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 case 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.
Jacob N. Shapiro is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and directs the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, a multi-university consortium that compiles and analyzes micro-level data on politically motivated violence in countries around the world. His research covers conflict, economic and political development, and security policy. He is author of The Terrorist's Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations and co-author of Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict.