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This distinction is important because it indicates that war is only the result of a context in which there is a conflict. Categorizations of war It is common to try to distinguish between different forms of war. Categorizing war is important since it allows for more precise generalizations. It is also important for policy purposes. If there are different logics attached to different forms of war, uncovering valid categories can allow for more optimized policy responses. So how should we classify the phenomenon of war?

High-intensity conflict involves regular forces as well as nuclear weapons in a war between states. Mid-intensity conflicts involve only conventional forces, but the war is still being fought among states. Finally, low-intensity conflicts involve actors other than states, where the main armament consists of small arms. Paschall thus seems to suggest that “intensity” is related to access to particular weapon systems. Implicit here is probably the assumption that small arms can do less damage than nuclear weapons and that conflicts involving nuclear weapons are more intensive.

In this more general sense, strategic behavior is usually understood to be shorthand for thinking rationally and coherently about means and ends in situations of choice. ” In this book, we will still use “strategy” – partly for the sake of readability, partly because the concept was originally linked to military affairs. In the context of this book, it would still appear obvious that what we are talking about is the use of force – not strategies for marriages, selling consumer-products, or winning elections.

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