The New Rules of War
By Sean McFate
Published in January 2019
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
The New Rules of War is a fascinating exploration into 4th generation warfare and the end of the Westphalian system. This book explains why America will fall before the end of the 21st century.
It explains why the US and Western powers have lost every major military engagement since WW2 such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The main argument is that the US fights wars conventionally (WW2 style) when all wars, due to technology, are now fought unconventionally (Iraq style).
He bemoans the US purchase of expensive aircraft carriers, fighter jets, and tanks as wasteful. Instead, he advocates leaning out and cleaning up the military, focusing on private contractors, psychological operations, and special forces.
The future of warfare will not be dominated by states. Instead, it will be age of mercenaries, terrorists, and megacorporations. Do not be worried - these wars will be less chaotic, more controlled, and more cost effective.
The author knows what he is talking about: he is both a former soldier as well as an academic researcher. He doesn’t write from the perspective of someone who has never left a dusty desk; instead demonstrating clear field experience.
The writing can get a little bit repetitive. He really wants to drill the problems into the head of the military, which can be stubborn. This makes it slightly repetitive at times for us civilians who aren’t biased in the way that his target audience is.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how warfare is changing. It is excellent for beginners, but likely boring for intermediate and advanced military historians.
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