Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-wq2xx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-21T00:33:39.470Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

4 - The Unified War Theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2021

Geoffrey F. Weiss
Affiliation:
National Military Command Center, The Pentagon
Get access

Summary

Chapter 4 introduces the rules and importance of theory, then derives a Unified War Theory (UWT) that leverages insights from earlier chapters to define key aspects and relationships pertaining to politics, strategy, and combat. The chapter also establishes theory’s relevance to strategy, historical analysis, warfighting, and doctrine, then relates politics, power, influence, and ideology to war, including how autocratic and democratic governance reduces but cannot eliminate the potential for conflict. The chapter defines the nature and character of war, outlines the levels of war and strategy, and explains that cause, capacity, and will to fight comprise the “engine of war.” Additional analysis includes war’s fractal nature, warfighting domains, chance, chaos, and momentum. Next, the chapter presents a “fluidic” metaphor and defines force “viscosity,” a property based on directness, acceleration, restriction, cohesion, and concentration that reconciles war’s regular and irregular forms. The chapter offers a “war-viscosity algorithm” that illustrates the dynamics of viscosity, including how and why war’s forms change, and it concludes by examining the UWT’s value and implications vis-à-vis historical analysis, domain theory, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and ethics.

Type
Chapter
Information
The New Art of War
The Origins, Theory, and Future of Conflict
, pp. 193 - 308
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×