The disintegration of the Soviet Union has led to a fundamental and uncertain transformation in the international order. The assertion of the Baltic states and the separatism of the Soviet republics are largely a manifestation of the fact that a former superpower is reacting to the winds of change that have buffeted the social, economic, and political order of the new states since their independence. Actual United States military involvement in both the Reagan and the Bush administrations unfortunately obscured and consequently lessened the concern of policymakers, the public, and the armed forces about the need to have the capabilities to engage in low-intensity conflicts. Low-intensity conflict is a politico-military confrontation between competing states or groups below conventional war and above the routine, peaceful competition among states. Low-intensity conflicts are often localized, generally in the Third World, but contain regional and global security implications. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.