Have globalization, virulent ethnic differences, and globally operating insurgents fundamentally changed the nature of war in the last decade? Interpretations of war as driven by politics and state rationale, formulated most importantly by the 19th century practitioner Carl von Clausewitz, have received strong criticism. Political explanations have been said to fall short in explaining conflicts in the Balkans, Africa, Asia and the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States. This book re-evaluates these criticisms not only by scrutinising Clausewitz's arguments and their applicability, but also by a careful reading of the criticism itself. In doing so, it presents empirical evidence on the basis of several case studies, addressing various aspects of modern war, such as the actors, conduct and purposes of war.