16 June 2021

Water Security as Part of Non-Traditional Security: Threat - Implications for India

 Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Like oil or data, water is an integral part of the world’s economy. Although about 71 per cent of the earth’s surface is water-covered, the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water which is salt water. Freshwater, most of it is frozen in glaciers, accounts for the rest. That leaves less than 1 per cent of the world’s water available to support human and ecological processes. We withdraw 4.3 trillion cubic meters of freshwater every year from the earth’s water basins. We use it in agriculture, which accounts for 70 per cent of the withdrawals. Industry and households consume 19 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively. However, these percentages fluctuate widely across the globe. In the United States, industrial and agricultural usage is almost the same around 40 per cent. In India, agriculture uses 90 per cent of water withdrawals, while only 2 per cent is consumed by industry. Over the past century, rate of withdrawal of available freshwater resources have risen almost six times, outpacing global population growth.

China’s Nuclear and Missile Capabilities: An Overview

Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Since China first conducted a nuclear weapon test in 1964, its nuclear doctrine has remained unchanged and is underpinned by two principles: a minimum deterrent doctrine and a No First Use (NFU) policy. China’s 2019 defence white paper states, “China is always committed to a nuclear policy of NFU of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally.”

However, a recent U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) report claims that the scope of China’s nuclear modernisation and its lack of transparency “raise concern that China is not only shifting its requirements for what constitutes a minimal deterrence but that it could shift away from its longstanding minimalist force posture.” The data available show that China is modernising and expanding virtually every element of its nuclear forces, including each aspect of its nuclear weapons and missile, sea, and air delivery systems. What is not clear are China’s current and planned holdings of nuclear weapons, China’s future plans for deploying additional delivery systems, its commitment to some form of NFU, first preemption, or launch on warning, and the extent to which it will accept what might be called a form of ‘minimum assured destruction.

India’s Taliban outreach will mean different carrots for different levels of commanders


Reports that India has opened ‘formal channels of communication’ to the Taliban, thereby changing its decades-old policy, created something of a stir in strategic circles. Clearly, with about 50 per cent of US troops already out of Afghanistan, the clock is ticking. Standing staunchly by Kabul is all very well, but the reality is that the Taliban are not going anywhere, and will be part of any future dispensation in Afghanistan. That’s the central pivot of all decision-making. That, and what the Taliban want themselves. That’s tricky, since it depends just who the ‘Taliban’ are at this point in time.
The Taliban and friends

Deciding on just who the Taliban are requires a bit of a drill-down. First, the ‘Taliban’ effectively means some 60,000 core fighters, give or take, with several thousand in a situation of flux. Added to that are support groups or facilitators, which some sources number in tens of thousands, as well as local militias who may support them for gain. An increasingly large part of these ‘professional’ fighters have never known any other life. Others are ‘part-time’ fighters, going back to till their fields or ‘regular’ jobs, especially in districts where the Taliban are more or less in control. To both, being a Taliban means more income, and clout in their villages. Controlling these are district or local commanders, whose job it is to ensure collection of taxes in the name of a ‘shadow government’. Services have to be provided to the local population, which in turn ensures the Taliban a steady supply of recruits, ensuring numbers are sustained in the fighting season. Both these tiers can go on fighting till the end of their lives if necessary. But what they want is a move from shadow to substance; and they’re likely to get just that in large parts of Afghanistan even if negotiations stall.

NATO allies seek clarity on maintaining secure facilities in Afghanistan following troop withdrawal

By Karen DeYoung

With fewer than 100 days before the Sept. 11 deadline President Biden has set for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, allies in the two-decade-long war are anxiously awaiting U.S. guidance on what comes next.

The administration has issued broad commitments to maintaining its diplomatic presence and massive aid programs there, and to keeping terrorists from using Afghanistan as a launchpad for global attacks.

But NATO and other partners are increasingly concerned about the details, from how Kabul’s international airport and the main medical facility that diplomats and aid workers depend on will be kept operational and secure to where counterterrorism surveillance and other assets will be based outside Afghanistan.

