More than 15 years of continuous combat has profoundly shaped the ways in which the U.S. military thinks about war. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have deeply colored the ways in which those who have served there now think about the very character of war — especially among the Army, Marine, and special operations forces that have borne the brunt of the fighting. Combat experience is invaluable for leaders who are responsible for fighting wars and advising policymakers on the use of force. But it also produces subconscious biases and blind spots, which may prevent them from thinking clearly and creatively about the types of wars they will fight in the future.
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