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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses Russian forces at the Russian Hmeimim air base in Syria, December 2017. Courtesy of PA Images/Mikhail Klimentyev

Positional Warfare A Paradigm for Understanding Twenty-First-Century Conflict

Siddarth Kaushal
RUSI Journal, 4 June 2018
Global Security Issues
Contemporary war is not characterised by radical change, but to a return to the eighteenth-century paradigm of positional warfare.

Over the past two decades, the literature on international security has been characterised by an emphasis on the current radical changes in the character of warfare. While different strands focus on different aspects of modern warfare, they are united in the belief that the character of war is undergoing a radical shift. Sidharth Kaushal argues, however, that contemporary changes in the conduct of war represent not a radical shift in the character of warfare, but a regression to the eighteenth-century paradigm of positional warfare.

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