union. Germany has been reunited, the Baltic states have reappeared, and numerous new nations, most without any independent existence in the modern era, have been established. In Yugoslavia, a bloody war has carved states out of a multiethnic nation. Similar changes are occurring around the world. Palestinians are negotiating with Israel for an autonomous state. U.N. forces protect Kurds in northern Iraq. In Africa, tribal differences threaten to reshape the political landscape from Liberia to Somalia. Even in Western Europe, traditional FlemishWalloon friction has been revived in Belgium while Basque separatists continue to harass the Spanish government. Thus nationalism has reemerged as a critical factor in restructuring the international political scene in the post-Cold War era. Understanding the dynamics of nationalism will remain critical to regional security affairs and joint force planning.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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