Allies are hopeful that Biden will provide some answers — or at least more reassurance that they soon will be forthcoming — at the NATO summit he will attend in Brussels on Monday. U.S. and NATO officials have said Afghanistan is high on the agenda for the meeting.

Amid U.S. Pullout, Afghanistan's Hazaras Fear For Their Future


As violence in Afghanistan increases amid U.S. and NATO troop withdrawal, the country's Hazara ethnic group are arming themselves against what they anticipate will be a war for control between opposing factions competing for control.

Hazaras are vulnerable targets at schools, weddings, mosques, sports clubs, and even at birth. Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate declared war on the country's Shiites in 2014 and 2015 and has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on the Hazaras.

The Hazara community is also deeply skeptical of the government for its lack of incentive to protect them. Some hold concerns over government-linked warlords, who antagonize the ethnic group, being involved in the attacks.

Rare Earths in Myanmar: Unobtanium?

By Sribala Subramanian

Kachin State in northern Myanmar has a long history of armed groups using illicit gold, copper, or iron deposits to fund insurgent activities. Lately, reports have been trickling in about a free-for-all scramble for the control of another group of valuable metals: rare earths. The spurt in unauthorized mining, which began after the coup of February 1, appears to be taking place along the border with China. The Kachin State mining department released photos of ten-wheeler trucks, presumably from China’s Yunnan Province, loaded with the ammonium sulfate used to extract the metals.

Myanmar is the world’s third-largest source of mined rare earths. Prized for their “fantastic magnetic properties,” the 17 lustrous metals are used in high-tech products like electric cars, wind turbines, and fighter jets. Myanmar has rich deposits of dysprosium and terbium, sought-after heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) that are otherwise in short supply. Soft enough to cut with a knife, dysprosium is a powerhouse among magnets and makes electric car motors considerably lighter. A decade ago, the U.S. Department of Energy identified dysprosium as the single most critical element among rare earths, warning that bottlenecks could adversely affect the clean energy industry.

Theoretical Explanations of the Prevailing Instability of Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Sinmyung Park

Armed conflicts, whether great or small, do not appear to cease within Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rakhine conflict is multifaceted, with financial, socio-political, religious, and nationalistic causes, none of which are mutually exclusive. Amid several armed skirmishes of high intensity, some of the recent conspicuous disputes have been the displacement of the Rohingya population and the rapid emergence of a Buddhist armed group named the Arakan Army (AA). There is less scholarly work exploring the substance behind these immediate phenomena; relying on current explanations that do not address the potential historical root causes or complexity of the conflict delays effective political responses. What is required in this regard is a comprehensive theoretical approach that utilizes a holistic framework to examine past and present conflicts in Rakhine State.

Understanding the current status of the Rohingya issue must entail a theoretical elucidation of 1) how political scapegoating may give birth to a militaristic form of nationalism that advocates violence toward the ‘othered’ population and 2) how these series of events might lead to the enactment of a citizenship law which provides legal justification for such discrimination. Furthermore, it is important to understand the intention behind the AA’s use of religious and nationalistic appeals in its expanding strategy. Thus, this article aims to provide a theoretical grounding for examining the historical developments to contextualize the prevailing instability of Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

China Nuclear Plant Leak Response Evokes Chernobyl as Taishan Facility Insists It's Safe


The U.S. government reportedly spent the last week assessing allegations of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that part-owns and helps operate it warned of an "immediate radiological threat."

The Chinese plant denied the allegations and said that its generators are functioning normally, evoking memories for some of the lack of transparency around previous nuclear disasters.

A letter from France-based Framatome to the U.S. Department of Energy warned that the Chinese safety authority has been raising the acceptable limits of radiation detected outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down, CNN reported on Sunday.

The letter sought to obtain a waiver to share U.S. technical assistance with the Taishan plant, claiming that the radiation limits were above French safety standards.

Framatome, a designer and supplier of nuclear equipment and services that's owned by Électricité de France, was contracted to help construct and operate the plant.

Good China-Russia Relations Are Here to Stay

By Janko Šćepanović,

In recent years, China-Russia relations have been frequently described as having attained an “unprecedentedly high level.” Typically, these pronouncements come from the very top of the political hierarchy in both countries. For instance, during a phone call in late December China’s President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, praised the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the two countries, which they assessed to be at “the highest level in history.” Similarly, the respective foreign ministers, Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov, recently spoke and underscored the steady development of mutual ties between the two countries, despite the pandemic disruption. This year the two countries celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, which became one of the central cornerstones of their improved ties in the post-Cold War period.

