The nature of violent conflict is changing and is not state-vs-state. The enemy are considered now to be non-state groups motivated by extreme ideology, in many cases extreme interpretations of Islam.
Individuals, including suicide bombers, are attracted, persuaded, or indoctrinated, to carry out violent acts.
Traditional armed forces, including and perhaps especially the British, have not been prepared for such conflicts and missions which are essentially counter insurgency operations.
Such conflicts have been provoked, or exacerbated by what have been described as ‘wars of choice’ – notably the invasion of Iraq. Our armed forces were ill-prepared for such conflicts. Such wars also have serious implications for traditional deterrence theory.