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Just twenty years ago, people spoke of the US as a unipolar titan, stalking the world stage with more power than any empire in history. Yet, even in 1993, the newly-appointed CIA director warned that Western powers might have ‘slain a large dragon’ with the fall of the USSR, but now faced a ‘bewildering variety of poisonous snakes’. Leading soldier-scholar David Kilcullen reveals what the West’s opponents have learned from the last decade-and-a-half of conflict, and how this has shaped their strategies. He investigates what has happened to both the ‘snakes’ – terrorist and guerrilla organisations – and the ‘dragons’ – fellow state enemies, such as Russia and China.