Regardless of this positive rhetoric, some scholars and commentators point out the shortcomings and problems incumbent in Sino-Russian ties. For instance, University of Glasgow scholar Dr. Marcin Kaczmarski argues that the relationship is not set in stone. While, there are important areas of convergence – a shared vision of the multipolar world and centrality of the U.N., among others – their different positions in the international system impact their expectations and behavior. As a potential superpower whose economic growth depends on globalization, China is much more interested in stability than Russia, which sometimes benefits by openly challenging the West.

The Party Is Not Forever


CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – Human beings approaching 100 normally think about death. But political parties celebrating their centennial, as the Communist Party of China (CPC) will on July 1, are obsessed with immortality. Such optimism seems odd for parties that rule dictatorships, because their longevity record does not inspire confidence. The fact that no other such party in modern times has survived for a century should give China’s leaders cause for worry, not celebration.

One obvious reason for the relatively short lifespan of communist or authoritarian parties is that party-dominated modern dictatorships, unlike democracies, emerged only in the twentieth century. The Soviet Union, the first such dictatorship, was founded in 1922. The Kuomintang (KMT) in China, a quasi-Leninist party, gained nominal control of the country in 1927. The Nazis did not come to power in Germany until 1933. Nearly all of the world’s communist regimes were established after World War II.

But there is a more fundamental explanation than historical coincidence. The political environment in which dictatorial parties operate implies an existence that is far more Hobbesian – “nasty, brutish, and short” – than that of their democratic counterparts.

The Economic Costs of Operation Guardian of the Walls

Manuel Trajtenberg,  Tomer Fadlon

As in previous rounds of fighting against Hamas, Operation Guardian of the Walls exacted three types of economic costs: the direct military cost, reduction in economic activity, and property damage caused by the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Some of these costs are difficult to estimate, and it is thus too early to assess the full economic consequences of the operation. In addition, the parties responsible for these estimates, that is, the Ministry of Defense on the one hand and the Ministry of Finance on the other, have opposing interests in this matter. Nevertheless, it is already evident that despite the high intensity of the recent operation, its economic costs will be substantially lower than those of the preceding round, Operation Protective Edge. Operation Guardian of the Walls lasted 11 days and was waged from the air, with no fighting by ground troops. During the COVID-19 crisis, the economy learned how to shift quickly and efficiently from normal times to an emergency mode and remote work patterns. All of these factors should reduce the operation's cost. At the same time, the severe damage to Israel's image caused by its activity in the Gaza Strip is liable to incur high economic costs in the future, and the cognitive campaign should therefore consider the economic dimension, as well as the political dimension.

America Is Not Ready for a War With China

By Michael Beckley

The United States has spent $19 trillion on its military since the end of the Cold War. That is $16 trillion more than China spent and nearly as much as the rest of the world combined spent during the same period. Yet many experts think that the United States is about to lose a devastating war. In March, Admiral Philip Davidson, then the commander of U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific, warned that within the next six years, China’s military will “overmatch” that of the United States and will “forcibly change the status quo” in East Asia. Back in 2019, a former Pentagon official claimed that the U.S. military routinely “gets its ass handed to it” in war games simulating combat with China. Meanwhile, many analysts and researchers have concluded that if China chose to conquer Taiwan, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could cripple whatever U.S. forces tried to stand in its way.

It has become conventional wisdom that this gathering storm represents the inevitable result of Beijing’s rise and Washington’s decline. In fact, it is nothing of the sort. The United States has vast resources and a viable strategy to counter China’s military expansion.

Lawmakers press Biden to give Putin ultimatum on ransomware gangs


Lawmakers of both parties want President Joe Biden to deliver a tough message when he meets face-to-face this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin: Stop the ransomware gangs, or we will.

