When it comes to issues of irregular
warfare and Middle Eastern conflict, there is an understandable focus on the
terrestrial domain and the problems of insurgency and terrorism. Furthermore,
given the recent record of that experience, it’s unsurprising that direct
engagement in land warfare is something of an anathema in debates about the
American strategic future. Avoiding “land wars in Asia,” whether by
substituting local soldiers for Americans or by avoiding such conflicts
altogether through a strategy of “offshore balancing” is again the new vogue.