Some of the principles of warfare are ancient, others are new, but all described in Sean McFate’s book The New Rules of War will permanently shape war now and in the future. By following them Sean McFate 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.
War is timeless. Some things change—weapons, tactics, technology, leadership, objectives—but our desire to go into battle does not. We are living in the age of Durable Disorder—a period of unrest created by numerous factors: China’s rise, Russia’s resurgence, America’s retreat, global terrorism, international criminal empires, climate change, dwindling natural resources, and bloody civil wars.
This devastating turmoil has given rise to difficult questions. What is the future of war? How can we survive? If Americans are drawn into major armed conflict, can we win? McFate calls upon the legends of military study Carl von Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and others, as well as his own experience, and carefully constructs the new rules for the future of military engagement, the ways we can fight and win in an age of entropy: one where corporations, mercenaries, and rogue states have more power and ‘nation states’ have less.
Dr. Sean McFate is an author, novelist and foreign policy expert. He is a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. Additionally, he is an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.
A specialist in national security strategy, McFate was a think tank scholar at the RAND Corporation, Atlantic Council, Bipartisan Policy Center, and New America Foundation. Recently, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Program, where he conducted research on future war.
McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division. He served under Stan McChrystal and David Petraeus, and graduated from elite training programs, such as Jungle Warfare School in Panama. He was also a Jump Master.
McFate then became a private military contractor. Among his many experiences, he dealt with warlords in the jungle, raised armies for U.S. interest, rode with armed groups in the Sahara, conducted strategic reconnaissance for oil companies, transacted arms deals in Eastern Europe, and helped prevent an impending genocide in the Rwanda region.
In the world of international business, McFate was a Vice President at TD International, a boutique political risk consulting firm with offices in Washington, Houston, Singapore and Zurich. Additionally, he was a manager at DynCorp International, a consultant at BearingPoint (now Deloitte Consulting), and an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.
He has appeared before the British House of Commons, top universities and popular audience venues and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Politico, Daily Beast, CNBC, Vice Magazine, Aeon, War on the Rocks, Military Review and African Affairs. He has appeared on CNN’s Amanpour, Morning Joe, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, Fox, NPR, BBC, Economist, Vice/HBO, The Discovery Channel, and American Heroes Channel. As a scholar, he has authored eight book chapters in edited academic volumes and published a monograph for the U.S. Army War College on how to raise foreign armies.
McFate holds a BA from Brown University, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He lives in Washington, DC. For more information, see www.seanmcfate.com.