How To Fight A War – Mike Martin

21st February 2024

How To Fight A War – Mike Martin

Mike Martin

Has any war in history gone according to plan? Monarchs, dictators and elected leaders alike have a dismal record on military decision-making, from over-ambitious goals to disregarding intelligence, terrain, or enemy capabilities. This not only wastes the lives of civilians, the enemy and one’s own soldiers, but also fails to achieve geopolitical objectives, and usually lays the seeds for more wars down the line.

Conflict scholar and former soldier Mike Martin takes the reader through the hard, elegant logic to fighting a conclusive interstate war that solves geopolitical problems and reduces future conflict. In cool and precise prose, he outlines how to orchestrate military forces, from infantry to information, and from strategy to tactics.

How to Fight a War explains the unavoidable, yet seemingly elusive, art of using violence to force your enemies to do what you want. It should be read by everyone seeking to understand today’s wars, as well as those wishing to lead us through the coming decades of conflict.

An indispensable guide to understanding modern warfare, especially the decisions made by politicians and generals — both good and bad.


Mike Martin is Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where he speaks and writes on conflict. His previous books are ‘An Intimate War; Crossing the Congo’; and ‘Why We Fight’. He tweets about conflict and geopolitics as @Threshed Thought.

How To Fight A War is published by Delta Books and republished in South Africa by Jonathan Ball Publishers