Episode 28: Soothsaying, Prophecy and Luck

Historically, the British have been averse to funding a standing army, and perhaps that feeling endures today, in the belief that it is possible to raise and train an army to meet any threat in a short time.

Allan Mallinson contends it takes a decade to generate an army, but a momentary decision to decimate the underpinning culture.

If the British Way of Warfare has rested for a large part on luck, then the current fad for soothsaying and prophecy about the future of war will have to increasingly rely on it. Plus, the controversial view that stability has more to do with military success than radical change.

Western Way of War Podcast Series

A collection of discussions with those in the Profession of Arms that tries to understand the issues around how to fight, and succeed, against adversaries in the 2020s.  We pose the questions as whether a single Western Way of Warfare (how Western militaries fight) has been successful, whether it remains fit for task today, and how it might need to adapt in the future? It is complemented by the ‘Adversarial Studies’ project that looks at how adversaries fight.


Professor Peter Roberts

Senior Associate Fellow

View profile


Explore our related content