What will be the future of war? No-one can tell for sure, and so there is much speculation and many contending views. In this article I discuss one of those views, the notion that war of the future will primarily be a protracted form of terrorism, insurgency, and low-intensity conflict within 'failed' states and civilizations, which will sometimes lapse into ethnic cleansing and genocide. It will be 'dirty war'. The antagonists will be rage-filled 'warriors'. War will be fought in the wastelands of the Third World. Wars will occur because of state failure, rather than because of state strength and expansion. They will feature 'irregular' forces rather than the disciplined hierarchical armies that have been the defining characteristic of recent Western military history. Frequently, the military forces of developed societies will be drawn into these conflicts. This is a plausible view of the future, one that is influential in Washington, and a number of serious academics2 subscribe to it.