Philip C. Bobbitt

The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History

We are at a moment in world affairs when the essential ideas that govern statecraft must change. For five centuries it has taken the resources of a State to destroy another State: only stages could muster the huge revenues, conscript the vast armies and equip the mechanized divisions required to threaten the survival of other states. Indeed posing such threats, and meeting them, created the modern State. In such a world, every State knew that its enemy would be drawn from a small class of potential adversaries. This is no longer true, owing to advances in international telecommunications and transit, rapid computation, and weapons of mass destruction. The change in statecraft that will accompany these developments will be as profound as any that the State has thus far undergone.

Excerpts from the Foreword