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The Moral Dimension Of Asymmetrical Warfare – An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates that the issues under scrutiny today are to an embarrassing degree comparable with the era when Western nations considered themselves the legitimate rulers of other realms of the world. The historian Wesseling points out that the colonial wars fought at the time are comparable to the current situation in Afghanistan. The wars fought then were different from the ordinary wars fought in Europe, he argues, because they served another purpose and because the military encountered a different kind or resistance. Two types of war could be distinguished from the European point of view: one between well-organised, industrialised nations, and one against poorly organised nations. The Mahdi Army was inspired by the defeat of the Italians in Ethiopia and the British at Khartoum.

Keywords: colonial wars; legitimate rulers; Mahdi army



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