The Long War Ahead and the Short War Upon Us

John Wohlstetter

The Long War Ahead and the Short War Upon Us, provides an assessment of the successes and failures of the United States’ War on Terror, six years after 9/11. As important, it provides a fresh perspective on how to meet the challenges posed by a war with many fronts in a complex and shifting environment.

Mr. Wohlstetter sees two wars with very different challenges: a Long War lasting generations, against radical Islamist ideology, a civilizational war of survival, between imperfect civilization and perfect barbarism. The Short War is a war of prevention, attempting to head-off a WMD catastrophe, whose impact could make eventual victory in the Long War seem hollow. We have, Wohlstetter writes, failed to invest enough human and material resources to give ourselves the best chance to prevail. The only thing we cannot afford in a war of survival is to lose, and “even a single large-scale WMD event will make any foregone security investment seem cheap by comparison.” 


John Wohlstetter’s ‘The Long War Ahead and The Short War Upon Us’ is a tour de force that not only outlines the problems we are obliged to confront, the misperceptions that surround the conflict, but the methods and assumptions that should be applied for the ultimate victory.

Herb London, President, Hudson Institute

“After many years pondering policy at some of our finest think tanks John Wohlstetter has produced a readable, cogent, and informed book on the challenges we face in this new world of rogue states, Islamofascists, and general purpose terrorists motivated merely by dispendious wrath. It is must reading for policy makers and the general public, lest we suffer more and worse 9/11s ahead.”

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Founder and Editor in Chief of The American Spectator

Far-seeing and wise, John Wohlstetter in the tradition of true American patriots has written a brilliant guide to the principles, practices and priorities vital to victory in ‘The Long War Ahead’.

Claudia Rosett, Journalist-in-Residence, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

John Wohlstetter comes to the business of strategic analysis naturally. His father, Charles, his uncle, Albert, and his aunt, Roberta, were among the most brilliant, respected and successful practitioners of this valuable craft of their generation. With this book, John promises to become one of his.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. President, Center for Security Policy

John Wohlstetter

Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute
John C. Wohlstetter is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (beg. 2001) and the Gold Institute for International Strategy (beg. 2021). His primary areas of expertise are national security and foreign policy, and the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He is author of Sleepwalking With The Bomb (2nd ed. 2014), and The Long War Ahead and The Short War Upon Us (2008). He was founder and editor of the issues blog Letter From The Capitol (2005-2015). His articles have been published by The American Spectator, National Review Online, Wall Street Journal, Human Events, Daily Caller, PJ Media, Washington Times and others. He is an amateur concert pianist, residing in Charleston, South Carolina.