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I agree with one of the commentors previously, it is actually not very monumental nor devastating. It does not purport to predict 9-11 (the authors actually call such tactics crude and unsophisticated for the new forms of warfare.) The translation is rather poor, and the thoughts themselves are organized in a meandering fashion, with arguments not very well articulated.
The book`s main thesis is a call for the expansion of the concept of warfare from military to both military and non-military means. The argument presented in favour of such conceptual change is the increase in the capacity in violence in other dimensions such as politics, economics, and information networks, and this rise in violence-capacity was precipitated by the increase in technologies.
In addition, the authors advocate for warfare what Machiavelli advocated for politics; that is, warfare constitutes a independent sphere of action in which ethical standards are inapplicable. The view of the authors may be characterized as ``war amoralism.``
The thesis of the authors is not particularly striking. Especially now, a decade after the book`s publication, you can be sure that the American defence sector has incorporated these various other dimensions into its war calculations. The most interesting point that the book contains is the ``war amoralism`` I mentioned above; the US still very much approaches warfare from a principle-ethical framework.
This is related to the second salient feature of the text; as the preponderant power, the current rule configurations of the international order is one that has been written by the United States. It follows that these rules would be written in the US` favour. This automatically grants an advantage to any entity that wishes to wage war against the United States, for these rule configurations delineate the spheres of action within which the initial US reaction to any attack will be confined, and they grant limited omniscience to the attacker. Of course, as the source of the rule configuration the United States is also the only power in a position to freely change the configuration to suit its own needs, but at the very least its initial response will be from within this framework. Drawing upon this knowledge them increases the chance of success for any asymmetrical war actions taken against the US.
Overall, the book is rather dissatisfying for all the hullabaloo raised in its name. It makes for a somewhat interesting side read, but only if you have some free time. It should in no way take precedence over more pressing and scholarly texts available.
On New Warfare
The Weapons Revolution Which Invariably Comes First
The War Gods Face Has Become Indistinct
A Classic That Deviates From the Classics
What Do Americans Gain By Touching the Elephant?
A Discussion of New Methods of Operation
New Methodology of War Games
Seeking Rules of Victory The Force Moves Away From the Point of the Enemys Attack
Ten Thousand Methods Combined as One Combinations That Transcend Boundaries