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The Western Way of War

Has the ‘Western’ way of war been as successful as the rhetoric would have us believe? Is it fit for future conflicts, against future adversaries, adaptable enough for the information and data age? How should it adapt? Over 75 episodes of the world-renowned podcast challenged leaders from the military, politics and industry – as well as world leading scholars – with the question: “What does the Western Way of War mean to you?”


The answers were as surprising as they were illuminating. If there was broad recognition that the West had been losing military engagements at a frightening rate, there was not a common cause identified by discussants. With his inimitable style of interview, Professor Peter Roberts draws out the key aspects of the Western Way of War seeking answers to the key questions for failure and advice on necessary adaptation to reverse the record of Western military performance since the end of the Cold War. The podcast became required listening at staff colleges around the world; the book enables a new generation of military students in the profession of arms to test their own thinking against the challenges laid clear by host and guests alike.


A deeply thoughtful compilation of interviews and reflections from some of the best strategic minds of our day. The western way of war, dominant for centuries, is today contested by global adversaries who seek to change the character of war. These essays explore why this is happening – and what the West can do to retain its warfighting edge.”

Dr. Peter Mansoor, Col.(Ret.), U.S. Army Senior Fellow, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State University


"Westminster will soon have a major influx of new MP’s who will be faced with critical decisions about the long-term defence and security of the UK. To grasp the range and complexity of the questions they must ask, and the problems they must grapple with, they must avoid lazy assumptions about warfare. This book will make an excellent primer for those new parliamentarians.

Madeleine Moon, former UK Member of Parliament and Chair of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly


186 pages I Size: 234 x 156mm

Publication date:  c. June 2024

ISBN: 978 1912440 504 pbk / 978 1912440 511 hbk / 978 1912440 627 EPUB

The Western Way of War

  • Foreword, by General Sir Graeme Lamb KBE, CMG, DSO 


    1 Reality Is a Terrible Adversary 

    with General James Mattis


    2 Operation Tethered Goat 

    with William F. Owen


    3 People as the Decisive Edge 

    with Professor William Scott-Jackson


    4 Nuclear Weapons 

    with Dr Matthew Harries


    5 Politics Is Everything 

    with Rory Stewart


    6 Hybrid Warfare 

    with Ewan Lawson


    7 The Media and War 

    with Lucy Fisher


    8 Military Procurement 

    with Professor John Louth


    9 Military Education 

    with Dr Heather Venable


    10 First Order Questions 

    with Dr Eliot Cohen


    The Western Way of War: Can We Draw Conclusions? 


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