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Announcing Publication of The Art of War in an Asymmetric World: Strategy for the Post-Cold War Era
Continuum Books, 6/1/2012

Continuum Books has published The Art of War in an Asymmetric World Strategy for the Post-Cold War Era by long-time Review editor and CCS research scholar, Barry Scott Zellen. His latest book examines the post-Cold War security environment and how the U.S. has learned to wage war in this complex assymetrical world of conflict.

The work examines the rise of the movements against globalization, modernization, and Western dominance that followed the collapse of the bipolar world and the end of the Cold War and that culminated with today’s global jihadist movements. It describes how the U.S. had to adapt to this new, asymmetrical world of conflict with its strategic, doctrinal and theoretical responses to the threats of terrorism and insurgency that defined the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

Unique in the breadth of its scope, the book connects movements from the Zapatista uprising to Al Qaeda’s global jihad within a broader historical framework, connecting pre and post-9/11 conflicts under the unifying theme of a struggle against the forces of modernization. Featuring the works of key theorists such as John Arquilla, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Arthur K. Cebrowski, Jim Gant, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert D. Kaplan, David J. Kilcullen, William H. McRaven, and David Ronfeldt, this book bridges the fields of counterinsurgency, homeland security, counterterrorism, cyberwarfare, and technology of war, and will be a must-read for academics, policymakers and strategists.

  • Imprint: Continuum
  • Pub. date: 28 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781441195555
  • 360 Pages

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by David A. Anderson, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
  • 1. Global Disorder: The Post-Cold War Era: The Bipolar Collapse and the Rise of Global Entropy
  • 2. Asymmetrical Conflict and the Information Age: From Globalization to Global Rebellion
  • 3. The Global War on Terror: Restoring Order in the Post-9/11 World
  • 4. The Art of War in an Asymmetric World
  • 5. The Tribal Foundations of Order: Restoring Order, One Tribe at a Time


"Barry Zellen has assembled a comprehensive work that is a must for the bookshelves of security theoreticians, practitioners, students, and teachers. Wonderfully written and always thought-provoking, this book serves as a beacon in an ever-changing world." 
-- Dr. Andrew R. Thomas, Associate Professor of International Business, University of Akron, USA and Founding Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Transportation Security
The Art of War in an Asymmetric World is a much needed work synthesizing modern thinking about war and refreshing it for the 21st century. It offers an interdisciplinary look into the human dimensions of war and the impacts of technology, globalization, and increased complexity. Moving beyond the sound bites of strategic thinking, it is a profound pondering about war, strategy, and sources of conflict. Much like Michael Handel’s 1992 classic, Masters of War: Classic Strategic Thought, Zellen’s new book is bound to stir debate among America’s strategic thinkers.”
-- Commander Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, MSC, USN, Adjunct Islamic Studies Chair, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and Adjunct Faculty, Middle East Counter-Terrorism Analysis, National Intelligence University, Washington D.C. Author of Militant Islamist Ideology (Naval Institute Press 2010).
"Barry Zellen has provided a book that stretches the boundaries of our thinking on the nature of global disorder following the collapse of the bipolar world in the 1990s.  As noted by Zellen, the world is today riven by a variety of clashes surrounding different aspects of modernity, globalization, disenfranchised populations, human rights, religion, and ethnicity.  This work points out that war and conflict in today's world need to be understood in the context of systemic global complexity and are not attributable to a single factor.  All students and scholars of strategy and conflict in the current era should take note of Zellen's important and lasting contribution to our understanding of war in the modern world."
-- Dr. James Russell, Associate Professor, Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, USA. Author of Innovation, Transformation, and War: Counterinsurgency Operations in Anbar and Ninewa Provinces, Iraq, 2005-2007 (Stanford University Press 2010).
"In his fascinating new book, The Art of War in an Asymmetric World, Barry Scott Zellen breaks new theoretical ground, exploring both the theorists of disorder who emerged after the Cold War's end, and the strategists of order who responded to this new, chaotic world. While much of our world has globalized, Zellen reminds us that in the remote regions where today's wars are being waged, the world remains inherently tribal. Zellen provocatively argues only tribal order - and not state-imposed centralized orders - can provide us with a stable, and enduring structure of world politics, and a foundation for the return of peace. One need not share Zellen's enthusiastic embrace of tribalism to both understand and appreciate that his book initiates a much-needed debate on tribalism in the modern world."
-- Dr. Robin Truth Goodman, Professor of English and Director of the Literature Program at Florida State University, USA. Author of Policing Narratives and the State of Terror (SUNY Press 2009).
"Barry Scott Zellen's The Art of War in an Asymmetric World breaks new ground weaving together the intimate (but usually neglected) interconnections between tribal conflict and the fight against terrorism, which has been unfolding now for over a decade in some of the most remote and therefore, largely indigenous frontier regions in the world. Had our war planners read this pioneering work before entangling us in Afghanistan, we'd very likely not be in the tragic situation that we are today. This important work needs to be closely read -- particularly Zellen's concluding chapter on 'The Tribal Foundations of Order' -- at the highest levels of command now facing intractable Transnational Organized Crime, both here in the Americas and across the seas."
-- Martin Edwin Andersen, author of Peoples of the Earth; Ethnonationalism, Democracy and the Indigenous Challenge in 'Latin' America (Lexington Books, 2010), and publisher of the daily NewsWatch on 'Latin' America and the Caribbean
"Zellen has once again created a masterpiece. With a unique and penetrating view of the world and human behavior, Zellen has penned another stirring analysis of our modern condition.  You don't have to agree with him, but you cannot ignore him."
-- Dr. Alan Tidwell, Director, Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, USA