Adam Lowther's analysis of America's experience in asymmetric conflict affords a unique perspective in a burgeoning genre. The author explores America's role in conflicts characterized by disproportionate capabilities and ill-defined objectives. He succeeds in painstakingly tracing the history of unconventional military theory. Lowther provides a superbly systematic analysis of US involvement in Lebanon, Somalia, and Afghanistan. The analysis, however, struggles when conceptually differentiating "asymmetric" conflict fromother forms of unconventional engagement. Lowther is eager to suppose a fundamental distinction between "asymmetric" conflict and guerrilla or irregular warfare, but his justifications are ultimately confounding. The author does provide instructive lessons that should be remembered in any future conflict; unfortunately, he offers few suggestions regarding force structure and doctrine.
One learns of the origins and nature of Muhammad’s initial “battles.” These were skirmishes really
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