After two recent attacks that disrupted key parts of Americans’ lives — against a major gasoline pipeline and a large meatpacking conglomerate — there’s a growing bipartisan consensus that the traditional U.S. strategy of strengthening defenses isn’t enough. It’s time, lawmakers say, for the U.S. to start flexing some muscle, including hacking back against criminal networks operating out of the former Cold War rival’s territory.

“I equate it to a common burglar. We put locks on our house ... but you also want to make sure you’re catching the burglar and punishing the burglar,” said Senate Homeland Security Chair Gary Peters (D-Mich.). He called the Kremlin’s laissez-faire attitude about criminal networks working in its own backyard “unacceptable.”

The FBI's Anom Stunt Rattles the Encryption Debate

Source Link

LAST FALL, DOZENS of boxes stacked with tuna cans left Ecuador on a ship destined for Belgium. Upon arrival, the shipment was picked up by law enforcement, who found that the tins were not full of line-caught albacore but over 1,300 pounds of cocaine, packed in tidy little pucks. The seizure wasn't a stroke of luck, though, or even a routine search. Belgian authorities knew the drugs would be there, because they'd read the encrypted text messages of the criminals who allegedly sent it.

Import requirements, shipping container logistics—the FBI had seen it all, hammered out over a series of texts dating back to October on the Anom encrypted phone network. Federal agents hadn't cracked Anom's cryptography, or paid off an informant directly involved in the canny deal. They had, along with the Australian police, spent the past three years running the whole system.

As it turns out, the tuna bandits were a drop in a much bigger ocean of Anom-related law enforcement activity. Early this week, an international consortium led by the FBI announced a total of about 800 arrests, more than 500 of which were carried out in recent days, that stemmed directly from the information gleaned as Anom's owner and operator. Authorities intercepted more than 27 million messages through the platform from around 12,000 devices, and subsequently seized $45 million in international currency, 250 firearms, and more than 32 tons of illegal drugs.

What Blockchain Tells Us about the Pentagon’s Innovation Struggles


A shared digital ledger whose every transaction is preserved in mathematical amber, blockchain can offer transparency, trustworthiness, and immutability—qualities of obvious value to the world of defense acquisition. But to the U.S. defense industry, blockchain is just another small-company innovation that the Pentagon has failed to grasp, and it is instructive to look at why.

In the last five years or so, the technology has developed rapidly and is now being increasingly relied upon in supply chain management. Aerotrax is using blockchain to track aviation maintenance and repair; Italy’s entire banking industry will soon begin using it for reconciliations. But while there are some startups working on applying blockchain in the U.S. defense sector, such as SIMBA Chain, most have gone no further than pilots working with dummy data. Many have been built on blockchains that are fundamentally incompatible with the NIST standards with which all technologies for federal government are required to comply.

Several barriers have kept blockchain—and other new technologies—from finding a foothold in the Pentagon. The contracting process uses stringent criteria intended to verify that the vendor has a track record of success. But the requirement to provide, for example, five years of detailed financial data means that many great young companies—including blockchain developers—are out of the running before the starting pistol fires.

Joe Biden worries that China might win

Thomas Wright

A few months into Joe Biden’s presidency, it certainly seems like foreign policy has taken a back seat to domestic policy. The president’s top priorities are clearly tackling the pandemic and multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and economic-stimulus plans. However, this should not obscure a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy, not just from Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, but also from his former boss Barack Obama.

Key elements of the Biden worldview are hiding in plain sight. You don’t have to look for leaks of secret documents. Just listen to what the president says.

“We’re at an inflection point between those who argue that … autocracy is the best way forward,” he said in February, “and those who understand that democracy is essential.” The following month, he told reporters, “On my watch,” China will not achieve its goal “to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world.” In April, he repeated this theme, arguing that the world was at an inflection point in determining “whether or not democracy can function in the 21st century.” Then last month, he was even more specific, telling David Brooks of The New York Times, “We’re kind of at a place where the rest of the world is beginning to look to China.” Tellingly, he doesn’t just say this in his formal remarks; he brings up the subject all the time.

