Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for UPI on the centenary of the start of World War I:

July 28 marks the centenary of the start of World War I — also known as the “Great War” and tragically and wrongly described by President Woodrow Wilson as the “war to end all wars.” That war was neither great nor the end of war. About eight million soldiers on all sides were killed and at least an equal number of civilians perished — many through disease and starvation.

Last week, London’s Royal United Services Institute, (RUSI — founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington as a permanent institution to study and analyze war), hosted a one-day conference on World War I. The lens was the Western front focusing on British, French and German strategies and tactics of the war.

An interesting and slightly revisionist message was to challenge the conventional view of the war as a bloodbath in which both armies were condemned to costly trench warfare by the stupidity and incompetence of the generals in command. Indeed, two military historians argued that World War I was perhaps the most revolutionary of wars in terms of innovation and dramatic and dynamic change. Hence, the notion of British “lions (soldiers) being led by donkeys,” i.e., the generals commanding, was stood on its head.

Read the full article here.