Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
The author of Shadow War, a veteran with deep experience—as an 82nd Airborne paratrooper, private contractor, and professor of war studies at the National Defense University—delivers a highly provocative, even controversial, exploration of modern warfare and what we must do to win in the future
War is timeless. Some things change—weapons, tactics, technology, leadership, objectives—but the propensity for humans to do battle does not. Today, more than eighty years after World War II and thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are again living in dangerous times. It is the age of Durable Disorder—a period of unrest created by numerous factors: China’s rise, Russia’s resurgence, America’s retreat, the Middle East aflame, global terrorism, international criminal empires, climate change, dwindling natural resources, and bloody civil wars. The number of armed conflicts being waged has doubled since World War II, and of the approximately 194 countries of the world, nearly half are involved in some form of armed conflict. Millions of have been killed and millions more have become refugees, upending Western democracies.
This devastating turmoil has given rise to difficult questions that hold meaning for us today and in the years to come. What is the future of war? Who and how will people fight? What factors will lead to warfare? How can we survive? If Americans are drawn into major armed conflict, can we win? In this thorough, insightful analysis, Sean McFate—a modern heir to Carl von Clausewitz, author of the classic On War—carefully constructs ten rules for the future of military engagement, explaining how to fight and win in an age of entropy and a global system very different from the past: one where corporations, mercenaries, and rogue states have more power and ‘nation states’ have less. McFate’s new rules distill the essence of war, describing what it is in the real world, not what we believe or wish it to be:
Rule 1: Conventional War is Dead
Rule 2: Technology Will Not Save Us
Rule 3: There Is No Such Thing as War or Peace—Both Coexist, Always
Rule 4: Hearts and Minds Do Not Matter
Rule 5: The Best Kind of Weapons Do Not Fire Bullets
Rule 6: Mercenaries Will Return
Rule 7: New Types of Actors Will Rule
Rule 8: There Will Be Wars Without States
Rule 9: Shadow Wars Will Dominate
Rule 10: Victory is Fungible
Some of these principles are ancient, others are new, but all will permanently shape war now and in the future. By following them he argues, we can prevail. But if we do not, terrorists, rogue states, and others who do not fight conventionally will succeed - and rule the world.