Virtual War by Michael Ignatieff
Kosovo and Beyond

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A brilliant analysis of the conflict in Kosovo and what it means for the future of warfare, by internationally renowned journalist and commentator Michael IgnatieffIn the vast tent city that sprang up in Macedonia to house Kosovar refugees, the most coveted commodity was not food or water but cell phones-a lifeline in the chaotic search for missing children, husbands, and parents. This was war at the of the twentieth century: from smart bombs to cell phones, technology ruled. For a decade, Michael Ignatieff has provided eyewitness accounts and penetrating analyses from the world's battle zones. In Virtual War, he describes the latest phase in modern combat: war fought by remote control. In "real" war, nations are mobilized, soldiers fight and die, victories are won. In virtual war, however, there is often no formal declaration of hostilities, the combatants are strike pilots and computer programmers, the nation enlists as a TV audience, and instead of defeat and victory there is only an uncertain game. Kosovo was such a virtual war, a war in which U.S. and NATO forces did the fighting but only Kosovars and Serbs did the dying. Ignatieff examines the conflict through the eyes of key players-politicians, diplomats, and generals-and through the experience of the victims, the refugees and civilians who suffered. As unrest continues in the Balkans, East Timor, and other places around the world, Ignatieff raises the troubling possibility that virtual wars, so much easier to fight, could become the way superpowers impose their will in the century ahead.
 

About Michael Ignatieff

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Michael Ignatieff is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, among other publications. He is the author of many acclaimed books, including Blood and Belonging, Isaiah Berlin, and The Warrior's Honor. He lives in London.
 
Published June 2, 2001 by St Martins Pr. 256 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Travel, War, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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improvisation on a theme.'' Ignatieff then moves to an analysis of ``Balkan physics,'' where everything is ``chaotically unpredictable.'' After a section containing an Email debate between Ignatieff and an English adversary is an unblinking look at Gen.

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Whereas Kosovo ""looked and sounded like a war"" to those on the ground, it was a virtual event for citizens of NATO countries--it was ""a spectacle: it aroused emotions in the intense but shallow way that sports do."" In other words, the basic equality of moral risk (kill or be killed) in tradit...

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