Since the end of the Cold War, theorists and others have analyzed the details, nuances, and meaning of the new global environment. Meanwhile the Marine Corps has been operating in this environment, learning its lessons firsthand. This new world features many old characteristics with which the Corps is intimately familiar. Counterinsurgency, a dominating concern in modern conflict, is something that many view as a new entry into armed conflict.
But such operations, by definition of varying intensity, are nothing new to conflict or to the Marine Corps. In fact, the service has a long history conducting counterinsurgency operations and other forms of irregular warfare, codifying the hard-learned lessons from these conflicts in the Small Wars Manual.