Conflict in the Years Ahead


August 12, 2006
Version 7.1

Click here to download (4 MB PowerPoint presentation - designed as a slide show, but most charts have notes.  So please try it both ways.)

Conflict in the Years Ahead was developed for and presented to the students in the Royal Norwegian Navy Staff Course [something of a cross between the US staff and war colleges] during February 2005. It was part of a block on fourth generation warfare and grand strategy that also included presentations by

  • Colonel T. X. Hammes, USMC, based on his book, The Sling and the Stone [B&N, Amazon]

  • Thomas P. M. Barnett, on The Pentagon’s New Map [B&N, Amazon]

  • Ole Strömgren, Copenhagen Business School, as commentator

The purpose of the presentation is to explore the nature of conflict in the early 21st Century by extracting ideas from these authors, as well as from

  • Bill Lind, primarily from "Strategic Defense Initiative"

  • Martin van Creveld, primarily The Transformation of War  [B&N, Amazon], and

  • Michael Scheuer, from Imperial Hubris [B&N, Amazon]

  • Several professors and invited scholars at the US Army War College

  • General Sir Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force

  • Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor, Cobra II

  • Dr. Antulio Echevarria, "Fourth Generation War and Other Myths" (177 KB PDF)

and then placing them into the scheme developed by the late American strategist and military philosopher, Col John R. Boyd, USAF.  I also include a fair amount from my latest book, Neither Shall the Sword and from Barnett's Blueprint for Action.  In the spirit of continuous improvement, I have edited about 2/3 of the charts in this edition and added a few explanatory notes to virtually every one.

The presentation selects a fair amount of material from two of Boyd’s works, Patterns of Conflict and Strategic Game of ? and ? to prepare a framework for discussing both fourth generation warfare and grand strategy. Readers who are not familiar with these presentations can download the complete files at

 You are welcome to distribute the presentation, but please note that commercial use of Boyd's charts does require permission of the Boyd estate.

Click here to download.

If you would like to arrange a live presentation of Conflict in the Years Ahead, any of John Boyd's briefings, or presentations on business applications based upon Certain to Win, my agent would be delighted to talk with you.  Please contact Jeannine Addams at USA 404.231.1132 or via e-mail at .

With best regards,
Chet Richards