War Time: Temporality and the Decline of Western Military Power

In War Time the Western way of war, its pace and timing, are discussed and analysed by experts who question the West’s ability to maintain its military superiority given the political and strategic failures of interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.


War Time: Temporality and the Decline of Western Military Power book cover

In War Time, war studies experts examine the trajectory of Western military power. They discuss conflicting perceptions of time anchored within Western political and military institutions, and the Western attachment to fast-paced warfare at the expense of longer-term political solutions.

Divided into three sections, the book covers ‘civic militarism’ and the trajectory of Western power, Western perceptions of time and the international normative order, and military operations and temporality. War Time explains why the West has been overwhelmingly powerful on the battlefield and yet strategically and politically weak as exemplified by the return of the Taliban and the hasty evacuation of troops and personnel from Afghanistan.

The book identifies policies that decision-makers must adopt to stave off the decline of Western military dominance.

This book is part of the Insights series.


Watch the event

A special event was held in March 2021 to mark the launch of the book. View the event here.

Praise for War Time

War Time is a provocative consideration of the many aspects of modern military power in politics and international affairs. Though the nature of war doesn’t change, this book is particularly relevant given the changing character of modern war as we see in the Caucasus, Ukraine, the Sahel, and the Indo-Pacific region. Essential reading for political leaders, diplomats, and strategic thinkers.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ben Hodges, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies, Center for European Policy Analysis; Commander, United States Army Europe, 2014–2017

About the editors

Sten Rynning is professor of war studies at the University of Southern Denmark.

Olivier Schmitt is professor with special responsibilities at the Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark, and currently director of research and studies at the French Institute for Higher National Defence Studies.

Amelie Theussen is assistant professor at the Center for War Studies, University of 
Southern Denmark.