Recently I was reading something about WWI and I sort of had the thought that it represented the peak of soldier-on-soldier warfare. Maybe for that reason beginning soon after (as early as the Spanish Civil War?) warfare seems to have generally evolved away from soldier-on-soldier battlefield conflicts and more toward soldier-on-civilian or (disembodied) military-on-soldier or disemboldied military-on-civilian “conflicts”.
WWII seems to have been a synthesis of sorts with virtually every type of military action but notably towards the end was full out massive attacks by disembodied military forces on civilians (fire bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki) without much solider-on-soldier combat. As comics artist Joe Sacco put it “More women, more children, more quickly”.
Since then most military conflicts have evolved more and more away from battlefields and more towards soldiers embedded among civilians being attacked by disembodied military forces.
This is probably old hat for people that study warfare. That’s a topic I’ve always found boring but have been thinking a lot about recently. This is mostly due to my conviction that much of Europe is on the expressway to citizen uprisings against their governments which are at best lethargic and out of touch and at worst outright hostile to native citizen concerns.
If (as some believe) humanity is gearing up for another giant global military dust up (with Syria being the dress rehearsal much as the Spanish Civil War was a dress rehearsal for WWII) then it makes sense to think about how that may play out. My hunch is that it will be massive disembodied attacks on civilians with hardly any battlefields at all. Being a soldier in the military may go from being the most dangerous to the safest place in the next war.