“People Collected Severed Arms, Legs and Heads”

By Emmanuel Freudenthal, Matthias Gebauer, Patricia Huon, Héni Nsaibia

They had come to celebrate. Around 100 people were gathered on the outskirts of the village of Bounti in Mali, West Africa, for a wedding in January. Some sat on mats in the shade of trees and drank tea. The feast was about to be served when French fighter jets appeared in the sky, says Madabbel Diallo, 71, a shepherd who was one of the guests.

A short time later, Diallo heard an explosion and then another. The next thing he remembers is lying on the ground, badly injured. His legs were bleeding. He saw people with limbs torn to shreds. One man’s entrails were seeping out of his body. Helpers who rushed to the site from the village took Diallo to the clinic in the nearest town.

Speaking of the attack several days later over the phone, he was still in a state of shock. His cousin, Mamoudou Diallo, also wounded in the attack, was lying in the bed next to him. Three of his nephews were dead. "People collected severed arms, legs and heads, threw them into a hole and buried them,” he said.

"They Came with Planes and Bombed Us"

NATO Summit 2021: Alliance Needs Realistic Strategy for the Challenges of a Rising China

Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis

NATO’s Brussels Summit on June 14, 2021, is an opportunity for the Alliance to state clearly what its responsibilities are—and what they are not—when it comes to China. The Alliance must be realistic—NATO’s most immediate threat, and the threat for which it was created, and for which it is equipped, is Russian aggression. China will continue to be a challenge for North America and Europe, but NATO’s role in confronting China must be a limited one for the foreseeable future.


NATO has not laid out what its policy responsibilities are toward China, nor does it have a defined policy to address the challenge posed by the Chinese regime.

The rise of China contains myriad challenges for the Alliance, but there are constraints on what NATO can and should do to address them.

Despite these constraints, NATO members should reaffirm their commitment to unity against Chinese pressure, and encourage a coordinated China strategy.

Energy relations are a sign of Russia's declining global standing


My colleague and I have recently argued that the limited scope of sanctions that the Biden administration imposed on a Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany (Nord Stream 2) have not been about Russia. Rather they have been a reflection of U.S. interest in rekindling transatlantic ties to counter China’s expansionist policies. But the decision about Nord Stream 2 sanctions — assessed against a greater backdrop of international relations — indicates much more: it points to a failure of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy direction that aims to see Russia returning to the center of world affairs.

This policy has seen Russia involved and weighing in on many global issues, including the conflict in Syria, Iran’s nuclear program, Venezuela’s collapse. Russia’s aggression against Georgia and Ukraine have also put Russia back in the center of global attention as have Russia-based cyber-attacks and meddling in the U.S and European elections.

Russia has also risen to a status of major global producer and supplier of fossil fuels, amplified by recent developments such as: participation in the OPEC+ alliance and buildup of natural gas infrastructure to facilitate Russian gas exports. Indeed, Russia’s rise as a major energy producer and exporter has been one of the most successful stories of the post-Soviet era, crucial to its economic performance and political success of Vladimir Putin.

Where Next With Hacking Back Against Cyber Crime?

Dan Lohrmann

In his first foreign trip since being sworn into office, President Joe Biden is in Europe this week to meet with global leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. There are numerous important aspects to this story and lots of advice on how Biden should handle the situation. But one closely watched aspect to this story includes what can be said, and done, to curtail cyber crime and stop accelerating ransomware attacks?

The Russian government has denied any involvement in ransomware, which may be technically true, but many global leaders are calling for countries to do more to stop criminals who may be operating within their borders.

Indeed, FBI Director Christopher Wray compared the ransomware challenge to 9/11 and called for a coordinated fight across society.

I appeared on MiTechNews last Monday with Mike Brennan to discuss our global ransomware situation, and what the U.S. can do to address the problems at a national level. (Note: It is widely recognized that public- and private-sector companies need to do more to protect themselves as a top priority.)

Ransomware Attacks Don’t Only Happen To Other Organizations…

Enrique Dans

The growing number of ransomware cases in recent years highlights the importance of implementing a security culture in organizations, even more so when, due to the pandemic, many people have switched to working from home without taking the right precautions and having thus generated many vulnerabilities. While some of the organizations affected have refused to pay and have been able to save most of their data thanks to the use of backup copies, in many other cases we have seen major interruptions in their operations or the payment of large ransoms.

