The Gulf War was well defined with a central mission and recognizable enemy. Battles are now fought from house to house, urban theaters or grueling terrain against collections of disparate belligerents.
Our enemies are groups of factions, splintered, decentralized and fight amongst themselves.
Unless the US goes to war with the 2 remaining super powers, Russia and China, as well as the rogue nation of North Korea, we will continue to fight against enemies that blend in.
Asymmetric warfare is no longer a niche. And proxy wars are fought with greater frequency and in more than one theater.
We had learned many lessons from how the Vietnam Conflict was fought, how warriors were denied victory or in victory were handed defeat by our own leaders. Great leaders such as Norman Schwarzekopff, Colin Powell and Barry McCaffrey let us fight unrestrained and perfectly prepared.
I'll never forget our OPORDER: Kill everything in front of you. As scouts, there were no friendlies in front. Part of the role in the Cavalry is harassment, instigation, probe and draw fire, quick reaction force, forward observation and call for fire.
There was no need to ask for permission; it was granted from the start.