without indiscriminately harming the civilian population of the area, new kinds of forces, precision weapons, and tailored modes of attack are required.
While warfare between national armed forces or the threat of such warfare continues, the world has also seen the rise of mob violence, guerrilla warfare, and terrorism as a means to disrupt and to destroy established governments. The international drug trade, rife with violence and technical measures and countermeasures, has assumed the dimensions of an international struggle of major proportions. Dependence on computer databases and their intercommunication has opened the possibility of attacks on national and corporate information infrastructures that, if successful, can seriously disorient and weaken the very foundations of modern technological societies.
All of these modes of conflict and threats to the peace cross national boundaries as we have known them, although in many cases national entities aid and abet them. The transnational groups and their mentoring countries also have it in their power to acquire weapons of mass destruction—nuclear weapons, and especially chemical and biological weapons that are difficult to deny to the wouldbe users and difficult to detect. Small groups and countries can threaten both their neighbors and major nations far from their borders. The developing transnational threat to order and peace in the world is not amenable to solution by traditional diplomatic and military means.
During the Cold War the play of events was subject to the “virtual discipline” of fitting in some way into the major two-sided competition between the free and the communist worlds. As a consequence of the new developments on the international scene, it might be said that we have entered a new, different, and more complex period of cold war characterized by unfocused but incessant world conflict. Many of the key action areas—vis-à-vis terrorism, drugs, and information warfare—are not primary naval force responsibilities, although at various times and places the naval forces must deal with them. They will demand new connections and working relationships among U.S. military, intelligence, and civilian agencies.
The expansion of the transnational threats to our security has received increasing attention in the absence of a major threat of global warfare. We must remain aware, however, that the post-Cold War world is also seeing the gradual emergence of regional national power centers that will be in a position either to threaten or to reinforce regional security and our own interests in various parts of the world.
In the Middle East, beyond Iraq's continuing hostility, the warlike activity of religious fundamentalists in the broad arc from Algeria through Afghanistan, encouraged and in some cases actively aided by Iran, signals a movement in much of the region toward hostility to the United States and its interests that may be hard to counter in the long run. Iran is also building its conventional armed forces and is reaching out for closer relationships with other Muslim countries along Russia's southern boundary from Turkey to Kazakhstan.
Russian economic and political development remains unstable. There could