How a global website outage underscores the importance of creating a more robust internet

John Villasenor

Can a problem at a single company cause a globe-spanning internet glitch knocking the websites of the New York Times, BBC, Hulu, U.K. government, PayPal, and many more organizations offline? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, as demonstrated by the approximately hour-long outage that occurred on the morning (in the U.S.) of June 8. The cause was what Fastly, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), referred to as a “service configuration” that the company quickly disabled once its role in preventing websites from loading became clear.

While the outage was quickly fixed, the fact that it occurred at all underscores how the internet isn’t nearly as distributed as we tend to think. There may be billions of internet users and even more internet-connected devices than there are users, but a surprisingly small number of companies are responsible for operating the behind-the-scenes plumbing. As Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince explained in a 2017 post, the infrastructure of the internet includes hosting services (where the content on websites is stored), companies that ensure that a user who types a web address such as “nytimes.com” into a browser is directed to the right place, CDNs, and companies that quickly move vast amounts of data across cities, countries, and oceans.

What Makes Quantum Computing So Hard to Explain?

Scott Aaronson

Quantum computers, you might have heard, are magical uber-machines that will soon cure cancer and global warming by trying all possible answers in different parallel universes. For 15 years, on my blog and elsewhere, I’ve railed against this cartoonish vision, trying to explain what I see as the subtler but ironically even more fascinating truth. I approach this as a public service and almost my moral duty as a quantum computing researcher. Alas, the work feels Sisyphean: The cringeworthy hype about quantum computers has only increased over the years, as corporations and governments have invested billions, and as the technology has progressed to programmable 50-qubit devices that (on certain contrived benchmarks) really can give the world’s biggest supercomputers a run for their money. And just as in cryptocurrency, machine learning and other trendy fields, with money have come hucksters.

In reflective moments, though, I get it. The reality is that even if you removed all the bad incentives and the greed, quantum computing would still be hard to explain briefly and honestly without math. As the quantum computing pioneer Richard Feynman once said about the quantum electrodynamics work that won him the Nobel Prize, if it were possible to describe it in a few sentences, it wouldn’t have been worth a Nobel Prize.

The changing face of warfare: why Nato needs to talk about unmanned combat drones

Thomas Harding

The development of unmanned combat drones by leading nations must be addressed by Nato, academics and defence analysts say.

Alliance chiefs are scheduled to meet on Monday, and while the subject of armed drones programmed with artificial intelligence may not be high on the agenda, it cannot be ignored for much longer.

Countries such as Turkey, Russia, Britain, China and the US are developing unmanned aircraft that can select humans or fixed military targets and launch missiles without a living being’s command.

That creates moral, legal and strategic questions.

Although the communique is likely to welcome Washington's re-engagement with the alliance and condemn Nato's adversaries, defence analysts told The National the drone issue needs to be discussed.

Is the Nature of War Changing? Time to Avoid a Supposedly Unavoidable Question

Lotta Rahlf

Asking whether the nature of war is changing seems innocuous at first glance but should be taken with a grain of salt. For what is this nature of war that is supposed to be changing? And does this question refer to the ability of change as such, or does it reflect curiosity about current processes? A look at ongoing debates among scholars of war studies suggests the latter. Therefore, it may be time to examine and critically evaluate the theoretical foundations and practical consequences of the claim that the nature of war is changing and that it has recently changed.

This paper will show that the notion of a nature of war finds a particular long-lasting expression in the Westphalian-Clausewitzian conceptualisation of war. This neologism, adopted from Bousquet (2015, 104), describes a particular political-rational understanding of war in the context of European wars and state formation from the 17th to the 19th century. In light of alleged “new wars” today, such a conceptualisation has become widely regarded as no longer analytically useful. However, I argue that while attempts to re-conceptualise war are breaking with the eternity in the notion of a nature of war, they are not overcoming a Clausewitzian mindset since they hold on to the idea of a nature of war. This not only impedes analytical progress but also creates the opportunity for normative comparability facilitating military interventionism reminiscent of pre-Clausewitzian times. Only abandoning the notion of a nature of war and allowing conceptual plurality may prevent such unpleasant consequences.