The world is in an era of permanent low-level conflict. Traditional conflict has largely left its place to grey-zone warfare and hybrid war. States have always used unconventional and non-military ways to acquire leverage or attain victory; however, the increasingly complex and interconnected current nature of the world has made interdependence the battleground.
From sanctions to competing for and buying influence abroad, warfare has taken a more subtle, sly, undeclared, unending, and, most importantly, unrestricted, form. Nowadays, this has blurred the line between war and peace.
While traditional war is very expensive, unpopular, and often too difficult to manage, this new way of war is groundbreaking and does not shy away from any tool available. War is all around us, in everyday life, culture, economics, law, and information. Even something as innocuous as cute cat pictures online can become a ploy.
Mark Galeotti takes us through the weaponization of everything, from disinformation, cyberattacks, and espionage to subversion and crime, in order to understand the changing landscape of war and what it might bring.
Gone are the days of “stable” warfare! The subtle components of martial and everyday civilian life are blending, leading to instability within countries and a legitimacy crisis across the globe. However, this development does not need to be a solely negative one. As Galeotti points out, conflict is democratized, meaning the people are not just bystanders and can take positive action to avoid zero-sum situations. The Weaponisation of Everything: A Field Guide to the New Way of War equips the reader with ways of surviving, adapting, and taking advantage of the opportunities presented by this new reality.
When everything is weaponizable, why would the distinction hold any meaning? Where do we begin to look? How can civilians be mindful of this development? Many of the weapons used are often abstract but their effects are very much tangible and jolting. As it turns out, some things are more weaponizable than others.
Luckily, The Weaponisation of Everything lays bare how this warfare takes form all around the world with examples and a future trajectory. While this form of conflict may be vague and confusing, Galeotti makes the topic apprehensible for all readers.
Even though technology advances in leaps and problems seem to be constantly evolving, Galeotti’s approach invites the reader not only to face the emerging reality, but also to learn to adapt to the new permanent, bloodless war. The Weaponisation of Everything, first released in February 15, 2022, is now available in paperback as of February 14, 2023.
Mark Galeotti, The Weaponisation of Everything: A Field Guide to the New Way of War (Yale University Press, 2022) ISBN 9780300253443, 256 Pages