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Virtual war

In Kosovo, war enlisted western citizens only in virtual ways. If future wars don't require mobilisation or sacrifice then what democratic restraints will remain on the resort to force?

The kosovo conflict looked and sounded like a war: jets took off, buildings were destroyed and people died. For the civilians and soldiers killed by Nato air strikes, and the Kosovars murdered by Serbian police and paramilitaries, the war was as real and as terrible as war always is. For citizens of the Nato countries, on the other hand, the war was virtual. They were mobilised not as combatants but as spectators. The war was a spectacle and the events were as remote from their essential interests as a football game. Virtual war is war with death removed, waged in…

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