The Power of Will in International Conflict
How to Think Critically in Complex Environments
by Wayne Michael Hall
September 2018, 423pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6612-8
$85, £66, 74€, A117
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6613-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A strong will can provide leaders a distinct edge during times of conflict.

This comprehensive work provides a treasure trove of ways to seek, find, and use the power of will to gain an advantage over one’s opponents in mental conflicts.

Will has been—and always will be—the basis for succeeding in any conflict or competition. To win in a conflict or competition, decision-makers must comprehend the meaning and implications of will and successfully transform theories about it into practice. In the 21st century, it is especially important for military leaders and security professionals to comprehend will in sufficient depth to enable them to impose their will on other resisting entities and learn how to block or parry their adversaries’ efforts to impose their will on them. This book will go a long way in helping decision-makers achieve these goals.

Each chapter in this book addresses one of 14 elements that will help readers to use will successfully over their adversaries: life-force, purpose, strength of motive, capabilities, determination, perseverance, sacrifice, passion, advantage, disadvantage, imposition, action, assessment, and adaptation. The book also provides readers with 18 considerations that will serve them well in all types of conflicts. This book will be particularly beneficial to decision-makers in the military, law enforcement, and business, as well as attorneys and judges.


  • Offers a 14-element model of will and 18 considerations for decision-makers
  • Provides a detailed definition of will in the context of conflict
  • Presents a system of thought for putting the theory of will into practice
  • Builds a solid foundation of will based on theory, history, and philosophy
Wayne Michael Hall, Wayne Michael Hall, Brigadier General, U.S. Army, Retired, is a career intelligence officer with more than 40 years of experience in intelligence operations. He is president and CEO of Hall Consulting Services, Inc., which advises military and private corporations on intelligence-related matters. He has authored several books including Praeger'sIntelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments and Intelligence Collection: How to Plan and Execute Intelligence Collection in Complex Environments.


"Any professional who deals with competition could also benefit from this book. This theory could easily be shelved under “business strategy” or “litigation manuals.” But national security and military professionals must not just read this book — they must study it."—War on the Rocks, June 17, 2019

"Finally, a formidable treatise on a subject of paramount importance too long overlooked! Albert Einstein proclaimed: 'It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.' Few, however, possess the genius and passion to achieve unparalleled expertise in a subject area and then turn that subject matter expertise into a compelling work that stirs our desire to learn and to imagine. Mike Hall is one of those few. The Power of Will in International Conflict is nothing short of a masterpiece that finds the master Jedi exhorting us through a prodigious journey of learning about the nature of conflict and competition and their epicenter, ‘will.’ I daresay not since Clausewitz has a learned theorist explained a conundrum with so much profundity. It remains to be seen who among us possesses the intellectual curiosity and determination to brave this arduous learning expedition. Should one of his acolytes develop an even more compelling thought model for understanding ‘will,’ surely the master Jedi’s ultimate goal will have been fulfilled."—Paul Tiberi, Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired

"The Power of Will in International Conflict is a natural successor to Gen Hall's Advanced Analysis and Collection books. It is unique in that it fills a doctrinal and conflict discussion void and thus is a must read. As a fellow mentor in his Advanced Analysis courses I have seen Gen Hall wrestle with this idea for years. No one has studied or debated more on this long overdue idea central to all conflict—the struggle of 'wills.' All people readily acknowledge the importance of 'will,' therefore, it is time for someone to deeply think about the subject, develop ways to visualize and explain both new and timeless concepts, and provide ‘how to think’ ways and means to bring this great and powerful phenomenon to life and pragmatic use. Wayne Michael Hall has done so. As a final note, this book provides the intellectual pathway and deep dive sufficient to reach comprehension of the intricacies of 'will.' As such, I can say without equivocation—it delivers!"—David "Spock" Johnson, Col, USAF, Retired

"Brigadier General Wayne Michael Hall presents a timely, accurate, and relevant analysis on the eternal concept of 'will,' and how it is inextricably linked to future war, deep thinking, and advanced intelligence analysis. This great work enables the reader to anticipate alternate realities, look inward at oneself, and identify the true center of gravity of one’s adversary. Thucydides’ Trap teaches us that on the historical record, war is more likely than not. Plato said, ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war.’ With these warnings as self-evident truths, thinking people cannot help but infer that the single most important duty of any nation state is to ensure its own survival. This duty dictates that great powers shall constantly press upon each other like tectonic plates in a constant effort to impose their will on one another. Thus, the United States must employ all elements of its national power from diplomatic to the credible potential use of force to impose its 'will' and deny another country’s attempts to impose its 'will' on the USA. This reality demands that the nation’s leaders study and carefully learn the intricacies of the concept of 'will' as it relates to the creation and sustainment of our national security strategy and national military strategy. The potential for us to get this wrong is great, and doing so might activate the law of unintended consequences. This reality commands all serious scholars of war to pay attention, read this book, understand its concepts, models, and explanations, debate it, and integrate its key tenants in doctrine and practice in order to be prepared for the known and unknown threats of the 21st century."—Ken Robinson, Ranger and Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired

"In a decade or so from now, I predict that this work will be a well-regarded classic. . . . The Power of Will in International Conflict should be in the library of anyone who thinks that they are in the business of bringing real-world solutions to real-world complex problems—be they in the business world, government, the military, academia or anywhere else where serious minds congregate to discuss hard issues."—John W. Smith, Brigadier General, U.S. Army, Retired

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Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


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