Will tomorrow's wars be dominated by autonomous drones, land robots and warriors wired into a cybernetic network which can read their thoughts? Will war be fought with greater or lesser humanity? Will it be played out in cyberspace and further afield in Low Earth Orbit? Or will it be fought more intensely still in the sprawling cities of the developing world, the grim black holes of social exclusion on our increasingly unequal planet? Will the Great Powers reinvent conflict between themselves or is war destined to become much 'smaller' both in terms of its actors and the beliefs for which they will be willing to kill?
In this illuminating new book Christopher Coker takes us on an incredible journey into the future of warfare. Focusing on contemporary trends that are changing the nature and dynamics of armed conflict, he shows how conflict will continue to evolve in ways that are unlikely to render our century any less bloody than the last. With insights from philosophy, cutting-edge scientific research and popular culture, Future War is a compelling and thought-provoking meditation on the shape of war to come.
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"Over the past decade, Christopher Coker has staked a strong claim to being one of the world's foremost thinkers on the cultural representation of future military conflict. His latest book, Future War is a stimulating interdisciplinary meditation on what may lie ahead in the way humanity conceives of armed conflict across a connected globe. Coker tells us that the problem we face is less one of long-term forecasting but rather the necessity to cultivate long-sightedness in a manner that helps us to shape the future of war before we have to experience it. Blending literature, moral philosophy, history, science and popular culture we embark upon an intellectual journey that embraces ideas from Clausewitz, Schopenhauer, Star Trek, and Ender's Game. Most students of future war are instrumentalists but Coker reminds us of the vital importance of an existential understanding of humanity's second oldest profession."
Michael Evans, Australian Defence College
"Christopher Coker's Future War is powerfully elegant and breathtakingly erudite, as much at home in history and the classics as in science fiction and futurism. It is intellectually challenging, always challenging, sketching a future of Big Data where war will no longer be the monopoly of the state. When Coker balances the factors driving war against those constraining it, he recognizes that its end is not yet in sight. Even so, there is a glimmer of optimism and hope in his analysis--the future, as points out, is not a destiny, but a choice."
Steven Metz, Strategic Studies Institute, Pennsylvania
"The big military powers have the luxury of dedicated experts on the future of warfare. Smaller powers have strategic defence reviews. Christopher Coker is one of Britain's major thinkers about humanity and warfare. His work is a crucial resource for anyone with the unenviable task of thinking practically about our collective defence, especially since in Future Wars he rescues the subject from technological fantasists."
Michael Burleigh, author of Small Wars, Faraway Places: Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World
Preface: Who owns the Future?
Chapter 1: Future-Gazing
Chapter 2: Future Past
Chapter 3: The Rise of the Machines
Chapter 4: The Moral Maze
Chapter 5: Killing Zone
Chapter 6: Beyond 2035