After the Soviet Union collapsed, the CIA director cautioned the US and its allies: they may have “slain a large dragon”, but now they faced a bewildering variety of “poisonous snakes”.
The dragons are the nation-states. The snakes are guerrilla and terrorist organisations.
Defence analyst and counterinsurgency expert, David Kilcullen, says the West is ill-prepared to deal with the next threats it faces — including China and non-state adversaries.
A former soldier and diplomat, Kilcullen served as a counterinsurgency adviser during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of numerous books, including The Dragon and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West.