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Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict
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Eli Berman Joseph H. Felter
Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict by Eli Berman at Abbey's Bookshop,

Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict

Eli Berman Joseph H. Felter Jacob N. Shapiro Vestal McIntyre


Princeton University Press

Peace studies & conflict resolution;
Theory of warfare & military science;
Defence strategy, planning & research


408 pages

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How a new understanding of warfare can help the military fight today's conflicts more effectively The way wars are fought has changed starkly over the past sixty years. International military campaigns used to play out between large armies at central fronts. Today's conflicts find major powers facing rebel insurgencies that deploy elusive methods, from improvised explosives to terrorist attacks. Small Wars, Big Data presents a transformative understanding of these contemporary confrontations and how they should be fought. The authors show that a revolution in the study of conflict--enabled by vast data, rich qualitative evidence, and modern methods-yields new insights into terrorism, civil wars, and foreign interventions. Modern warfare is not about struggles over territory but over people; civilians-and the information they might choose to provide-can turn the tide at critical junctures.

The authors draw practical lessons from the past two decades of conflict in locations ranging from Latin America and the Middle East to Central and Southeast Asia. Building an information-centric understanding of insurgencies, the authors examine the relationships between rebels, the government, and civilians. This approach serves as a springboard for exploring other aspects of modern conflict, including the suppression of rebel activity, the role of mobile communications networks, the links between aid and violence, and why conventional military methods might provide short-term success but undermine lasting peace. Ultimately the authors show how the stronger side can almost always win the villages, but why that does not guarantee winning the war.

Small Wars, Big Data provides groundbreaking perspectives for how small wars can be better strategized and favorably won to the benefit of the local population.

By:   Eli Berman, Joseph H. Felter, Jacob N. Shapiro
With:   Vestal McIntyre
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm, 
ISBN:   9780691177076
ISBN 10:   0691177074
Pages:   408
Publication Date:   May 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Eli Berman is chair of economics at the University of California, San Diego, and research director for international security studies at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Joseph H. Felter is a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation. Jacob N. Shapiro is professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University. Felter and Shapiro codirect the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

A valuable contribution to the study of the information-centric components involved in 'small wars' conflict termination.--Perspectives on Terrorism I would call Small Wars, Big Data essential reading for advanced students of counterinsurgency strategy, especially those operating in military intelligence functions.---Lewis Tallon, Encyclopaedia Geopolitica Offers some compelling insights on how to better handle these small wars.---Jerry D. Lenaburg, New York Journal of Books This highly ambitious book unpacks the single biggest foreign policy question of the post-9/11 era--the nature of intrastate conflict. Clearly motivated by a desire to better understand the wars fought by the United States and to improve foreign policy, this book is a must-read for the US military. It will land on undergraduate and graduate course syllabi, win awards, and be discussed outside of academia. --Dan Reiter, author of How Wars End Small Wars, Big Data explores the remarkable possibilities and also inherent limitations of using advanced techniques to gather and analyze information in support of counterinsurgency campaigns. Packed with evidence and examples, this book makes a stimulating and challenging contribution to understanding the role of social science in the conduct of modern war. --Lawrence Freedman, author of The Future of War: A History Berman, Felter, and Shapiro have synthesized a great deal of 'big data' from many recent conflicts to produce a fascinating account of how different types of armed interventions produce different kinds of results, above all in the crucial matter of the flow of information from civilians to counterinsurgents. This well-written book will greatly interest all those working in war zones and those who study warfare. --Peter Bergen, author of United States of Jihad: Who Are America's Homegrown Terrorists and How Do We Stop Them? This seminal work examines an extensive body of evidence from more than a decade of scholarship on modern asymmetric conflict, and provides compelling insights on what is effective, and what is not, in today's small wars. The soldier-scholar authors, who served in the wars they describe, have produced a book that should be required reading for military leaders, policymakers, development professionals, and diplomats. --Retired U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus Small Wars, Big Data heralds a revolution in conflict studies, one that finally brings development, defense, and diplomacy together at the operational level and provides real tools for policymakers and practitioners alike. This book melds rigorous empirical research with collaborative scholarship and great storytelling: a breakthrough for political science. --Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America

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