Written by noted military historian Thomas R. Mockaitis, this book explores conventional and unconventional conflicts and considers the relationships between them. It considers how epic struggles like the American Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the conflicts in the Middle East, among many others, shaped human history. The coverage serves to highlight four themes: the relationship between armed forces and the societies that create them; the impact of technology (not just armaments) on warfare; the role of ideas and attitudes towards violence in determining why and how wars are fought; and the relationship between conventional and unconventional operations.
The book also covers the advent and evolution of unconventional warfare, including counterinsurgency, the War on Terror, and current conflicts in the Middle East. It concludes with consideration of the forms armed conflict will take in the future. The book includes valuable excerpts from the writings of military thinkers such as Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and supporting maps and diagrams.
- Provides an in-depth discussion of terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the context of conventional and unconventional war
- Presents authoritative information and critical insights from the perspective of an acknowledged expert on military history, counterinsurgency, and terrorism
- Addresses the future of warfare, such as cyberwarfare and the use of drones, in the final chapter
- Explains how specific technological advances affected warfare, such as the invention of gunpowder and the resulting revolution, and how the development of nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear holocaust led to a return to limited war during a period in which deterrence rather than victory became the goal of strategists