Line-on-line warfare of the past hasn’t evolved into something completely new; it’s the greater quantity of small action conflict we should burden our minds with.
This provocative essay from Angelo Codevilla at the Claremont Review of Books has enough vitriol in it to get some on everyone's sacred cow. He discusses everything from a revolutionary social situation, to the farce of TSA screening, to the paucity of ships for an "island nation." Even if you don't agree with some or all of it, the issues he raises and the way he addresses them are sure to get you thinking.
September 11's planners could hardly have imagined that their attacks might seriously undermine what Americans had built over two centuries, ... In fact, our decline happened because the War on Terror—albeit microscopic in size and destructiveness as wars go—forced upon us, as wars do, the most important questions that any society ever faces: Who are we, and who are our enemies? What kind of peace do we want? What does it take to get it? Are we able and willing to do what it takes to secure our preferred way of life, to deserve living the way we prefer? Our bipartisan ruling class's dysfunctional responses to such questions inflicted the deepest wounds.
...After 9/11, at home and abroad, our bipartisan ruling class did the characteristic things it had done before—just more of them, and more intensely. ... Ten years later, the results speak for themselves: the terrorists' force mineure proved to be the occasion for our own ruling elites and their ideas to plunge the country into troubles from which they cannot extricate it.