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Dr. John Arquilla named one of the Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers

Dec. 2010. See the complete article here.

The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers

When historians look back to the moment when the post-Cold War reign of American power ended, they may well settle on 2010 as a crucial year. Everywhere, it seemed, there were signs that the long-predicted "rise of the rest" had finally occurred, whether in the newfound assertiveness of fast-growing China or the impatient diplomacy of new powers like Brazil and Turkey. Foreign Policy's second annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers fully reflects that new world.

#70. John Arquilla

for envisioning the future of warfare.

Military theorist | Naval Postgraduate School | Monterey, Calif.

It's easy enough to invoke the old cliché about armies preparing for the last war instead of the next one, but what exactly is the next war? Ask John Arquilla: Years before 9/11, the military theorist and a Rand Corp. colleague coined the term "netwar" to describe the new paradigm of global conflict, in which decentralized networks would replace hierarchical armies as the basic unit of combat -- more Facebook than 1st Cavalry.

Now at the Naval Postgraduate School, Arquilla argues that the future of warfare will look like the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which 10 terrorists killed nearly 200 people and paralyzed one of the world's largest cities for three days by "swarming" -- attacking in small, agile units. It's an insight that Gen. David Petraeus and other U.S. military leaders have begun to heed in Afghanistan. "We need to get smaller, closer and quicker," Arquilla wrote in the New York Times. "The sooner the better."

Reading list: The Ghosts of Cannae, by Robert O'Connell; Cyber War, by Richard Clarke and Robert Knake; Washington Rules, by Andrew Bacevich.

Best idea: Opening high-level talks with Iran.
Worst idea:
Bombing Iran.
China or India?
China by a nose.
Kindle or iPad?
Kindle by far.